Sony Computer Entertainment have revealed that mass production of the "cell" microprocessor is due to start in the second half of 2005, a date which suggests that Sony's next console will be on track for a Spring 2006 release in Japan. Once in production it has been suggested that 8 such chips will power Sony's new console.
Initial reports had hinted at a 2007 release claiming that the high expectations for the chip would delay its mass production. SCE's announcement however, suggests that progress in the research phase, the period we are curently in, has been significant and will result in the company meeting a mid-2005 mass production schedule. Sony's ambitions for the chip are great and Toshiba and IBM, its partners in the cell venture are also investing in its development.
The announcement was made during the presentation of the new 90 nanometre production process for the PS2 chipset, integrating the CPU and the GPU onto a single chip. While Spring 2006, probably autumn of the same year for the U.S., is still quite some way away, the new production process for the PS2 chipset promises more immediate effects since the circuitry will be reduced to half the size of the original PS2 chips, meaning that PSP is round the corner
News source: MegaGames