PS4 Based On Existing Cell Processor?

Via GameCyte: "Japanese tech news site PC Watch is reporting that as a cost-saving measure, Sony "has begun seriously considering" basing the upcoming PlayStation 4 on the same Cell processor that currently powers the PS3.

Though citing no sources in particular, PC Watch claims that Sony is currently soliciting developer reactions to the idea. They speculate that while Sony would like to distance themselves from the Cell in the long run, at present they might do well to make use of their existing investment and expand the technical capabilities of the PS3 only moderately - a la the hardware transition from GameCube to Wii - in order to constrain further expenditure."

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fishd3732d ago (Edited 3732d ago )


"a la the hardware transition from GameCube to Wii "


Hububla3732d ago

its not like they arent going to make a significant improvement wasnt their an article the other day or week about how sony already has a duel cell chip?? i mean if they use the cell but just put 2 duel cell chips or something that is still a significant improvement... i mean just think of what could be done on the current chip if there was say 2 gigs of ram in the PS3 the difference would be insane! so even if they just use one duel cell chip and up the ram to at lest 2.5-4 gigs then i would be very happy

Lord Anubis3732d ago (Edited 3732d ago )

Cell 2 is pretty much using similar technology. This would allow for things to move nicely in development lowering the cost of game productions.

Also perhaps they could refined cell since they were originally planning to have 512 XDR clocked at the same cycle the CPU runs. Which they did but had to cut it in half and use it for video and exe

""So, PS4 So, CPU and the core figure to reach 32? 現在のCell BEは、90nm版の基本レイアウトを維持したままシュリンクし ているため、ダイの縮小の度合いが小さい。 Cell BE is the current, 90nm version while maintaining the basic layout shrink due to a smaller degree of reduction of the die. 90nm版の235平方mmに対して、65nm版は175平方m m、45nm版は115平方mmだ。 For the 90nm version of the 235-square-mm, 65nm version is 175 square mm, 45nm version is 115 sq mm. しかし、PS4チップで再度設計をし直せば45nmでかなりの数 のCPUコアを搭載できる可能性がある(東芝はSPUコアの面積 を 大きく減らしている)。 However, PS4 to fix the chip to re-design a significant number of 45nm CPU cores may be (Toshiba's core area of the SPU is greatly reduced). 元々のSCEの“イケイケ”プランの通りなら、45~32nmで 24コアや32コアといったCell BEに発展する可能性はあった。 SCE's original "IKEIKE" As you plan, 45 ~ 32nm and 24 core and 32-core Cell BE was likely to develop. ムーアの法則の通りなら、32コアに達する。 If Moore's Law as the core to reach 32. しかし今のSCEは、おそらくそうしないだろう。 However, SCE now, it probably will not.""

"SCE's original "IKEIKE" As you plan, 45 ~ 32nm and 24 core and 32-core Cell BE was likely to develop."

that's somewhat what IBM describes as CELL 2 and one of its variants.

ConanOBrien3732d ago (Edited 3732d ago )

thank Sony for keeping us dreaming!... ummm creaming i should say.

*dances like a leprechaun*

aiphanes3732d ago

The 256megs of XDR memory is tight in the current PS3...but just think if the PS4 had 1 Gig of XDR for each of its dual Cell processors! Graphics would run wickedly fast.

Then there is XDR2 RAM (the PS4 will probably have this memory)

"Central processing unit
Main article: Cell (microprocessor)
The PS3 uses the Cell microprocessor, which is made up of one 3.2 GHz PowerPC-based "Power Processing Element" (PPE) and six accessible Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs). A seventh runs in a special mode and is dedicated to aspects of the OS and security, and an eighth is disabled to improve production yields. The floating point performance of the whole system (CPU + GPU) is reported to be 2 TFLOPS.[1] PlayStation 3's Cell CPU achieves 204 GFLOPS single precision float and 15 GFLOPS double precision. The PS3 has 256 MB of Rambus XDR DRAM, clocked at CPU die speed. As of firmware update 2.01, 32 MB of the XDR memory is reserved by the PS3's XrossMediaBar user interface.[citation needed]

Graphics processing unit
Main article: RSX 'Reality Synthesizer'
The graphics processing unit, according to Nvidia, is based on the NVIDIA G70 (previously known as NV47) architecture. The GPU makes use of 256 MB GDDR3 RAM clocked at 650 MHz with an effective transmission rate of 1.4 GHz and up to 224 MB of the 3.2 GHz XDR main memory via the CPU (480 MB max).

To date, the PS3 has had several component revisions which serve to reduce power consumption. This is turn results in production savings, lower heat production, lower cooling requirements and quieter running. Since launch, the Cell has had it's process shrunk from 90nm to 65nm, as has the RSX GPU. Further improvements are planned, with IBM/Toshiba annoucing plans to commence fullscale 45nm Cell production in 2009[3], which will result in a further 40% reduction in power consumption over the 65nm Cell."

Lord Anubis3732d ago

From the article:

"If, SCE PS4 is to develop a completely new architecture, and all must start from zero again. そうなると、ソフトウェア開発コストはさらに膨れあがってしまう だろう。 So nervous software development costs will also blister. それよりは、アーキテクチャを継承することで、ソフトウェア資産 とスキルの活用を図る方が得策とSCEが考えた可能性は高い。 Rather, it inherits the architecture, software assets and skills better to try to take advantage of the SCE and a high possibility that thought. PS3ではソフトウェア開発を必死に進めた結果、ようやくある程 度まで整ったところで、SCEとしては、その積み重ねを捨てたくは ないだろう。 PS3 had to struggle in the software development, it finally appointed to a certain extent, SCE as the捨TETAKU to be stacked.

GEMUBENDA the learning curve (proficiency) from the point, it is desirable to continue to Architecture. 今世代機は、ソフトウェアデベロッパ側のラーニングカーブの上昇 が緩やかで、特にPS3プラットフォームは難易度が高いと言われて いる。 Current generation aircraft, SOFUTOUEADEBEROPPA gradual rise in the learning curve, particularly for PS3 platform is said to have a high degree of difficulty. PS3でのタイトル開発はようやく拍車がかかってきたところだ。 PS3 titles in development to spur finally came. しかし、PS4でPS3からの継承性を持たせるなら、PS4では ラーニングカーブを上げやすい。 However, PS4 inherited from the PS3 to give you, PS4 up in the easy learning curve. もっとも、ゲームデベロッパ側には、Cell BEアーキテクチャ自体を変えないと、一定以上にラーニングカー ブを上げられないという声もある。 However, the side GEMUDEBEROPPA, Cell BE architecture, and change itself, can not be certain that raised more than a learning curve.

もっとも、原理的には、ソフトウェア側の変化とともに、現在の 問題はある程度軽減される可能性もある。 However, in principle, along with changes in the software side, to a certain extent, the current problem could be reduced. Cell BEの元々の発想は、オブジェクト指向化するソフトウェアに合わ せて、1オブジェクトに1 CPUコアを割り当てることができるアーキテクチャを目指すとい うものだった。 Cell BE was originally the idea of an object-oriented software, according to one object to allocate 1 CPU core architecture that aims was to be. 粒度の大きなタスク単位ではなく、粒度の小さなソフトウェアオブ ジェクトを各CPUコアに割り当てることを前提としていた。 Grain size of the unit rather than a big task, the grain size of a small software objects can be assigned to each CPU core to the premise. 粒度を小さくすれば、Cell BEのSPUのメモリサイズにもフィットしやすいし、原理的には CPUコア数が増えれば、ソフトウェア側の粒度も小さくしやすくな る。 If a small particle size, Cell BE memory size of the SPU also easy to fit, and in principle to increase the number of CPU cores, software and the smaller particle size also make it easier.

AAACE53732d ago (Edited 3732d ago ) might happen!

When Sony made the CELL processor. They had big plans for it! Cell was planned to be incorporated into cellphones, PC's, DVD players and alot of other things around the home. It was said to have all the cell processors in your home work off of eachother to process information. And Sony wanted the CELL to be a processor used for a long time!

With the cost of creating this type of technology, I can see sony possibly sticking with the cell for a while! They did say the cell was incredibly powerful, so I see no reason to advanve beyond it yet. For the Ps4, all they would have to do is redesign it and put in a better graphics card, more RAM, and a faster Blu-ray drive! Good thing is... that would keep the cost of the Ps4 down and reasonable for most consumers to hop aboard!

@Pirate Thom... There is no need for 4 Cell processors. The Cell has 8 cores that haven't been peaked yet! Even if they do, having a cell in a ps3 with more ram and a better graphics card with do wonders. The only thing that will come out of having 4 Cells is even higher cost for a Ps4!

I believe MS might try to come up with a processor similar to cell so they don't have to deal with that for a while as well!

SixTwoTwo3732d ago

It would be stupid of Sony to ditch the Cell. By the time PS4 rolls around all of the major developers will have had years of experience on working with Cell architecture. All they have to do is add more PPU's/SPE's and give them some more horsepower.

DeadlyFire3732d ago

PS4 will use the second generation of the Cell chip coming in 2010 with 32 SPEs and 2-4 PPEs as well as a chip speed of 4+ Ghz. XDR Memory can also reach 4 Ghz. Might be a little hot though and XDR 2 might be better choice for PS4. PS4 will not be released until 2011. I expect to see bigger hard drives and at least a doubling of RAM from 512 to 1 GB as well.

Only real thing to worry about is the cost of the PS4 and what disc technology will it have in it. That determines the price pretty much.

Other surprises on the way I am sure. Its to early for PS4 talk. PS4 won't launch til 2011 anyway why don't you people take a break for a year or two and come back to talk about PS4.

orakga3731d ago (Edited 3731d ago )

"a la the hardware transition from GameCube to Wii "

Yeah that's "kinda" funny, but not fair, since the jump from GC to Wii was really minimal.

A better comparison would be XBox >> X360. Same basic architecture, but with suped-up specs. I back it, although it really means that the PS4 will only last 4 years. (but with the benefit of having tons more software much sooner, so it's a fair tradeoff)

And @ 622: "It would be stupid of Sony to ditch the Cell. By the time PS4 rolls around all of the major developers will have had years of experience on working with Cell architecture. All they have to do is add more PPU's/SPE's and give them some more horsepower."

Yeah, that's basically what Anubis' Japanese wall of text says. (although it looks like he just ran the text through a translating machine) Again, if they stick with the Cell, we'll get the games sooner.

The Makr3731d ago

I would just stick with PS3. It will be much cheaper, games much cheaper, bigger libarary. Why upgrade to PS 3.5?

Dumb move Sony! Keep the innovation coming.

Ju3731d ago

They'll ditch the PS3. Simple.

orakga3731d ago

I don't think you guys realize that sticking with the same CPU architecture does not imply that the system specs will actually remain the same as well.

All your PCs have retained the same architecture since the early 1990s, and that same architecture is shared by both the XBoxes as well. Hell, even APPLE uses some of that architecture! But that doesn't limit the upgrading potential, does it?

Oh well... I keep forgetting that OS/Architecture is Comp. Sci territory.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 3731d ago
PirateThom3732d ago

I'd say it would be smart to use Cell since a. they part own the technology anyway, b. Devs will be used to the Cell from day 1.

They should go with concept ideas from the PS3 though and have 4 Cell Processors, no GPU and 512 XDDRAM for each of the processors.

griff3732d ago

but as ps3 fan what fear me is this:
"In a long technical analysis following the report, PC Watch voices the opinion that the PS4’s performance would not increase significantly from that of the PS3 if this is true"

i hope sony will not go to the same direction with nintendo (hardware performance wise)...

ruibing3732d ago

It makes sense for them because it will make the PS4 backwards compatible with the PS3. They just need to add more PPUs to the processor and include branch predictors in the hardware.

Jake the Muss3732d ago (Edited 3732d ago )

Quite true, PirateThom. Sony and IBM already offer somewhat of what you described already (although quite different too) in terms of the IBM/Sony Cell Blade.

I don't know much about this piece of technology although I'm sure some of N4G's gurus can explain it better, but essentially we are looking at two Cell Broadband Engines stuck together with 2 GB of memory (in rough terms):

Heres another interesting article on an improved IBM X64 and Cell Blade Server.

Again, one of the tech gurus around here might be able to explain this technology better, but simply put there could be some serious horsepower that could be shoe-horned in there. I'm more interested in this part: "A base QS22 blade with 8 GB of memory and two Cell chips costs $9,995"

... not to sure about forking over $9,995 for a PS4. The missus might have something to say in that.

AAACE53732d ago

Be careful what you wish for!

The only thing that comes whit alot of technology is alot of money needed to buy it! Last gen, we bought new consoles for $299. This gen, they were $400-$600! That's a big jump in my opinion. We are paying $60 for games, as opposed to $40-$50.

People aren't paying attention, but these collectors editions that cost $70 - $150 are test to see just how much we gamers are willing to spend! Keep in mind that Ps3 games were originally supposed to cost $70 - $100, if the games were to be very lengthy with superior graphics as well, because the studio would have to make up for all the work that went into it!

Prime example... Heavenly Sword! It had great graphics but was short in length. Now if the game costed $70-$100, it would have been considerably longer. Same goes for Gears 1. If it had have costed more for the games, Epic would have found a way to compress more data on the DVD, or just make it a 2 disc.

Good news is, when this tech gets older, and developers are more comfortable using it... we get those high quality games for a lower price, because it doesn't cost them as much as when the tech was new!

QuackPot3732d ago (Edited 3732d ago )

C'mon Sony. This is the obvious way to go instead of forking out mega bucks on developing new technology.

Sony has already invested millions on the cell processor & BR. If they ever want to recoup their investment they just have to (K)eep (I)t (S)imple (S)ony....KISS

A Ps4 with just an improved CELL & GPU and significantly more RAM(2+ Gbs) would perform a lot better than the current Ps3 and would only be a little more expensive - NO MAJOR R&D costs.

And if Sony just added one extra Cell processor then the Ps4 would be a monster machine, fully backward compatible, familiar to developers and relatively cheap as - NO MAJOR R&D costs.

Again, this is the obvious way to go. Sony will recoup their investment in the technology and be able to sell a powerful machine at a very competitive price....not at the ridiculously expensive Next Gen pricing.

Do it!

DJ3731d ago

Branch predictors are unnecessary as they require Out-of-Order architecture, which Cell does not utilize. To add on that much hardware would boost the power requirements, and it doesn’t make sense to do this since the Cell BE already has branch hinting built in. Same function, no extra hardware.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3731d ago
avacadosnorkel3732d ago

I don't want to buy another system for 8 more years.

aiphanes3732d ago

And they will use a dual cell cell will do graphics, and the other cell will do everthing else. So in effect it will be a dual 8 core cell architecture.

They will up the memory to 4 GBs and a 500 GB harddrive will be standard along with 6 X bluray drive.

And they will price it at $299.

And the PS3 will be $149.

aiphanes3732d ago

We are talking like 5 years in the future...The Cell chip has to be at 45nm by then...and memory prices will be much cheaper. Hard drive prices will be dirt cheap by then also according to microsoft, everbody will be using Digital Distribution so they will need big hard drives. I went with the 4 gb of ram but that might be too big. They will keep bluray in it too...but it will be a much faster bluray drive. The PS4 has to be a faster better machine than the PS3...because sony has always made the next playstation bigger better and faster. Just because the wii went the cheap, not much different from the gamecube route, does not mean sony will follow.

Dual cell processors
A big cheap harddrive (320 GB 2.5 inch SATAs are $100 now. 5 years from now they will be less than $30 each)
2 to 4 GBs of memory (1-2 GB per cell, and both cell can use all 2-4 GB)

5 years from now is what i am talking about...they can still do all of this and charge around $300 for the console....the PS3 will still be around just like the PS2.

Microsoft is gonna come strong with the next Xbox too...

skagrerrrr3732d ago

by the looks of the economy right now... 5 years from now, everything will be more expensive than it already is.

AAACE53732d ago

If you think Sony will incorporate all that in the Ps4 and it will cost $299... I need some of what you are smoking! I want to float in LALA land as well!

If sony were to incorporate all the components you listed, I say the lowest price we would see is $400.

AlterEgo3732d ago

As much as R&D on Cell technology cost?

You can bet your fukcin ass the PS4 will be built with the Cell inside.