The Shot reveals that the new PS5 model is moving to a new 6nm “Oberon Plus” chip

In short: Since the launch of the PlayStation 5, Sony has tried to mitigate its supply issues with minor revisions to shave grams in weight and cost of production. A new die shot reveals that the console has received its first die shrink, which should help Sony lower its power consumption and improve its profit margin.

An analysis of the chip in the latest version of the PS5 by Angstronomics shows that it uses TSMC’s 6nm N6 EUV process and differs from the launch console’s N7. The modification of the PS5 model CFI-1202 comes with other changes to the motherboard and cooling system.

The 6nm chip, codenamed Oberon Plus, has a 15 percent smaller die than the original Oberon. The move from about 300mm² to 260mm² should allow Sony to make about 20 percent more chips at the same cost. The N6 chip also uses less power than the N7, potentially reducing the console’s energy costs.

Last year, the first iteration of the PS5 (CFI-1100) tried to save money by slimming down, which resulted in compromises in the cooling system, causing it to run a bit hotter than the launch model. Earlier this month, the CFI-1200 model went on sale, and failures showed it could shave hundreds of grams off the launch console with a redesigned motherboard, new heatsink and smaller cooler. The chip shrink in 1202 should also reduce power consumption by about 10 percent.

The current generation of consoles is facing unprecedented manufacturing challenges, largely driven by the impact of the pandemic on supply chains and consumer demand. The PS5 remains somewhat difficult to buy as it approaches its second birthday.

Last year, Sony said the disc drive-equipped PS5 model had become profitable, but the digital-only version was still selling at a loss. However, Sony has increased the price of all models in all regions except North America over the past month, likely due to increases in production costs, which Microsoft and Nintendo have avoided with their consoles so far. Hardware revisions like CFI-1202 can help Sony maintain profitability and eventually pass savings on to consumers. The Shot reveals that the new PS5 model is moving to a new 6nm “Oberon Plus” chip

Chris Barrese

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