The current PS3s already have efficient functionality with the shrunken 65nm Cell processor, but now things are going to get even smaller. Sony and Toshiba have plans on mass producing a 45nm Cell processor starting in 2009. The plan is to integrate them first into PS3s. The result of which will allow PS3s to save power up to 40 percent.
As usual, smaller chips mean less heat, less space, and more reliability. Engadget suggests that this new hardware revision could usher in a price cut and a PS3-slim model. All seems logically sound, though — even if the chips were produced early in the year — we still wouldn’t see the end product until late 2009 at the very earliest. So if you’ve been holding out for a PS3 until the slim comes into town … you’ve still got a long wait ahead of you buddy.
Toshiba announced Tuesday that it will no longer manufacture HD DVD hardware. From its press release:
“Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has undertaken a thorough review of its overall strategy for HD DVD and has decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. This decision has been made following recent major changes in the market. Toshiba will continue, however, to provide full product support and after-sales service for all owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.”
Gizmodo’s man in Japan, Ichiroo, reported that the press release was “in the wild” before the company’s press conference had even begun.
There’s no nonsense, no big show, no morbid preliminaries: just the final truth in black and white, seemingly pre-empting its own schedule of events. Perhaps some still wondered if it would be too “proud” to act quickly, and would somehow drag it out for days, or even weeks.
Even the AP works this thought into its coverage, saying that the format’s demise is a “possible blow to Toshiba’s pride,” as if the corporation itself—or even the very technology—has emotions. But really, isn’t it all just business?
Toshiba Kills HD DVD, Official [Gizmodo]
Tokyo—Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has undertaken a thorough review of its overall strategy for HD DVD and has decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. This decision has been made following recent major changes in the market. Toshiba will continue, however, to provide full product support and after-sales service for all owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.
HD DVD was developed to offer consumers access at an affordable price to high-quality, high definition content and prepare them for the digital convergence of tomorrow where the fusion of consumer electronics and IT will continue to progress.
“We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called ‘next-generation format war’ and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop,” said Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation. “While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality.”
Toshiba will continue to lead innovation, in a wide range of technologies that will drive mass market access to high definition content. These include high capacity NAND flash memory, small form factor hard disk drives, next generation CPUs, visual processing, and wireless and encryption technologies. The company expects to make forthcoming announcements around strategic progress in these convergence technologies.
Toshiba will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail channels, aiming for cessation of these businesses by the end of March 2008. Toshiba also plans to end volume production of HD DVD disk drives for such applications as PCs and games in the same timeframe, yet will continue to make efforts to meet customer requirements. The company will continue to assess the position of notebook PCs with integrated HD DVD drives within the overall PC business relative to future market demand.
This decision will not impact on Toshiba’s commitment to standard DVD, and the company will continue to market conventional DVD players and recorders. Toshiba intends to continue to contribute to the development of the DVD industry, as a member of the DVD Forum, an international organization with some 200 member companies, committed to the discussion and defining of optimum optical disc formats for the consumer and the related industries.
Toshiba also intends to maintain collaborative relations with the companies who joined with Toshiba in working to build up the HD DVD market, including Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and DreamWorks Animation and major Japanese and European content providers on the entertainment side, as well as leaders in the IT industry, including Microsoft, Intel, and HP. Toshiba will study possible collaboration with these companies for future business opportunities, utilizing the many assets generated through the development of HD DVD.
The death spiral of HD DVD seemed to have been kick started in June 2007, when the corporate rental giant Blockbuster said they would only carry Blu-ray within it’s retail locations. Then in early January 2008, Warner Bros. confirmed they would drop HD DVD in favor of the Sony backed – but not owned – Blu-ray format. Earlier this week HD DVD was knocked to the ground and repeatedly kicked as Netflix and Wal-Mart chose to support Blu in this completely
ridiculous interesting format war.
While we wait for official word Stateside from Toshiba it certainly looks like this format war is completely done-zos.
In a sign the high-definition format war is far from over, Toshiba on Monday dropped the suggested retail price of its entry-level HD DVD player to under $150. That puts the HD-A3 $250 cheaper than Sony’s PlayStation 3.
Best Buy and Wal-mart had a campaign during the weekend where they sold the Toshiba HD-A2 for $100 – and that resulted in an impressive amount of HD DVD players sold. Over 90 000 players were sold during the weekend. Impressive. Is this the start of a price war between the blu-ray and HD DVD camps? I sure hope so – consumer power!
Toshiba HD-A2 model sells 90,000 over weekend [videobusiness.com]
IBM, of course, once made PowerPC chips for Macs, and the Cell processor was once seen as a future chip for Apple systems. The first-generation Cell Broadband Engine chip, co-developed by IBM, Sony, and Toshiba, has just appeared in Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console and can run at 4GHz. The second-generation chip will run at 6GHz, according to the ISSCC program. In addition, the new chip will have a dual power supply that increases memory performance—a major bottleneck in computer designs today.
For servers, IBM has said its Power6 processor, due to ship in servers in 2007, will run between 4GHz and 5GHz, notes CNET. But in the ISSCC program, the company said the chip’s clock will tick at a rate “over 5GHz in high-performance applications.” In addition, the chip “consumes under 100 watts in power-sensitive applications,” a power range comparable to mainstream 95-watt AMD Opteron chips and 80-watt Intel Xeon chips.
Sony and Toshiba may have been in cahoots when they worked on the Cell processor, but now that it’s out, Toshiba is throwing its pants on and running out the door. Yoshihide Fujii, Toshiba’s digital media network CEO, is claiming they’ll be the first company to put the Cell processor in your living room. Nevermind that Sony’s PS3 already beat them to it, Fujii is determined to beat his partner/rival to the punch. Meanwhile Sony’s also rushing to put the Cell CPU in their own HDTVs and home theater equipment. This puts both Goliaths in a race to deliver Cell CPU-based gear. Maybe both companies should first check to see if people care enough about the Cell processor to put it in their living room in the first place.
Toshiba: We’ll Beat Sony to the Living Room [PC World]