Your PS3 Will Most Likely Have Defects | PS3Blog.net
But that’s okay.
We all know that the Cell processor has 8 synergistic processor elements (SPEs) for multicore processing, plus one PowerPC core. The specs for the PS3 say that the PS3 will have a Cell processor with 7 SPEs. That’s because they’re allowing for a production defect in one of the 8 SPEs, and will turn that one off. It’s really hard to manufacture chips with no defects, so this gives Sony some room to increase yields and thus lower costs. And lower costs are a good thing. Makes me wonder, though. Will they let Cell processor with 8 working SPEs into PS3s? Does that mean that some PS3s will be more powerful than others?
And if you’re wondering why the PS3’s Cell is specified at 3.2GHz instead of the anticipated 4GHz that the processor was unveiled at, it’s for one reason: heat. The 4GHz part is just too hot to fit into such a small enclosure.