The PlayStation 4 is still going strong, but production for the next-generation PlayStation 5 could start in the near future, according to reports.

So far, the general belief has been that the PS5 is still a good while away, but the new information might suggest otherwise. Chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has revealed that it's ramping up production for a new chip focused on gaming applications.

New TSMC Chip For The PlayStation 5?

With TSMC working on a new gaming-focused chip, some have interpreted it as a clue regarding Sony's plans and timeline for the PS5. At first, news of an upcoming chip might not necessarily seem connected to the highly anticipated PS5. However, recent reports did indicate that Sony would equip its next console with a CPU and GPU from AMD.

Meanwhile, AMD's next CPUs and GPUs will be based on 7-nanometer chips, which TSMC is busy making.

"So far, we have already favored out more than 18 customer products with good yield [and] performance," says TSMC President and Co-CEO, C. C. Wei, as cited by AnandTech. "More than 50 products tape-outs has been planned by end of this year from applications across mobile, server CPU, network processor, gaming, GPU, PGA, cryptocurrency, automotive and AI. Our 7nm is already in volume production."

With gaming specifically mentioned as a contributing factor toward high-volume production, speculation is ripe that Sony is the major buyer, working on its next-generation gaming console.

PlayStation 5 Release Rumors

Rumors and speculations regarding the PlayStation 5's potential release have been rather inconsistent so far, with some indicating it could arrive this year, while others claiming it won't be ready until 2020.

The fact that TSMC has entered high-volume production for its new 7-nm chip could indicate that the PS5 won't arrive as late as 2020 and could instead hit the market sooner.

On the other hand, 2018 seems overly optimistic as well, especially since AMD's Navi GPU, which is expected to fuel the PS5, will not be ready to ship until later in the year. With this in mind, the PS5 could make its debut sometime in 2019, but nothing is confirmed at this point.

The PS4 is still enjoying great momentum and a slew of powerful exclusives, so it would make sense for Sony not to rush with the PS5. The rumor mill is constantly churning and more leaks and reports will surely surface later on, but it's always best to take all unconfirmed information with a grain of salt.

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