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Low Cell Yields

Discussion in 'Console Games & Hardware' started by Abooie, 13 Jul 2006.

  1. Abooie

    Mobster

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    Seems even with the lower speed and number of usable SPE's cut down from 8 to 7 IBM are still having trouble getting them manufactured.

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060712-7248.html

    or for a more tabloid take on it > http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=32978

    I can see a further delay on the horizon.
     
  2. Raumarik

    Capodecina

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    It's OK it's still costing a fortune which must mean it's good :p


    obviously :eek:
     
  3. Caustic

    Mobster

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    I saw those figures, that is a horrible yield. They must b hoping they can improve on that greatly very quickly. What they dont say is if that is at the desired clock, or just working at any clock speed close etc.

    To put it another way, each chip is currently costing triple. Ouch.
     
  4. SteveOBHave

    Soldato

    Joined: 31 Mar 2006

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    LOL Sonys Vista... *yawn* given up waiting... Can't say as I really care how long it takes to come out, as long as they get it right... (which in itself is a little dubious)
     
  5. Tunney

    Capodecina

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    I once worked for a company making plasma TVs. The cut-off between the product being commercially viable or not was around 14%.

    However, if Sony have planned for a 40% yield and it's actually 20% then that's going to seriously dent their profits. Unless they're buying the chips from IBM at a fixed price, which I doubt.
     
  6. Caustic

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    From what I heard tho', in terms of CPU's, someone like Intel or AMD would get higher when they first launch a new chip. It would nice to get an idea of what IBM were expecting.
     
  7. NokkonWud

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    Hah, Sony's Vista sums it up just about right in many ways.
     
  8. ~J~

    Sgarrista

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    I'm really getting bored with these threads now.

    There was me thinking that a few months ago the majority of members on here eventually agreed that it was the game and not the hardware that made a winning console.

    And look at the threads of late. Come on fellas, get a grip.

    *that's NOT a dig at smcshaw, every right to bring it to attention, but these threads drift off into a slagging match with no outcome because we just don't know the final results yet. So no hard feelings mate.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jul 2006
  9. NokkonWud

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    Couldn't agree more.
    We all know each console will have star titles:
    Sony:
    Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo, Devil May Cry
    Microsoft:
    Halo, Forza Motorsport, Mass Effect
    Nintendo:
    Mario, Zelda.
     
  10. Werewolf

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    The Register has an article about it and notes that whilst the yield sounds horribly low, it's not too low compared to the likes of AMD/Intel when they first start making an all new chip.

    It's also worth noting that effectively (as the article states) the yeild of parts suitable for the PS3 could be up to 40% which certainly isn't too bad for a new complicated chip.
     
  11. JUMPURS

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    Didnt IBM and Sony say before that the Cell's with less working SPE's where going to be used in other things such as T.V.'s etc to try recoup some of the costs also?
     
  12. DaveyD

    Man of Honour

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    I'd have thought they'd go to somewhere where some of the power could be used still.

    I've no clue as to how good or bad these yield figures are in comparison to AMD/Intel, but I just hope for Sonys sake that their quality control is good on those 20% of processors getting through, as we don't want the CPU to be dead or failing on the system.
     
  13. Caustic

    Mobster

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    In that case don't read them perhaps? And certainly don't make things worse by posting in them.

    This thread is about discussing yields, it even has a few good posts discussing what yields are acceptable etc. What it doesn't need is pointless ranting or moaning. I agree people need to stop it, but how are you helping?

    So what sort of figures do Intel/AMD get? Does IBM get 20% to 40% at 3.2GHz or is that the number with 7+ working SPE's regardless of speed? Thats an important question. Might they still have to drop the clock speed?
     
  14. crunchman

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    That's the problem, we're not seeing these reported yields in context with yields from other processors or consoles.

    I'm sure many processors have these sorts of problems, especially if the technology is new like the Cell.
     
  15. Abooie

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    I do agree mate. Both consoles will have their share of great titles and I don't think any real gamer wants any of them to 'fail'.
    I thought I'd post about the yields as I'm starting to fear launch quantities may be reduced or even worse, and unkthinkable, the PS3 slips.

    Having read a few more articles the plan is to still use chips with 3, 4 etc. working SPEs though it still seems a little sketchy exactly how.

    It does seem as that guy who phoned into (Gamespot I think) said "Bad News! Always Bad News!". The problem atm is their just isn't any good news for Sony. All these threads are just reporting it per se.

    I'm sure once it's launched, and as we get closer, there'll be many good articles. (Hopefully, as even though I currently have no plans to get one, I hope people who do really enjoy theres).

    *and absolutely no hard feelings mate.... I'll get ya though! [/
     
    Last edited: 14 Jul 2006
  16. FrankJH

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    TBH I think it was typical journalism leading with a shock title and slightly misleading article

    Yeah sure IBM are getting a low yield for 7/8 core Cell CPU's, doesnt say how much Tosh are getting or Sony

    As stated the cpu's with less functioning cores can be utilised in other devices

    Also you have to remember not only is it a new CPU its also upto 8 cores - quadrupling the difficulty in manufacture
     
  17. Werewolf

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    Not really, as far as manufacturing is concerned the number of cores doesn't matter as much as the overall complexity of the chip design - iirc the SPE's in the CELL are not full CPU cores in the same manner as you find in the Core Duo or X2 range of CPU's* (you could have a "4 core" cpu that would be much easier to make than a single core CPU).
    It's more the fact that it's a new run of chips using new processes ro make them that is causing the problem, and that is nothing unique to Sony.

    If anything the fact that the CELL can be used even if it's got dead/dodgy SPE's makes it easier to make on the whole than many chips where they cannot use them at all if they have any faults (Celerons were a similar thing, they were able to use chips that failed some of the tests to be full pentiums to make them).



    *Modern x86 compatible chips are massively complicated as they are very general purpose.
     
  18. FrankJH

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    surely if you have an x% of a single cored cpu not working after fabrication - producing the same cpu with 8 cores all funcional will increase the likelihood of failure dramatically

    I may be wrong but I was also under the impression that as cpu's / cores are produced in "bulk" on a single silicon wafer - to be used in one cpu they all had to be from the same area of that particular wafer, ie its impossible to join cores from different wafers or different parts of the wafer?

    I would concur that x86 chips due to their general usage are massivly complex especially in comparrison to singular usage chips like in a desktop caculator or even mobile phone - but wouldnt know a fair comparison in regards to cell
     
    Last edited: 14 Jul 2006
  19. Caustic

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    They produced in bulk, as one wafer will hold dozens of chips. However, each one is separate, and tested individually. It is just like having a tray of CPU's next to each other, only without the pins and heat spreaders. You can't do any mixing and matching.