Final answer: 40GB PlayStation 3 is half 65nm
We've seen two conflicting reports about Sony's new 40GB PlayStation 3 emerge recently. The first said Sony had shaved the console's power utilization from 200W to 135W by using versions of the Cell microprocessor and RSX graphics processor based on 65nm process technology. The second report echoed the power reduction figures of the first but, strangely, quoted a Sony statement as saying the 40GB console was still using 90nm chips.
In an interview with Japanese site AV Watch, Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Kaz Hirai has given the (hopefully) final word on the new console's innards. According to Hirai's statements, both reports were partially true: the 40GB PS3 indeed has a 65nm version of the Cell processor, but its RSX GPU is still 90nm. Nonetheless, the change is enough to shave power consumption quite considerably. Hirai quotes a 100W drop from maximum power consumption of 380W to 280W. With lower power consumption also comes lower noise levels, which Hirai says have dropped from 36dB to 30dB. (Thanks to DailyTech for the tip.)