Sony’s PSP2 is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra line

Unfortunately, Tegra also explains PSP2’s delays

Sony iconTHE ANNUAL RUNNING of the moles in Santa Clara yesterday had some surprising results, not just in the record number of IC engineers gored, but also the information leaked by those trying save their backsides. One of them even leaked some details about the upcoming PSP2’s CPU, but it didn’t save him.

Unfortunately for that engineer, he wasn’t able to make it back to 2701 San Tomas for treatment, and succumbed to his wounds. While he was crawling back to the mothership begging for an ‘ouchless’ band-aid, he was babbling about how the new PSP2 hardware needed him, and that he was too young to die. Next of kin, not the next Kin, confirmed that the (now ex-) Nvidia engineer was indeed on the Tegra team, and that chip line will be powering the PSP2.

It is now set for a CES showing, but it will almost assuredly be released at a later date. This isn’t due to the number of engineers mauled by moles yesterday, but because the Tegra 2 is massively over it’s promised power budget. In a segment that finds 5% overages unacceptable, Tegra 2 is 20%+ over power budget. That explains why Nvidia PR suddenly changed the focus of the PSP2 screed to avoid the word ‘phone’, but, luckily for Sony, the PSP2 does not have phone capabilities.

The power ‘whoopsie’ means delays and possibly spec downgrades for the PSP2, but we will have to see where it ends up. Between that overage and several showstopper bugs, Sony is said to be very miffed at Nvidia right now. Even the moles could sense that before they pounced on engineer after engineer. The scene in the streets is almost as bad as the scenes in the Nvidia meeting rooms when the Sony people come around.

If the chip that Sony uses for the PSP2 is a vanilla Tegra 2, the design is in trouble. If they use a custom version of the part, there is a chance for things to work out in the end, but expect many delays as the silicon is respun and respun. For a device that has already been delayed because of it’s CPU, that is not a good sign.

Unlike the other 20, 50, 70, or however many design wins Nvidia PR is promising this week, the PSP2 is actually going to come out. In fact, it will sell more than the other two Tegra flagship products, the Zune HD and the Kin(s) combined. So more than 20 units, one for the family of each gored engineer, plus or minus a few design wins.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate