PlayStation 5 Refresh has a new 6nm AMD Oberon Plus SoC

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Sony refreshed its PlayStation 5 console about a month ago. Gaming tech enthusiasts have been slowly revealing the underlying changes that come with the CFI-1202 consoles on the web and social media. The critical difference that precipitated the new compact cooling system and lighter build is Sony’s shiny new Oberon Plus processor inside the refreshed consoles.

The first two revisions of the Sony PlayStation 5 used the same semi-custom AMD processor. Then what we in the PC world would describe as the “APU” in the PS5, was dubbed Oberon and was made on TSMC’s N7 process. According Angstronomy’ report, supported by updated APU comparison images, the new Oberon Plus is present in the CFI-1202 models, mass-produced by TSMC on the N6 process. It’s easy to spot the differences in chip packages, and the source calculates that the new processor has a die size of less than 260mm^2 – a considerable reduction from around 300mm^2 for the Oberon.

The new Oberon Plus brings practical benefits to PS5 CFI-1202 models with its retractable die. Officially (opens in a new tab), TSMC’s N6 “provides 18% higher logic density compared to the N7 process”, while being fully design rule compatible with previously produced N7 chips for easier migration. However, the linked press release from TSMC does not mention some of the benefits associated with moving from N7 to N6; as well as the smaller chip, a CPU can see lower power consumption with better thermals. This is especially true when the chip designer does not re-specify other aspects of the chip, such as its clock speed. This aspect of the CFI-1202 was part of the teardown video earlier in September. The revised PS5 would have used 10% less power for the same gaming experience in this video. We also saw that the 2022 revision brought more reductions to the cooling system footprint and overall system weight, which reduced Sony’s BOM.

Unlike many device makers who would submit a flurry of design improvements alongside ordering a new batch of N6 SoCs, the console industry is unique in that it could avoid overt performance improvements. within the same generation. Sony was therefore happy that shrinking the dies allowed it to reduce its BOM, as described above, and no longer had any ambition for it. Indeed, the 10% power saving when gaming is not a benefit they will advertise, but it is welcome nonetheless. Finally, it’s good to know that Sony PS5 consoles haven’t lost up to 600g of mass over the past two generations to the real detriment of the system (but some say the 2021 revision ran a bit hotter than the original).

Finally, Angstronomics also observes that the PS5 is the first of the big three current-gen consoles to get a 6nm chip, and that Sony is getting almost 50% more PS5 chips per wafer than Microsoft with its Xbox Series X processors. thus, Sony, with its cheaper silicon bill and new lower BOM, has recently pushed price increases around the world (except in the US).

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