For those who haven't bought a Playstation 3 yet but are planning to, there's some good news for you: this new third generation of models will be lighter, smaller, more efficient and hopefully priced lower thanks to some work by Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd.
In the first to second generation switch, Furukawa replaced the Cell produced in 90nm process technology with one produced in 65nm; this effectively reduced the cost and power consumption of the machine. This sort of trend will continue with the third generation - replacing and rehauling until the PS3 is as good as it can be. Of course, it kind of makes you wonder why they didn't make it this efficient in the first place, but what can ya do.
The company showed off the new model at Techno-Frontier 2008, which features an additional heatsink (one for the "Cell" microprocessor, one for the graphics LSI "RSX") and the elimination of some (evidently) unneccessary wiring. Copper heat pipes were used in the first two generations (five in the first, two in the second), but this time they'll be gutted altogether. Apparently they just don't need 'em, as the heat-radiation performance is entirely adequate without the pipes.
More than 20 components were used for the sinks in the first gen and half that in the second, this resulted in a 700 and 500g weight for the components in each case, respectively. This time we'll see a mere three, a fin and pin made by aluminum and a thick aluminum plate used as a substrate, so they'll amount to 350g total.