Sony's PlayStation 5 Refresh Reportedly On Track With 6nm AMD Ryzen SoC

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The PlayStation 5, like previous generations before it, has been a runaway sales success for Sony. The console launched to good overall reviews, and gamers have been very eager to get their hands on the console to unwind during COVID-19 lockdowns. A perfect storm of chip shortages and incredible demand means that even six months after the console's launch, the consoles are still hard to find through retail channels and regularly sell for hundreds over MSRP on third-party marketplaces.

However, Sony is reportedly well along in the development of future iterations of the PlayStation 5. The current console uses a custom AMD SoC that combines a Ryzen 3000-class, 8-core/16-thread CPU with a Radeon RDNA 2 GPU. This SoC is built on TSMC's 7nm FinFET process node (N7), but DigiTimes reports that Sony will shift to the fab's 6nm (N6) process node a little over a year from now.

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TSMC's N6 processor node reportedly offers up to 18 percent higher transition density than N7. This should result in cost savings for Sony, which is always a big deal for money-losing console hardware. We should also expect some slight power reductions for the new SoC compared to the current chip. The PlayStation 5's current SoC can get quite toasty, and Sony designed an elaborate cooling system to keep temperatures in check.

What's unknown is if the shift to N6 will result in a redesign of the actual PlayStation 5 chassis. The current console is massive and towers over the competing Xbox Series X. It would be nice if the PlayStation 5 could go the "slim" route like its PlayStation 4 Slim predecessor.

Looking further out, there is also no word on a potential PlayStation 4 Pro successor, which is likely on Sony's roadmap. However, if we break out our crystal ball, we could envision a custom Zen 3 SoC paired with next-generation RDNA 3 graphics to power a hypothetical PlayStation 5 Pro. Perhaps by then, the supplies that are currently plaguing consoles today will have stabilized.