A spokesperson for IBM has confirmed that the new PS3 Slim will include a new, updated 45nm Cell processor that will dissipate less heat - 40 percent less - and therefore require less cooling equipment.
The original Cell CPU was made using a 90nm manufacturing process, then moved to 65nm and finally to a 45nm SOI process technology; this should reduce the cost of production AND certainly improve processor yields.
Cell processors are clocked at 3.2GHz and normally contain seven out of eight operational SPEs (or Synergistic Processing Elements). A more mature manufacturing process would allow Sony to enable the last one and give a slight improvement in speed (around 10 percent).
Sony would also be able to alter the clock speed of the processors, something which the manufacturer might have done given the fact that Engadget's hands on review says that the new PS3 Slim is only slightly less noisier than the "Fat" PS3.
The PS3 Slim still consumes a massive 250W down from 380W on the 60GB previous version. In comparison, the Nintendo Wii consumes only 17W when in use while 50-inch Plasma screen like the LG 50PQ3000 only sucks in 217W in use.
The PS3 will still be using the Nvidia RSX graphics subsystem to handle all the games' graphics. The "Reality Synthesizer" uses Nvidia's NV47/Geforce 7800 architecture, which dates from at least four years.That chip as well is expected to be manufactured using a 65nm process.
Interestingly, the Xenon processor used in the Xbox 360 is a cousin of the Cell Broadband Engine processor as it includes the Power Processor Element, otherwise known as the PPE. The tri-core setup on the Xbox 360 processor runs at .2GHz as well and are manufactured on a 65nm process.