If the latest reports are to be believed, Sony's upcoming PlayStation 5 could be about to take a giant leap forward in the tech specs.
As the dust settles around those wild "PS5 in 2018" rumors, gamers are now looking to the future and a more likely release date. While players still swing their Leviathan Axe as Kratos and prepare to swing across New York City as Spider-Man, there are those already saving their hard-earned cash for the eventual release of the PlayStation 5. It may still be a while off yet, but developers are already keen to get under the hood of the next console.
According to PSU, the PlayStation 5 might be preparing to go into construction with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The site reveals that the TSMC has started producing a large number of chips using 7nm process technology. This alone would be a stretch to link to the PS5, but the company's president C. C. Wei dropped another hint in a recent conference call:
“More than 50 products tape-outs has been planned by end of this year from applications across mobile, server CPU, network processor, gaming, GPU, PGA, cryptocurrency, automotive and AI. Our 7nm is already in volume production.”
The mention of gaming implies that the chips are going to someone big if they are being produced in such a high volume. Given that the 16nm FinFET production process is already used in all consoles, it is a fair assumption that Sony will be turning to TSMC for its next console. Both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are based on the 16nm node but will be looking for something more compact for their next console.
It is all hearsay at the moment, and gamers are reminded that the PS5 isn't expected before 2020. With production of the 7nm chips, it would take at least a year to streamline the process for consoles, again lining up with a possible PS5 release. However, it has been long-speculated that the Huawei will get first dibs on 7nm, while other sources speculate the TSMCs boost in production is already being earmarked by Apple for 2018's iPhones. Either way, if the PS5 is using the proposed AMD Navi and AMC Zen, it will eventually require the extra horsepower of the 7nm chips, so alongside the recent leak of some possible PS5 specs, it all sounds very promising,
Given that the PS4 Pro is still selling well, and with Sony having a bumper year of grabbing headlines with its exclusive games, it makes sense that the company bide its time before rushing ahead with the next generation of consoles. However, being backwards compatible and possibly moving towards an era of cloud gaming, the PlayStation 5 promises to take what Sony has done so well in the PS4 and take on its Xbox competition.