A report in the (Japanese-language) Semiconductor Industry News today revealed that the quad-core Cortex A9 ARM SoC for Sony's upcoming Playstation Vita handheld would be manufactured by Samsung on a 45nm process. Samsung also supplies 45nm ARM processors for Apple (the A4 and A5) and other smartphone manufacturers.

The move to a relatively off-the-shelf ARM processor is a move away from the expensive proprietary chips that powered Sony's PS2, PSP, and PS3, and it allows Sony to make the Vita more cheaply (it also allows developers to port code more easily from other ARM devices, like smartphones). This is an important move, since it allows Sony to compete more effectively with Apple and Nintendo - the latter, perhaps feeling the pressure from the Vita's impending launch, announced a substantial price cut to its 3DS handheld yesterday.

The Playstation Vita succeeds the PlayStation Portable and is due out at some point this holiday season in Japan and North America. Its announced price is $249.99, $20 more than Apple's low-end iPod Touch and $80 more than Nintendo's 3DS.

Source: Semiconductory Industry News

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  • FaaR - Monday, August 1, 2011 - link

    Custom Nvidia chip, but I assume that's what you meant. :)

    Afair, it's a 9800GT or somesuch (I swear, those things were re-badged like a million times so who can keep track?) with marginal tweaks to its pixel shaders, added HDMI audio support and Rambus Redwood I/O links to the Cell processor instead of PCI Express.
  • SquattingDog - Monday, August 1, 2011 - link

    Sorry to necro-post this, but I just saw this article.

    @ FaaR, I think you mean 7800/7850/7900/7950GT in the PS3 - WAAYY below 9800GT spec. The Xbox 360 uses a custom ATi chip which was basically equivalent in performance to the x1900XT/x1950XT.

    It is because consoles are using such outdated graphics processors, that they are unfortunately holding back graphics for many PC games (look how many ports we are getting with average dx9-era graphics, heck even Crysis 2 has rubbish graphics anywhere but on the linear storyline path not to mention reflections/shadows...) - and with so many people buying up consoles and console games, it seems the PC gaming market is on the decline, and has been for some time.

    Have read some rumours stating that Sony and Microsoft are holding off on releasing their next gen consoles, as the current ones, including games and accessories are still selling so well. Kinect anyone?

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