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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Ps4 with APU using 7nm processor?

Kerotan said:
Pemalite said:

Won't be an issue, because the 3nm chips won't actually be 3nm.
I mean, what you describe is a very real problem, but we are years away from being near that wall.

When you say they won't actually be 3nm is this like checkerboarding and the faux 4k?

well, the process node "names" aren't descriptive of the actual structure sizes it produces

it's a bit like "naming" a resolution "8k by 4k" and it being 3600 x 1800 pixels



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fatslob-:O said:
I think Sony could be doing another shrink again and that could be PS4 super slim for $199 by the end of this year depending on TSMC's 7nm production capacity ...

7nm would still be more costly then than 14/16nm is right now. If a PS4 Superslim would come out this year then most probably not below 249$



It probably all depends on when PS5 lands, because launching a PS4 super slim after the PS5 launch is highly unlikely and possibly just a horrible idea.

If PS5 lands sometime in 2020, then it will be on 7nm, which would mean a 7nm PS4 super slim needs to launch by holiday 2019 at the latest. This is probably possible, since the fab yields should be high enough by then and since new console models tend to remain at the same price for a while before they drop, a $249 PS4 super slim shouldn't be all that out of the question late 2019, before dropping to $199 steady mid to late 2020.

If 7nm isn't quite ready yet and is too expensive, then 12nm/10nm could be used instead. This wouldn't allow for as small and efficient a console as 7nm would allow, but it would still be smaller than the 16nm slim console they have now. They could probably launch holiday 2018 if they wanted, since the fab yield shouldn't be a problem and should be cost efficient by now. A steady $249 PS4 super slim and $349 Pro slim going into 2019 would really help keep the momentum up. If the PS5 launched late 2019 or early 2020, with a steady $199 PS4 super slim announcement to go along with it, PS would be in PR heaven. If PS5 didn't launch until holiday 2020, then a $199 PS4 super slim for an entire year beforehand would sure tow the line until then.



Bofferbrauer2 said:

7nm would still be more costly then than 14/16nm is right now. If a PS4 Superslim would come out this year then most probably not below 249$

More costly ? Nah, at least not by much so it's only a tad more expensive per transistor ... 

Even if cost scaling had stopped, there's still many savings to be found aside from the chip itself such as using smaller boards, moving to passive cooling, smaller case design and using a smaller power supply unit ... 

Best of all there's GDDR6 for the masses! Sony can redesign the APU's memory controller so that they can deliver 2x higher bandwidth/density per pin for even more savings ...  



Kerotan said:

When you say they won't actually be 3nm is this like checkerboarding and the faux 4k?

Pretty much.
It's the same with 14nm from Samsung/Global Foundries etc'. That is actually based on 20nm with a 20nm BEOL.

"nm" used to be semi-accurate, now it's just bullshit terminology that gets thrown around and people run with it without any real understanding.

Bofferbrauer2 said:
fatslob-:O said:
I think Sony could be doing another shrink again and that could be PS4 super slim for $199 by the end of this year depending on TSMC's 7nm production capacity ...

7nm would still be more costly then than 14/16nm is right now. If a PS4 Superslim would come out this year then most probably not below 249$

Depends on how big of a chip you are building. The more transistors you throw at a chip, the more cost effective 7nm becomes.



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fatslob-:O said:
Bofferbrauer2 said:

7nm would still be more costly then than 14/16nm is right now. If a PS4 Superslim would come out this year then most probably not below 249$

More costly ? Nah, at least not by much so it's only a tad more expensive per transistor ... 

Even if cost scaling had stopped, there's still many savings to be found aside from the chip itself such as using smaller boards, moving to passive cooling, smaller case design and using a smaller power supply unit ... 

Best of all there's GDDR6 for the masses! Sony can redesign the APU's memory controller so that they can deliver 2x higher bandwidth/density per pin for even more savings ...  

Who said anything about scaling? It seems you didn't get the point.

It's just way too early yet to move to 7nm. Your link is from mid 2016, when the 14/16nm processes where already very well established. But for the 7nm process, we are at a point like mid 2014 was for 14/16nm processes: Too expensive yet for mass production, but tech is getting tested with some early designs of future chips.

For reference, your article is from June 2016, almost a full year after Apple came with the A9 in the iPhone 6S/S Plus or Qualcomm with the Snapdragon 820, and over a full year after the Exynos 7420, all having been produced in 16/14nm processes, meaning the process was already ripe at their releases. What he's saying in the article is anybody who hasn't made the jump yet will be left behind because there's no reason anymore to produce high performance chips in 20/22 or even 28nm to avoid bad yield rates (and thus high prices) anymore.

Oh, and Sony isn't designing anything, they are just asking the chip manufacturers if they can produce a chip which is able to do what they ask (and pay) for. So if it can be done cheaper with GDDR5, they will take it no questions asked.



Bofferbrauer2 said:

Who said anything about scaling? It seems you didn't get the point.

It's just way too early yet to move to 7nm. Your link is from mid 2016, when the 14/16nm processes where already very well established. But for the 7nm process, we are at a point like mid 2014 was for 14/16nm processes: Too expensive yet for mass production, but tech is getting tested with some early designs of future chips.

For reference, your article is from June 2016, almost a full year after Apple came with the A9 in the iPhone 6S/S Plus or Qualcomm with the Snapdragon 820, and over a full year after the Exynos 7420, all having been produced in 16/14nm processes, meaning the process was already ripe at their releases. What he's saying in the article is anybody who hasn't made the jump yet will be left behind because there's no reason anymore to produce high performance chips in 20/22 or even 28nm to avoid bad yield rates (and thus high prices) anymore.

Oh, and Sony isn't designing anything, they are just asking the chip manufacturers if they can produce a chip which is able to do what they ask (and pay) for. So if it can be done cheaper with GDDR5, they will take it no questions asked.

Your point doesn't make much sense since foundries determine what is and isn't viable for mass production ... 

And it's NOT too early to move to 7nm since console APUs will be the size of a smartphone SoCs at that point so cost concerns are mitigated with smaller dies. You also misunderstood the article too, it only argued that you should transition to FD SOI from FinFET to reap more benefits. All home console manufacturers still saw reasons to use 14/16nm even though it's permanently more expensive per gate either way ... 

Sony still has to redesign the APU to use 7nm cell libraries ... (you can't reuse the physical design from older process applied to a new process since they don't have the same design constraints) 



Can someone shed some light on whether or not PS4 slim and pro uses 14nm or 16nm? All i could find was 14nm.
Also isn't 7nm a theoretical low point due to quantum tunneling?



Areaz32 said:
Can someone shed some light on whether or not PS4 slim and pro uses 14nm or 16nm? All i could find was 14nm.
Also isn't 7nm a theoretical low point due to quantum tunneling?

PS4 slim and Pro use TSMC's 16nm process. Not sure if it's just 16nm or 16nm+.

http://www.tsmc.com/english/dedicatedFoundry/technology/16nm.htm

TSMC started (risk?) production of 28nm chips in 2011, and the PS4 had a 28nm chip in 2013.

TSMC started risk production of 16nm chips in 2013, 16nm+ in 2015, and PS4 slim and Pro had a 16nm(+) chip in 2016.

TSMC started manufacturing 12nm chips in 2017, (and 10nm around 2016-2017?)

TSMC started risk production of 7nm in 2017, and 5nm risk production scheduled for second half of 2019.

I would guess it's more likely we see a 12nm/10nm PS4 super slim and Pro slim. 7nm would probably be saved for PS5 I would think.



Areaz32 said:
Also isn't 7nm a theoretical low point due to quantum tunneling?

There are ways to mitigate and get around the issue. There have been 3nm test chips and 2nm transistors and 1nm gates.

But I think we will end up following the trend that NAND has done.
We were shrinking NAND constantly... Which was fantastic.
We were making chips smaller and cheaper, but at the cost of endurance... (Processors have a similar endurance issue thanks to thermally-assisted tunneling/electromigration, CPU's these days simply won't last as long as older chips.)

So, NAND went the opposite direction, they made chips larger on an older, cheaper process, but then they stacked more chips on top of each other.
You still have high quality SLC and MLC chips on newer process nodes though for markets that demand it.

AMD with Thread Ripper decided to use a "Mesh" to stitch multiple chips together as it was more cost effective than one giant chip as you could then get more working chips out of a single wafer.

Lots of ways to get reduce costs and increase performance even at our current technology level, chip designers and fabs are starting to think outside of the box. :)



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