Should Sony stay with the Cell CPU for the PS4?

OmniGamer Writes "Most industry sources are convinced that Sony's next generation console will not have a Cell based CPU. In my opinion if these rumors are true, this will be a huge mistake! I understand why Sony might think they should ditch the Cell technology; developers are complaining about the difficulties of extracting processing power from Cell."

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MultiConsoleGamer1701d ago

Streaming games from Gakai will not require a cell processor.

Septic1701d ago (Edited 1701d ago )

Contrary to what a lot of fanboys think, the Cell processor is not responsible for helping the Earth revolve and rotate about its own axis.

For backwards compatibility's sake then maybe but, as far as I'm concerned, down with the old stuff and in with the new.

I won't even pretend to know about the intricacies of the processor so I guess my opinion is as useful as a one legged man in an arse kicking contest. I just know that a lot of developers had some trouble getting acquainted with the system and I'm all for making it easier for developers to make games. I severely doubt Sony will go down the same route again. They can't afford to do so. The VITA's architecture possibly offers an insight into what Sony's future endeavours are.

nukeitall1701d ago

The Cell architecture excelled in some areas and sucked arse in many many others that console needs. Developers don't care that it can do massive computations if it is bottle necked at getting the data or spend ardeous time trying to figure out complex structures.

I hope Sony skips Cell for their own sake!

darthv721701d ago (Edited 1701d ago )

we really know nothing about gakai or how it will work with the ps4 or even the current ps3 so lets set that off to the side for now.

as to the cell, it has shown to be a good chip design in the hands of those who know how to use it. Its not meant to be a drop in replacement to traditional programming but the amout of time and effort put into it has been rewarded with some really great games that appear to be unlike ones we have seen/played before. That feat could be either the work of the cell or just really patient and talented programmers.

To keep production costs low, the ideal path would be an advanced cell. One with more cores but using an easier programming language to get them all to work on tasks independently.

A bump in speed and performance can go a long way in this next gen of consoles. We know they will play games and we know they will have more smart features.

To think this next gen will be the big revolutionary experience is somewhat of a misnomer. These companies and game developers are more interested in making a return on investment (time/labor) than having to go back to the drawing board to do it all over again with a new set of tools that havent been fully realized.

The ps4 and 720 will more than likely take the same path that the wii-u did. Utilizing tried and true design but improving on the weaker points to make a more robust and well balanced platform.

chadwarden1701d ago

Umm duh the Cell powers Chuck Norris.

Outside_ofthe_Box1701d ago (Edited 1701d ago )

***"Contrary to what a lot of fanboys think, the Cell processor is not responsible for helping the Earth revolve and rotate about its own axis."***

Are you referring to yourself when you claim that people think that because I doubt anyone ever thought that.

Sony isn't going to stay with the cell. Sony made it evident that they are going the developer friendly route as they put emphasis on that with the Vita. I really hope Sony finds a way to do BC though while still making the console affordable.

morkendo231701d ago (Edited 1701d ago )

@ darthv72

from what your saying seem to me Sony an MICROSOFT
agents purchase a wii-U dissasemble it, tweek for their specification. apply the technology as ps4-720 tablet console. with that bing said
having consumers think it is a new technology but in reality a clone of wii-u tech.

nukeitall1701d ago


"Its not meant to be a drop in replacement to traditional programming but the amout of time and effort put into it has been rewarded with some really great games that appear to be unlike ones we have seen/played before."

NO! Don't confuse great games as a result of hard work and talent to ones resulting from technology. There is nothing special about the Cell that has enabled any revolutionary game mechanics unseen before, unlike the Wii with motion control.

Sorry, this entire generation is a small advancement in games except for the Wii and maybe Kinect. Ironically, the Wii is weakest of the bunch of consoles in the past 6-years!

torchic1701d ago (Edited 1701d ago )

why would you shoot yourself in the foot and invalidate your own opinion like that?

the moment you admitted to not knowing anything about the CELL, you threw your own opinion out the window and into the rubbish garden. c'mon don't do that to yourself.

pixelsword1701d ago

Keep the cell, but improve on support. Make it easy for people since it's still new relative to the industry.

Azmatik1701d ago (Edited 1701d ago )

I thought the only thing wrong with ps3 was not enough RAM? The cell and gfx could hold its own, obviously old now but ya i remember it was only RAM problems. If the cell can read code at like 30gfps imagine if they added 4gb ram and newer gfx ps4 would probly be insane. Plus all the new computer talk of gpgpu and how amazing it is in computers too, correct me if im wrong but hasnt the ps3 been doing that process for awhile? Doesnt the cell handle gfx physics too? Clearly sony has experience with all this tech and had along time to perfect it, i vote their staying with a newer CELL. All over the world people were saying "hook 3-4 ps3's together and you have the fastest supercomputer in the world" it even helped look for a cure for cancer! Overall its gona be a big surprise with every console and this year will be huge!

nukeitall1701d ago


I think you are widely confused (without knowing it) due to all the techno mumble jumbo marketing speak companies feed you.

The Cell architecture is indeed very fast, but excelling in one area and loosing in another hardly makes it ideal. It's like saying a sprinter is super fast, and everyone says it therefore he must be an excellent swimmer.

The Cell approached (at the time) super computer capabilities given the right type of computation. Give it another and it chokes faster than ARM processor. Physics where there is little input data and huge computations is ideal for Cell, but branching code with lots of logic, or that needs large amount of data chokes it.

"Clearly sony has experience with all this tech and had along time to perfect it, i vote their staying with a newer CELL."

Some things aren't fought with just experience, but the right decision making. Sony made a huge bet on the wrong horse. I hope for Sony's own sake that they drop the Cell, implement some of what they learn from it into the next and move on.

"it even helped look for a cure for cancer!"

So can any computer, older than the PS3. More importantly you should ask, what is it good for, rather than getting hung up on "but it does x, y, and z" i.e. I don't care how fast a car drives, if I can fly faster or how faster a plane can fly over a car if I *need* to drive!

SolidStoner1701d ago

@ chadwarden

you are wrong! Chuck Norris is the one who powers everything not the cell, don't you read the internet!?

hakis861701d ago (Edited 1701d ago )

First off; The author at Omnigamer should try to write better english - when I read it I find it slightly difficult because it seems like he is "talking" (writing) without catching his breath... More commas, dude!

Anyway: I would like to see an improved and beefed up version of The Cell (<--brilliant marketing name btw, sounds cool), a more powerful version that is also way more flexible and easier for developers to port from/to. Maybe that is best done with a really solid SDK.

Excited for next gen, personally I will be disappointed with the specs of the PS4 (and 720) if both are AMD's APU+GPU-thingy - just not enough power in those to run highly detailed games in 1080p @ 60 FPS. =(
(Edit: they might be able to _today_, but they are supposed to have some juice left for the future)

vulcanproject1701d ago

CELL was really a failure, It never really made it commercially and GPGPU flattened it quickly in the supercomputer segment as well.

Sony should and will ditch the architecture because it is outdated and no longer very relevant in the post GPGPU computing world. Computing moves very fast, so there is little reason besides backwards compatibility to continue using the chip inside a games console.

Sony will switch to something much more sophisticated and streamlined, cheaper to manufacture most likely but much more flexible.

The right choice.

joeorc1701d ago

"but branching code with lots of logic, or that needs large amount of data chokes it. "


How do i know, for one Branch prediction is not what you use for the Cell, its a prefetch call memory system, why in the hell would you use Branch prediction? Oh that's right because that is the way your Game engine was made for other types of processor's and you would have to have tool's made or make one's your self.

Just keep talking, this is very amusing.

GuyThatPlaysGames1701d ago

I say ditch the Cell. The so-called "most powerful processor". I knew that was a lie when I heard that before it came out. Sony is full of lies. The system is "so powerful" that's why it takes 30 seconds to load the xmb in game. -_-

HateFanboys1700d ago


Why are ARM processors known to choke a lot?

Also, i know this may be a little bit off topic, but does the Cell run at 3.2Ghz or 3Ghz? cuz i thought it was 3.2ghz but know im starting to wonder. And the even bigger question for me is, does the GPU run at 550Mhz or 500Mhz and GDDR3 run at 700Mhz or 650Mhz?

ThanatosDMC1700d ago


Reported for blasphemy. Cell is a dead skin cell of Chuck Norris.

vulcanproject1700d ago (Edited 1700d ago )

CELL's core speed is 3.2ghz.

RSX's CORE speed is 500mhz, GDDR3 speed is 650mhz as shown in dumps from machines running linux. 700mhz modules have been used in models but their speed is still set to 650mhz.

Sony were ambitious with their vision for PS3's hardware but ultimately it never quite came to fruition, the idea of using two CELLs, trying to sell the CPU commercially and getting it into consumer devices like desktop PCs/smart TVs (as Toshiba tried etc etc)

Plan B after the dual CELL failed was to jam in an Nvidia GPU, which was less than ideal. 360 had a hugely advanced (for the time) custom core designed specifically for Microsoft's requirements. RSX was just an off the shelf part that was already a year out of date by the time PS3 launched.

The worst mistake with RSX was the decision to cripple it's memory bus and ROPS performance. This was made with intentions of improving yields no doubt.

Sony need to focus better on their new hardware and make sure it is right, and will work.

Autodidactdystopia1700d ago

You guys might want to listen to vulcanproject he's the only one who is actually right in this whole thread.

Im not gonna write a wallotext like i usually do.

Cell is Cool in ways but it doesnt have the scope to compete with the next generation of home boxes largely for the reasons stated by vulcanproject.

Azmatik1700d ago (Edited 1700d ago )

Everything ive said still stands its been proven at one point multiple ps3's hooked together is the fastest number crunching super-computer ever. I dont judge off marketing.... Its also fact the major issues with the ps3 is really only the RAM and the crazy slow read speed of the blu-ray drive. Of course nowadays almost everything is outdated in it. BUT fact is sony always have made their own new special tech stuff so the chances of just a regular AMD or Intel cpu are VERY unlikely and the chance of sony developing a completly evolved and upgraded cell is likely, like do you really think sony will screw over their top developers like GG and NaughtyDog who to this day make rediculously amazing looking and playing games some say even on par with top notch PC games and yes was developed on 5 year old and aparently "garbage" tech called the Cell. In all reality i think ppl need to stop confusing PC developer talk and console talk just because a dev whos not used to change and only think of what makes their job easier to get a easier paycheck instead of thinking possible tech revolution and doesnt know how to work something doesnt mean its garbage. The ps3 architechture is far different then PC hence why its not called a PC and why hardware in a PC and a console really shouldnt be compared. I actually do know what im talking about in some departments and what i do know is ps3 RAM was too low and blu-ray read was too low hence why we always have installs cause the HDD can read faster thats really the only problem considering real developers stating the Cell chip rlly only got bottleneckd now proves its a worthy investment. @ Vulcanproject: No ur actually not right the nvidia chip was implemented when ps3 was made and the dual Cells in the TVs came years after and was actually an amazing idea beaing able to see, what was it like 30 different live TV shows on one screen kinda pointless yet imagine the press of a button and u can view every TV channel u wanna watch and see which ones are on commercial. Your giving off the impression Sony already tried throwing in 2 cell chips for ps3 which is not right at all.

vulcanproject1700d ago (Edited 1700d ago )

It is well documented that PS3 was initially designed to use two CELL processors, because they were supposed to be scalable but the CELL project never met these design goals. So sony had to go with plan B, and the Nvidia GPU. A GPU considerably inferior to Xenos in 360. It is blatantly a later addition to the design rather than an early concept.

Microsoft got a unified shader GPU with several DX10 style features like a hardware tesselator an entire year before PS3 turned up with a DX9 class GPU that wasn't even that good in the first place, the Radeon X1k parts were better.

So yeah I'm right, go look it up.

Also while you're at it, go look up what a paragraph is mkaaay?

+ Show (18) more repliesLast reply 1700d ago
Thatguy-3101701d ago

They have invested so much into the cell that I doubt they will just throw it away.

Sharingan_no_Kakashi1701d ago (Edited 1701d ago )

Me too. Wonder if it can fit inside a camera...


tis true... glad I didn't say cell phone. But I'm sure they'll try to apply it to SOMETHING.

Shaman1701d ago

Really? A Cell in camera? You would change batteries every few minutes...And no, they aren't going with Cell anymore, its all AMD.

Tei7771701d ago (Edited 1701d ago )

The money has already been wasted, it cost double the cost of the 360 processor at launch yet we definitely haven't seen double the yield. Theres no way sony will let it hold them back in terms of keeping the costs down next gen. They'll drop cell just like they dropped UMD.

MikeMyers1701d ago

Sony needs to serve the purpose of game developers, not what's proprietary to Sony's philosophy. They need to get away from being different, because the Playstation platform relies mainly on 3rd party publishers.

They no longer have the influence within the industry to dictate how games are made.

Consoldtobots1700d ago

exactly, Sony first party studios have already more than proved what the CBE is capable of. It is up to third party developers to choose mediocrity by developing for desktop/ms architectures. Another point that everyone's missing is the fact that third party developers have shown that appeasing microsoft is a better business model than running the risk of having a PS3 version of their title come out clearly superior to it's 360 counterpart. In other words why would Sony move away from a proven architecture in order to please developers who have already stated by their actions that they have no interest in helping Sony's hardware demonstrate it's competitive advantage?

IMO this is all FUD from those in the industry that don't like the possibilities the CBE has shown for game simulation on a truly massive and next gen scale. They'd rather keep status quo for architectures where they are top dog and don't have to rebuild their visual studio libraries for Sony's architecture.

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Saigon1701d ago

Can some one answer this for me?

I was wondering what would happen if Sony decided to combine the Cell chip (hypothetically, 16-cores, remember the Cell chip was initially suppose to be a graphics chip and maybe Sony finally figured it out) with the AMD APU. What would the reality be of doing this and what would it yield. I ask because of the article that was posted on NeoGaf regarding the Sony Patten for two GPUs, One for standard processing and the other for high yield processing.

ZoyosJD1701d ago

combining cell and an apu would be a waste. the graphic half of the apu would become the bottleneck and you would have a massive amount of processing power with nothing to use it on.

that would also mean 2 cpus and a low end gfx chip rather than 2 gpus as formetioned in the neogaf post.

my expectations are an apu and a decent gfx card...hofefully an a-10 5800k apu and a hd 7970. should be enough to run launch games at 4k 60 fps for a price of $500 early to mid 2014.

wishingW3L1701d ago (Edited 1701d ago )

it wouldn't work because APU is x86 & x64 while the Cell is a completely different architecture. The only thing that comes to mind is that article about switchable GPU ( ) because the Cell could use the GPU on the APU to render PS3 games (you know for BC).

And for the love of god @ZoyosJD, da hell are you talking about? 4k/60 frames with an HD 7970? Are you nuts? XD

First, the HD 7970 doesn't has the power to render that. In fact, no single card has the power for that. And second, that card costs almost $500 so get real. Just look at the benchmarks:

Sleeping Dogs: 5040x1050 at only 20 frames with HD 7970

3GenGames1701d ago

Wrong, moron. x64 is just an extension of x84, functionally they work the same. One just has a 64-bit instruction size, and one has a 32-bit. The patent for the GPU part is them planning on using ONE chip and ONE GPU, but combining the functionality of both chips in to one, where it gets toggled, as the way you write/DMA to the GPU on Intel architecture is probably a bit different from on the Cell. Basically, it means it's almost 100% certain that the next console will use a X64 processor. Also most likely from AMD. It has nothing to do with the x86 vs x64, it's how the x## micros work over all.