[New PS3 Teardown (8)] Overview of Main Board

Sep 15, 2009
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad
The main board is sandwiched by two metal plates.
The main board is sandwiched by two metal plates.
[Click to enlarge image]
The upper metal plate. The portions located above the Cell microprocessor and the RSX graphics processor are largely cut out. The large hole in the upper left is for the RSX, and the other large hole below it is for the Cell. We took this picture after removing the heat spreader of the RSX.
The upper metal plate. The portions located above the Cell microprocessor and the RSX graphics processor are largely cut out. The large hole in the upper left is for the RSX, and the other large hole below it is for the Cell. We took this picture after removing the heat spreader of the RSX.
[Click to enlarge image]
The upper side of the main board. The large chip in the upper left is the RSX, and the Cell is located below it. In the former PS3 models, two Proadlizers are mounted on the left of the Cell. But the new PS3 does not have them. For the RSX, two Proadlizers are embedded on each of the top and bottom sides in all the PS3 models. The metal plate in the upper right is the wireless module.
The upper side of the main board. The large chip in the upper left is the RSX, and the Cell is located below it. In the former PS3 models, two Proadlizers are mounted on the left of the Cell. But the new PS3 does not have them. For the RSX, two Proadlizers are embedded on each of the top and bottom sides in all the PS3 models. The metal plate in the upper right is the wireless module.
[Click to enlarge image]
Under the metal shield, there is an LSI chip supporting both wireless LAN and Bluetooth (upper right).
Under the metal shield, there is an LSI chip supporting both wireless LAN and Bluetooth (upper right).
[Click to enlarge image]

Continued from [New PS3 Teardown (7)] Blu-ray Disc Device Gets Smaller

Finally, we took out the main board. Sandwiched by two metal plates, it looked like a Japanese sweet called "monaka," a bean-jam-filled wafer.

The upper metal plate is pierced with holes of various sizes. Especially, the portions located above the Cell microprocessor and the RSX graphics processor are largely cut out. Power consumption tends to be large at those parts, so they have to be efficiently cooled by the heatsink.

When we removed the two metal plates, the Cell and RSX drew our attention. Sony employed the 45nm Cell processor for the latest PS3 instead of the 65nm Cell, which is equipped in the former PS3 models. We believe that the company could develop the slimmer, smaller and lower power consumption PS3 due to the employment of the 45nm Cell.

According to its catalog, the power consumption of the latest PS3 is about 250W, 30W lower than that of the former models.

The heat spreader of the RSX could be easily removed, but that of the Cell could not. Actually, we almost gave it up.

When examining the area surrounding the Cell, we noticed that there was no Proadlizer, a four-terminal decoupling capacitor developed by NEC Tokin Corp. The former PS3 models are equipped with a total of four Proadlizers on the top and bottom surfaces of the main board for the Cell.

For the new PS3, Sony instead used a conductive polymer aluminum capacitor, a laminated ceramic capacitor and so forth.

Near the plug connected to the power supply module, a wireless module is embedded. When a metal plate was removed from the module, there was a chip printed with "MARVELL." It seemingly supports both wireless LAN and Bluetooth with one chip.