Thursday, February 28th 2013

AMD Working On Stripped-Down PlayStation 4 SoC for PCs

Ahead of its unveiling last week, it was expected that Sony's PlayStation 4 console would be driven by little more than an AMD A-Series "Trinity" APU. It ended up being a lot more than that. The custom-design SoC that drives the next-generation console is a joint effort between AMD and Sony, which integrates an 8-core x86-64 CPU based on the company's new "Jaguar" micro-architecture; a GPU based on its Graphics CoreNext technology; a GDDR5 integrated memory controller, and certain enhancements by Sony. In an interview with The Inquirer, the company hinted that it's interested in porting the SoC over to the PC platform, minus Sony's share of the development.

PlayStation 4, although based on the x86 CPU machine-architecture, doesn't conform to any known PC specification. It uses 8 GB of GDDR5 memory as both system and graphics memory, several of its interfaces are out of specs of anything that can be implemented on a PC motherboard. Therefore, its SoC can't simply be soldered onto a PC motherboard. AMD would have to first strip the SoC of Sony's share of the development (or risk having to license it).

Next up, it would have to strip the chip of its most interesting component, the unified GDDR5 IMC. JEDEC does not have a GDDR5 DIMM specification, nor would motherboard makers be interested in hard-wiring expensive GDDR5 memory chips on to their motherboards and render the memory subsystem non-expandable. The PlayStation 4 SoC uses a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, with a stellar memory bandwidth of 176 GB/s. That's over six times the memory bandwidth of an Intel Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" machine running dual-channel DDR3-1600 MHz. A fallback to DDR3 could hence greatly cripple the SoC. It would be extremely interesting to see how AMD handles the checks-and-balances needed to bring the SoC over to the PC.Sources: The Inquirer, The TechReport
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80 Comments on AMD Working On Stripped-Down PlayStation 4 SoC for PCs

#1
Shihabyooo
by: Xzibit
In what world.

If a SoC was powering PS4. ARM should be out of business.
AFAIK, SoC isn't related to low power consumption alone, nor performance. Like the guys said, stick a CPU, GPU, IMC, and any other chips/controllers/etc into one chip and it'll be a SoC -by definition- regardless of how much power it draws or how much flops it can crunch.

ARM will still pwn the business as it currently has the best power consumption. But that's for the Mobile segment. A PS4 is more of a PC.
Posted on Reply
#2
xenocea
by: TheMailMan78
On a PC it cannot because they are not optimized for it. However hes correct. The PS3 has about the same power as a 7900GT from what I remember. The 360 was around the X1900.
The PS3's RSX was actually based on the 7800GTX. But they cannot be compared direct just from GPU.

The PS3 works a little different, with the Cell able to assist and aids the RSX which helps it to achieve somethings that the 7900GT couldn't.
Posted on Reply
#3
blibba
by: TheMailMan78
On a PC it cannot because they are not optimized for it. However hes correct. The PS3 has about the same power as a 7900GT from what I remember. The 360 was around the X1900.
Yup, exactly.

If anything, it's slower: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSX_%27Reality_Synthesizer%27

by: xenocea

The PS3 works a little different, with the Cell able to assist and aids the RSX which helps it to achieve somethings that the 7900GT couldn't.
This logic applies to consoles in general. That's why a HD7950 is not a good candidate to play "every PS4 port ever".
Posted on Reply
#4
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: xenocea
The PS3's RSX was actually based on the 7800GTX. But they cannot be compared direct just from GPU.

The PS3 works a little different, with the Cell able to assist and aids the RSX which helps it to achieve somethings that the 7900GT couldn't.
Yeah and after it was all said and done it was about as powerful as a 7900GT. The Cell doesn't magically make it a 670.
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#5
xenocea
by: TheMailMan78
Yeah and after it was all said and done it was about as powerful as a 7900GT. The Cell doesn't magically make it a 670.
I never said the cell was comparable to high end pc. Re read my post.

I was simply saying the Cell helps the RSX to achieve certain visuals that were not possible on the 7900gt alone. Gosh you guys are quick to judge.
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#6
blibba
by: xenocea
I never said the cell was comparable to high end pc. Re read my post.

I was simply saying the Cell helps the RSX to achieve certain visuals that were not possible on the 7900gt alone. Gosh you guys are quick to judge.
The Cell's benefit to the 7600/7800 in the PS3 perhaps does allow it to achieve some things that a 7900GT could not, but not much.

Essentially it appears that we agree regarding the point at hand (7950 vs. PS4), so I don't really understand why your jimmies appear so rustled.

Also, nobody's judging anyone, except you with your ironically hypocritical assertion that we're quick to judge.
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#7
xenocea
by: blibba
The Cell's benefit to the 7600/7800 in the PS3 perhaps does allow it to achieve some things that a 7900GT could not, but not much.

Essentially it appears that we agree regarding the point at hand (7950 vs. PS4), so I don't really understand why your jimmies appear so rustled.

Also, nobody's judging anyone, except you with your ironically hypocritical assertion that we're quick to judge.
Care to evaluate what jimmies appear so rustled?
And your judging me and coming to a conclusion that I'm instigating an attack.
Posted on Reply
#9
Xzibit
by: Shihabyooo
AFAIK, SoC isn't related to low power consumption alone, nor performance. Like the guys said, stick a CPU, GPU, IMC, and any other chips/controllers/etc into one chip and it'll be a SoC -by definition- regardless of how much power it draws or how much flops it can crunch.

ARM will still pwn the business as it currently has the best power consumption. But that's for the Mobile segment. A PS4 is more of a PC.
Its not and I should have put a /sarcasm there.

The 2 sources that were pointed out as I quoted only one had one sentence with SoC reference that was actually a mistake and refering to a APU.

I dont know how someone makes the leap from an interview of stricly APU referances and goes on about SoCs. Making 6 referances to it. Thats what I was getting it.

It be the first SoC (APU+/+/+/+/+/+/+/+)
/sarcasm
Posted on Reply
#10
blibba
by: xenocea
Care to evaluate what jimmies appear so rustled?
Evaluate them? Ok, I'd say they're worth about $2.50.

by: xenocea
And your judging me and coming to a conclusion that I'm instigating an issue.
  • I don't think you're "instigating an issue"
  • I would not need to judge you to decide that you were "instigating an issue"
  • Judging you would not be helpful in coming to any such conclusion
  • I'm not judging you, I don't even know anything about you
Anyway, this is grossly unproductive, I'm unsubscribing from the thread.
Posted on Reply
#11
xenocea
by: blibba
Evaluate them? Ok, I'd say they're worth about $2.50.
  • I don't think you're "instigating an issue"
  • I would not need to judge you to decide that you were "instigating an issue"
  • Judging you would not be helpful in coming to any such conclusion
  • I'm not judging you, I don't even know anything about you

Sorry I still don't get what you mean by the $2.50 comment
And It was not my intention for any hostility.
Posted on Reply
#12
xenocea
by: blibba
Evaluate them? Ok, I'd say they're worth about $2.50.
  • I don't think you're "instigating an issue"
  • I would not need to judge you to decide that you were "instigating an issue"
  • Judging you would not be helpful in coming to any such conclusion
  • I'm not judging you, I don't even know anything about you
Anyway, this is grossly unproductive, I'm unsubscribing from the thread.
Please for feel free to. No one is forcing you to read. :)
Posted on Reply
#13
Shihabyooo
by: Xzibit

The 2 sources that were pointed out as I quoted only one had one sentence with SoC reference that was actually a mistake and refering to a APU.

I dont know how someone makes the leap from an interview of stricly APU referances and goes on about SoCs. Making 6 referances to it. Thats what I was getting it.
Quoting techreport:
Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 console will feature an AMD APU that combines eight Jaguar CPU cores with integrated Radeon graphics and a shared GDR5 memory interface. The chip has also been infused with Sony technology, although it's unclear to what extent.
A normal CPU wouln't incorporate memory on die (other than its cache).
Knowing that Sony isn't an x86 CPU manufacturer, nor a GPU manufacturer. I highly doubt what's in that chip would be any of both. Hence, conforming to the SoC definition. The source may have not labeled it as such, but it is.
Now, from where I stand, neither btarunr nor the two sources are mistaken, the chip can be called either. As from what I know an APU is SoC.

Sarcasm aside, I'm interested in knowing why you believe the APUs aren't socs...
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#14
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
by: xenocea
Please for feel free to. No one is forcing you to read. :)
You avatar is forcing me to read this thread...
Posted on Reply
#15
Xzibit
by: Shihabyooo
Quoting techreport:


A normal CPU wouln't incorporate memory on die (other than its cache).
Knowing that Sony isn't an x86 CPU manufacturer, nor a GPU manufacturer. I highly doubt what's in that chip would be any of both. Hence, conforming to the SoC definition. The source may have not labeled it as such, but it is.
Now, from where I stand, neither btarunr nor the two sources are mistaken, the chip can be called either. As from what I know an APU is SoC.

Sarcasm aside, I'm interested in knowing why you believe the APUs aren't socs...
APUs dont control all I/Os
Posted on Reply
#16
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: brandonwh64
You avatar is forcing me to read this thread...
Not sure if legal to fap or not. Age must be confirmed before target is acquired....over.
Posted on Reply
#17
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Shihabyooo

Sarcasm aside, I'm interested in knowing why you believe the APUs aren't socs...
I agree with him. A SoC usually have a NIC and various IO (system on chip. An APU have a cpu and a gpu. It shouldnt be called a SoC imo.
Posted on Reply
#18
Shihabyooo
by: Frick
I agree with him. A SoC usually have a NIC and various IO (system on chip. An APU have a cpu and a gpu. It shouldnt be called a SoC imo.
Fair enough...

Then all's left is whether the actual chip used on the PS4 is a SoC or not.


by: brandonwh64
You avatar is forcing me to read this thread...
by: TheMailMan78
Not sure if legal to fap or not. Age must be confirmed before target is acquired....over.
So much for a welcome-to-tpu-party :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#19
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
by: Shihabyooo
So much for a welcome-to-tpu-party :rolleyes:
Just wait until the after party!
Posted on Reply
#21
xenocide
by: Xzibit
More PS4 Specs
No specifics, but I'm going to predict that GPU as a 7750/70-level GPU. It would work pretty well. I just don't see them splurging for a 7800 series GPU and definitely not Tahiti.
Posted on Reply
#22
Xzibit
Cape Verde XT (1.26 TFlops) would have to run at higher mhz to achive the 1.84 TFlops

Pitcairn is more likely 1.7-2.5 TFlops
Posted on Reply
#23
theoneandonlymrk
by: Xzibit
More PS4 Specs
No fresh specs there, just what was already known, and wtf an soc this isnt, as I said many hours ago apu+nb+sb would be soc this is just another apu atm anyway .
As ive said sony had input we don't yet know What though.
Post 720 announcement these specs will expand imho
Posted on Reply
#24
Prima.Vera
by: TheMailMan78
Not sure if legal to fap or not. Age must be confirmed before target is acquired....over.
fkin' LOL :D
Posted on Reply
#25
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: xenocea
Sorry I still don't get what you mean by the $2.50 comment
And It was not my intention for any hostility.
AMD's stock eval is right around $2.50 right now. That's probably what his comment was aimed towards.

Great time to buy IMO with the PS4 confirmed AMD and the Xbox leaning...:laugh:

Would be great if both used an APU to run games. I would hope it meant console ports would be simpler and better. :cool:
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