Toshiba will next year begin mass-producing 45nm Cell processors, allowing Sony to put them into a (hopefully) slimmer PS3.
The Cell in the current PS3 is a 65nm part. Dropping the chip down to the 45nm 'node' would leave Sony with a processor that delivers the same performance is the current one but consumes less power.
That, in turn, means it generates less heat and, bingo, the PS3 doesn't need quite so much internal cooling kit. Reduction in the size of other console chippery could bring down the machine's cooling requirements considerably.
If it happens at all. The claim that Sony and Toshiba will shift Cell to 45nm is entirely plausible if not certain, but so far as we can tell, neither company has confirmed the statement that it'll happen next year, made by Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun.
Toshiba will undoubtedly make use of the 45nm Cells in the next-gen HDTVs its planning to ship next year with the PS3 processor on board. The chip will be used to deliver multi-image picture-in-picture screens.
The company already uses Cell technology in its QuadCore HD graphics chip - aka SpursEngine - to be found in a few of its top-of-the-range desktop replacement laptops. Unfortunately, such is the part's power consumption, Toshiba prevents you from using it when the PC's running on batteries.
And what of that other Cell partner, IBM? Sony's already said Big Blue will fab 45nm Cells, sometime soon.