So Junior wants the new Sony PlayStation 2 revamp? No games for the kids without a lot of help from the analog world for sure. Starting in June of 2003, Sony is shipping (in Japan) a PlayStation 2 box"the SCPH50000"that continues refine the component set and lower the underlying cost structure of the PS2 platform. Offering outward enhancements in the form of lower fan noise and greater DVD format compatibility along with inward improvements to integration, the new PS2 is still loaded with plenty of analog content to tackle real world interfaces and challenging power supply problems.
The most tactile aspect of any game console, the PS2 handheld controller is tasked with converting two-axis thumb motion of joysticks into all the right digital moves to smoke the competition. Directional data for the game electronics begins with two Alps dual-potentiometer assemblies that interface to a custom Toshiba microcontroller containing built-in analog-to-digital converters.
Behind every high-end game console are highly advanced graphics and processor chips" typically power hungry devices as well. As part of Sony's drive to reduce power consumption, and in turn lower fan noise, a broad range of power supply components from On Semiconductor, Mitsumi, National, Fairchild, and TI manage the ever more challenging aspects of lower supply voltages and rising current swings.
The art of motor control for the DVD spindle and sled are handled by Sanyo components while the analog interface to the DVD pickup head is addressed in a custom TI component. A variety of Sony components complete the DVD electronics downstream from these front-line components.
To see the conquests of the player on the big screen, high-end digital graphics are sent out both as digital encoded video and more television-friendly analog video. A custom dual-chip package from Sony implements both video output formats. Audio is converted to line-level analog output in a Cirrus Logic device. While Sony drives the digital heart of the PS2 and lowers the cost of getting it into Junior's hands (cost-of-goods-sold estimates still paint a bleak PS2 hardware profit picture), analog technologies are the stuff that makes it all come together from input to output and everything in between.
David Carey is President of Portelligent (www.teardown.com). The Austin, Texas company produces teardown reports and related industry research on Wireless, Mobile, and Personal Electronics.