PS3 consoles to ship with defect Cell chips
The Cell chip of the Playstation 3 console comes with eight synergistic processor elements (SPEs). Ken Kutaragi revealed that PS3′s Cell chip will use only 7 of the 8 SPEs to allow for one defect SPE in the PS3.
According to Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, the production of the Playstation 3 Cell chip with 8 fully functional SPEs without defects is extremely difficult, and allowing for one of the 8 SPEs to be defect increases the tolerance in the manufacturing process and greatly lowers production costs. The Cell chip in the Playstation 3 has been designed to utilize this redundancy and use only seven SPEs. A similar scheme would also be used for the PlayStation 3′s RSX graphics processor, said “Father of Playstation” Kutaragi.
Cell chips made for the PS3 that have 2 defect SPEs could still be used for other appliances, for example in dual-CPU “Home Servers” that have larger cases than the Playstation 3 and can house two Cell chips, with a total of 12 SPEs, because the Cell chip is designed to utilize as many SPEs as it needs.