[New PS3 Teardown (5)] High-performance, Low-cost Cooling System

Sep 9, 2009
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad
When the power supply module was removed, the heatsink appeared.
When the power supply module was removed, the heatsink appeared.
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
The Blu-ray Disc device and the resin chassis were taken out.
The Blu-ray Disc device and the resin chassis were taken out.
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
The main board of the new PS3
The main board of the new PS3
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The back sides of the cooling systems of the new PS3 (left) and the first-generation PS3 (right)
The back sides of the cooling systems of the new PS3 (left) and the first-generation PS3 (right)
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Continued from [New PS3 Teardown (4)] Internal Structure Becomes Much Simpler

Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad removed the cooling system, Blu-ray Disc device and power supply module placed on the main board. Before examining the main board, however, we will sum up comments from the engineers on the cooling system of the new PS3 (model number: CECH-2000A).

A thermal design engineer said that the cooling system is highly functional and low in cost. Also, other engineers described it as "smaller" and "simpler."

It seemed that Sony redesigned the cooling system of the PS3 to eliminate the process of adjusting each cooling module and reduce the number of assembling processes. In contrast to the first-generation PS3, which was developed with a focus on high performance, the latest PS3 has many parts that show the efforts of designing the cooling system almost from scratch without losing the cooling capability for a high-performance game console, the engineers said.

When the chassis is opened, the cooling system composed of a fan, heatsink and duct commands attention. The duct is directly connected to the power supply module probably because Sony wanted to save space and enhance the cooling efficiency by cooling the power supply module with the duct.

In addition, the cooling system is attached to the main board together with a metal chassis that covers the board.

"As a whole, it has a simple structure and can be easily assembled, I think," a thermal design engineer said.

The cooling system uses a centrifugal fan, which is said to have a relatively high static pressure, like the cooling system of the former PS3 models. The fan is printed with the names, "Delta Electronics, Inc" and "KFB1012HE DC12V 1.3A."

Delta Electronics of Taiwan sells 100mm fans as the "KFB1012" series but has not announced the "KFB1012HE" series. So, the centrifugal fan is probably a custom-made product. Compared with the KFB1012 series, its blades seem to have a more linear shape.

The basic structure of the new heatsink is the same as that of the former models. It has horizontally-arranged radiation fins, which seem to be penetrated by some metal bars.

The heatsink cools mainly the image processor "RSX" and the Cell processor. Heat pipes are also used for the Cell, but the number of them clearly decreased from that in the first-generation PS3.

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