PS4 graphics to be PowerVR Series 6 ?


P

parallax-scroll

It still seems way too early to be talking about the PlayStation 4 and
yet, rumored news continues to pop up everywhere.

The latest is big, if it proves true: according to European source
PS3Clan, it seems SCEI "has officially chosen" the technical setup for
their next PlayStation iteration, which supposedly - depending on if
you believe the translation - will launch in 2012. The choice? The
PowerVR Series 6 by Imagination Technologies that utilizes a
technology known as "TBDR," which is "3-5 times better than a
competitive level nVidia/ATI Graphics card." Evidently, Sega used TBDR
to help power the old Sega Dreamcast and if you remember, that console
was definitely ahead of its time in the visual department. But perhaps
the most interesting part about all of this is that Sony will retain
the Cell processor currently in all PS3s; this new piece of advanced
technology from Imagination will work with the Cell. The quote in
question is as follows, although you may wish to take it with a grain
of salt without any official information:

"The PlayStation 4 shall use a high end variant of the 6 Series line.
Performance, specifications and features are at this time unknown. The
Series 6 shall receive an official announcement from IMGTEC sometime
in 2010, with initial models targeting the smartphone and netbook
sector."

On top of which, the rumor gets bigger by saying that SCEI has
furthered opted to work with IMGTEC for the next iteration of the PSP;
the new handheld will get the benefit of the Series 5XT. All of this
may sound like complete gibberish unless you're really into hardware
or programming but if it's all true, this is the first solid piece of
technical information we've seen concerning the PS4. The only doubt we
have is whether or not it'll be available by 2012... However, if you
think about it, the time frame would be in line with the last
generation; the PS2 launched in late October and the PS3 launched in
November of 2006. So you never know.

http://www.psxextreme.com/ps3-news/6173.html
http://playstationlifestyle.net/2009/11/24/ps4-to-use-superior-graphics-card/
http://www.thesixthaxis.com/2009/11/18/gpu-chosen-for-ps4-out-in-2012/


Sounds like 1997-1998 all over again, I mean, Sega Dreamcast...It was,
at first, rumored to use a high-end variant of PowerVR Series 2, then
it really happened. Now supposedly PS4 in 2012 with PowerVR Series 6
(and apparently PSP2 with Series 5) ?? Amusing if true. The more
things change, the more they stay the same.
 
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Y

Yousuf Khan

Jim said:
With IBM out x86+Larrabee looks more likely than PoweVR. Intel can make an
offer Sony can't refuse.
Except that Larrabee isn't proven yet. PS4 can still go to a more
traditional regular PowerPC processor along with a traditional GPU,
making it more like the Xbox360.

Yousuf Khan
 
B

Benjamin Gawert

* Jim:
IBM is still on board the Cell train afterall so we can expect Cell to stay.
Nope, it isn't. IBM discontinues all Cell development. Cell is dead.

Benjamin
 
Y

Yousuf Khan

Jim said:
The same could have been said of Cell. Without crazy Ken shooting for the
moon we can expect a "cheap" PS4. I'm not expecting much from Larrabee (its
just a supercharged PentiumMMX afterall) but with Intel's fab capacity it
should be cheap.
Cheapness has nothing to do with fab capacity, it has everything to do
with die sizes: the smaller the better. Current estimates are that
Larrabee will be *big*.
IBM is still on board the Cell train afterall so we can expect Cell to stay.
You missed the other part of this thread that said otherwise.

Yousuf Khan
 
B

Bill Cable

You missed the other part of this thread that said otherwise.

        Yousuf Khan
Based on what I Googled, one division of IBM is off the Cell... not
the whole of IBM.
 
Y

Yousuf Khan

Bill said:
Based on what I Googled, one division of IBM is off the Cell... not
the whole of IBM.
There's more here:

Cell is no longer hpc material - The Inquirer
"According to the IBM executive's crystal ball, Cell is now no longer
the right platform on which to develop HPC computing and so IBM will be
shifting its focus from Cell-based co-processing to OpenCL-based
co-processing - AMD's GPU stuff, in not so many words. This means that
while Cell served its purpose in proving parallel processing was the way
to go, development costs of further Cell based products become pointless
as GPGPU computing becomes more widespread. Considering AMD is one of
IBM's closest research partners this hardly comes as a surprise."
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1563659/cell-hpc-material

So it looks like IBM will be moving towards AMD's solutions for at least
HPC stuff from now on. Other than HPC and Playstation stuff, what else
is there left for Cell? It looks pretty dead to me.

Yousuf Khan
 
T

The alMIGHTY N

* parallax-scroll:


Yes, at a time when the 3Dfx Voodoo2 was a top-of-the line 3D graphics
card for PCs. However, it is not 1998 any more, and while AMD and Nvidia
invested lots of ressources into advances in the performance and
capabilities of their GPUs, the PowerVR today is merely a low-power GPU
for handheld devices as their "grownup" versions never left the
prototype stage.

Sony would be mad if they choosed PowerVR for the PS4.


The PS4 is very unlikely to be Cell based as IBM as stopped all
development for this architecture. Cell is dead.
Wow. I hadn't read that. So much for Blig Merk's constant yabbering
about how great Cell is.

On the other hand, isn't it still possible that they'd use some
current variant of Cell to power their next console? There must have
been developments to the processor since the launch of the PS3 3 years
ago and it would allow them to not have to worry about forcing
developers to learn yet another brand new architecture for the next
generation...
 
T

The alMIGHTY N

Except that Larrabee isn't proven yet. PS4 can still go to a more
traditional regular PowerPC processor along with a traditional GPU,
making it more like the Xbox360.
I'd love to read comments from the fanboys on BOTH sides of the fences
on this one, haha...
 
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Y

Yousuf Khan

The said:
I'd love to read comments from the fanboys on BOTH sides of the fences
on this one, haha...
Fanboys of what? Larrabee or PowerPC?

Yousuf Khan
 
Y

Yousuf Khan

The said:
Wow. I hadn't read that. So much for Blig Merk's constant yabbering
about how great Cell is.

On the other hand, isn't it still possible that they'd use some
current variant of Cell to power their next console? There must have
been developments to the processor since the launch of the PS3 3 years
ago and it would allow them to not have to worry about forcing
developers to learn yet another brand new architecture for the next
generation...

There was a small but significant revision to the core, where they
increased the double-precision floating point efficiency of the
processor. However, this was done to help out in the supercomputing
arena, not really relevant for gaming. Nor does it provide much
performance increase for gaming, since most gaming is done using
single-precision floating point.

One has to wonder how long Sony would be interested in using a core
that's never going to be revised anymore?

Yousuf Khan
 
T

The alMIGHTY N

There was a small but significant revision to the core, where they
increased the double-precision floating point efficiency of the
processor. However, this was done to help out in the supercomputing
arena, not really relevant for gaming. Nor does it provide much
performance increase for gaming, since most gaming is done using
single-precision floating point.

One has to wonder how long Sony would be interested in using a core
that's never going to be revised anymore?
I suppose they would have to weight that against using another brand
new architecture that will have developers confounded for the first
three years of the console's life.

Even now many developers have problems utilizing the PlayStation 3
architecture properly. Essentially, the good games are being pumped
out by first and second party studios who had a good year head start
on everyone else with the architecture (and have direct access to the
folks at Sony who worked on the architecture).

It would be disastrous for Sony if they repeated that mistake next
generation. If they're going to go with a new architecture, I for one
hope that they go Microsoft's route and utilize one that's much more
familiar with developers.
 
M

Miles Bader

The alMIGHTY N said:
It would be disastrous for Sony if they repeated that mistake next
generation. If they're going to go with a new architecture, I for one
hope that they go Microsoft's route and utilize one that's much more
familiar with developers.
The problem with the PS2 and PS3 was that top-level decisions about
development directions were largely made by _marketing_ people, with
limited understanding of the technical realities.

But since Kutaragi has been kicked out, maybe they'll be a bit more
level-headed with the PS4.

-Miles
 
T

The alMIGHTY N

The problem with the PS2 and PS3 was that top-level decisions about
development directions were largely made by _marketing_ people, with
limited understanding of the technical realities.

But since Kutaragi has been kicked out, maybe they'll be a bit more
level-headed with the PS4.
One can certainly dream...
 
Y

Yousuf Khan

The said:
I suppose they would have to weight that against using another brand
new architecture that will have developers confounded for the first
three years of the console's life.
Well if they head towards a regular PowerPC chip, they can still
maintain some level of compatibility with the Cell's PPE component, if
not its SPE's.

However, I was surprised by how well Microsoft was able to maintain
compatibility between Xbox (x86) and Xbox 360 (PowerPC). I think Sony
should be able to create an emulation layer for the Cell's SPEs somehow.


Yousuf Khan
 
Y

Yousuf Khan

Jim said:
MS bought VirtualPC, a Windows emulator for PPC Mac's, so all that work was
already done. The tricky part was emulating the NV2A. IIRC Nvidia said
they would sue if they used their IP or some lame reason like that.
I think MS was helped immensely because they actually used their own
DirectX API layer in their original Xbox. The DirectX made Nvidia
proprietary calls more generic so that once ATI replaced Nvidia, it was
easy.

Sometimes Microsoft bypasses its own standards just to get things done a
bit faster. It always gets itself into trouble that way, when a new
security hole or bug is revealed.

Yousuf Khan
 
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R

Ross Ridge

Yousuf Khan said:
I think MS was helped immensely because they actually used their own
DirectX API layer in their original Xbox. The DirectX made Nvidia
proprietary calls more generic so that once ATI replaced Nvidia, it was
easy.
It mainly worked because Microsoft never created a emulator that could
fully emulate the original Xbox. Instead they created a custom version
of the emulator for each game that they decided to provide backwards
compatibility for. Each version of the emulator only had to emulate
CPU and GPU functionaliy each game actually used.

The next generation of Xbox and PlayStation consoles won't be able
emulate the current Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles in software
because CPU power isn't going to jump an order of magnitude like it did
with the previous generation. If the next generation of consoles have
backwards compatibility it'll be because they have CPUs and GPUs that are
the same or similar to the currention generation. I would't be suprised
if the next Xbox has a slightly faster PowerPC CPU with 4 or 6 cores,
and the next PlayStation has the exact same Cell BE, similar to how the
PlayStation 3 had, at least originally, an "Emotion Engine" CPU.

Ross Ridge
 
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