Panel exhibited by Furukawa Electric
Panel exhibited by Furukawa Electric
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Furukawa Electric Co Ltd exhibited a new heat sink for the PlayStation 3 (PS3), a game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCE), at Techno-Frontier 2008. The exhibition took place from April 16 to 18, 2008, at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

The company defines the first heat sink mounted in the PS3, which was released in November 2006, as the first-generation product. And it already begun commercial production of the third-generation heat sink for the PS3. The third-generation product is characterized by its small size, light weight and low cost.

The heat sink developed by Furukawa Electric is used to cool the microprocessor "Cell" and graphics LSI "RSX." When Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad disassembled the PS3 in November 2006, this heat sink, together with a large cooling fan whose diameter is more than 13cm, drew its attention (See related article).

The PS3, at first, is equipped with the Cell produced in 90nm process technology. But it was replaced with the Cell produced in 65nm process technology to reduce the cost and power consumption. Along with this change, Furukawa Electric reduced the size, weight and cost of the heat sink by, for example, decreasing the number of its components each time its generation changed.

Especially, the shift from the second generation to the third was drastic. In the first and second-generation products, a large heat sink cooled both the Cell and RSX. But they are cooled by separate heat sinks in the third-generation product.

Furthermore, copper heat pipes, which were used in the first- and second-generation heat sinks, are no longer used in the third-generation product. Five and two copper pipes were used in the first- and second-generation products, respectively. Furukawa Electric realized enough heat-radiation performance without using a heat pipe, the company said.

The first-, second- and third-generation products support power consumptions of about 200, 160 and 130-140W, respectively, for both the Cell and RSX.

The kinds of components are more than 20 for the first generation and about 10 for the second. But the third-generation product has only three kinds of components, a fin and pin made by aluminum and a thick aluminum plate used as a substrate. As a result, the weights of the first-, second- and third-generation products are about 700, 500 and 350g, respectively.