IBM shrinks Cell gaming chip

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Big Blue begins mass production of 65nm version of Cell processor.

IBM has begun production of a 65nm version of its Cell processor. 

The Cell is best known for its use in Sony's PlayStation 3 gaming console, although IBM also offers the processor in a BladeCenter server model. 

The Cell chip was designed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba for graphics-intensive operations such as medical imaging, 3D engineering and game playing. 

Its graphics-intensive design means that the processor has also become a favourite in research laboratories.  

IBM is manufacturing the 65nm chips at the company's East Fishkill, New York plant, home to most of the original research and development of the processor.  

The term '65nm' refers to the size of lithography used to map out and print a chip's circuitry on a silicon wafer.

Designing smaller circuits allows chipmakers to fit more transistors on a chip and reach faster speeds on smaller, more energy efficient processors.

The latest CPUs from AMD and Intel currently use 65nm technology, and Intel plans to release a 45nm chip by the end of the year.
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