A report in the (Japanese-language) Semiconductor Industry News today revealed that the quad-core Cortex A9 ARM SoC for Sony's upcoming Playstation Vita handheld would be manufactured by Samsung on a 45nm process. Samsung also supplies 45nm ARM processors for Apple (the A4 and A5) and other smartphone manufacturers.

The move to a relatively off-the-shelf ARM processor is a move away from the expensive proprietary chips that powered Sony's PS2, PSP, and PS3, and it allows Sony to make the Vita more cheaply (it also allows developers to port code more easily from other ARM devices, like smartphones). This is an important move, since it allows Sony to compete more effectively with Apple and Nintendo - the latter, perhaps feeling the pressure from the Vita's impending launch, announced a substantial price cut to its 3DS handheld yesterday.

The Playstation Vita succeeds the PlayStation Portable and is due out at some point this holiday season in Japan and North America. Its announced price is $249.99, $20 more than Apple's low-end iPod Touch and $80 more than Nintendo's 3DS.

Source: Semiconductory Industry News

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  • fishman - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    The PS2 used a MIPS R3000 processor - not proprietary.
  • chick0n - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    Are you serious? Do you even know what you're talking about ?

    R3000 is from PS1 aka Original Playstation.

    PS2 uses Emotion Engine.

    *sigh* if u don't know something, might as well stfu ?
  • chinedooo - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

  • michael2k - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    Those unique bits of silicon kinda do make them proprietary, in the same manner that the SPEs in the PS3 doe, even if the SPEs are really dumbed down PPC cores (also seen in the XBox 360).

    In this sense, the VPUs are owned by Sony, making them proprietary, and the SPEs belong to IBM, making them proprietary.

    On the flip, ARM NEON and THUMB and similar performance enhancing instruction sets are open and anyone can implement them, making them non proprietary.
  • SunLord - Sunday, July 31, 2011 - link

    What are you talking about? What VPU0 and VPU1? I don't see any mention of them on the Vita... The Vita is Quad core A9 with a Quad core SGX543 in theory it has 2x the processing a power of a Ipad2...
  • Wolfpup - Friday, November 11, 2011 - link

    They're talking about the Playstation 2, not Vita.

    I wish Anandtech or some other serious hardware site would do an in depth look at the tech used here. Both for Vita specifically, and for the A9, and SGX543.

    On paper, I don't understand why an A9 isn't comparable to say a Pentium 3...on paper it seems like it would be, but...
  • FaaR - Monday, August 1, 2011 - link

    Cell SPEs aren't dumbed down (or otherwise) PPC cores, they're completely custom jobbies that are quite advanced and feature-complete, they're not code compatible with PowerPC or Power microarchitectures at all, nor MIPS, nor anything else either for that matter.
  • Hrel - Saturday, July 30, 2011 - link

    Now if only someone could convince Sony to ship it with Android. They could make their own applet to run their stuff in. But I want Android on it dangit!
  • Solidstate89 - Saturday, July 30, 2011 - link

    I thought for sure, given the fact they were touting a Quad-core with all that graphic prowess that they would be using that Marvell SoC that they were bragging about not too long ago.
  • SunLord - Sunday, July 31, 2011 - link

    The chips used in the psp and ps3 aren't proprietary... The psp uses two MIPS s32 r4k sips chips and a dsp with a fancy marketing names its about as proprietary as an ARM A9 made by Samsung is compared to the one from TI or Nvdia. The PS3 uses a Cell cpu which you can buy from IBM and a custom ati chip which is semi-proprietary I guess.

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