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Intel is shooting for PlayStation 4, but has it scored?

Ars Technica writes, "I've known for a while, and even mentioned on Ars, that Intel has a team that's actively courting the Sony PlayStation 4 contract, and Intel VP Pat Gelsinger affirmed to me in an interview that the company would love to be in a next-generation console. But The Inquirer's Charlie Demerjian has published a whale of a post-CES rumor claiming that Intel's forthcoming Larrabee GPU did indeed score the GPU spot on Sony's next-gen console.

There will be a ton of skepticism over this, and for good reason-I myself have actually had informal, off-the-record conversations that indicate to me that there may not be a lot of love for Intel on the technical front inside of Sony. But this rumor has a lot going for it. I'll enumerate the plusses and minuses below, but before jumping in let's hand the mic over to official Sony PR for their take. "

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Marcelles253208d ago

dude wikipedia that GPU
its freakin amazing and its built to work with the CBE(cell broadband engine) amazing this is whats gonna be in the PS4 For sure just read the article its literally built for it AMAZING http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

3208d ago
DeadlyFire3208d ago

It is indeed a good thing. Current plans for Larabee suggest it will have 16+ cores with 4 threads per core so that is 64 treads of processing in the x86 part of it anyway. Next Cell will have at least 32 treads if not 64 threads running in the next Cell CPU. I say its a good match.

muddygamesite3208d ago (Edited 3208d ago )

im guessing sony will be sticking with a much more improved version of the CELL. This will enable Backwards compatibility with no problems, while enabling their internal programmers and game studios use their knowledge and experience from the PS3 to overcome some of the problems the PS3 had initially. When this knowledge is applied to the PS4 (assuming the architecture is similar), there will be no excuse from lazy developers complaining about the difficulties of programming (they have just spent the last 10 years doing it). The GPU however is another story altogether. They might decide to create something very close to the PS3's architecture. Nvidia again? maybe

yanikins1113208d ago

i dont get why people think sony will simply use a beefed up cell. everyone of their consoles up until this point have used new tech. its kind of their thing. yeah it makes it harder to dev for, initially but you end up with great results as far as games go. there are always the developers who dont want to do the hard yards at the start, but sooner or later they see the benefits of programming to a stable platform.

Cajun Chicken3208d ago

Cell cost a lot of R&D money, not using the Cell would prove a bit pointless, also, its currently doing the job its supposed to fantastically and devs would be used to it.

Kushan3208d ago

Intel wont be looking to do the CPU in the PS4, they'll be aiming for the GPU slot of it, which given what Intel plans with Larrabee, would work out quite well for everyone.
Larrabee isn't actually a GPU, per se, it's like a stupidly fast FPU (basically what a graphics card is) that can be programmed to do just about anything - including graphics. Intel claims it'll be powerful enough to run DirectX and OpenGL applications as fast as whatever Nvidia has on offer, by simply programming an appropriate driver. Of course, that's a bold claim, but if it's true, it means we could see games with custom rendering solutions and it doesn't just mean graphics - it could do physics, A.I. and the like as well, like modern Graphics cards can do today, except moreso. That also means it could be programmed to act like the GPU from the PS3 or the PS2 or just about anything, like a hardware-accelerated software renderer, if such a thing made sense.
It could be very very good, but with the way technology is evolving, Nvidia and AMD will have similar solutions available as well, so it could be anyone's game.

dukadork23208d ago (Edited 3208d ago )

either they listen to the majority of whiners who couldn't handle the CELL or they listen to the minority who did amazing sh!t with it and loved it.

it's an epic battle between mediocrity and demagogy on one side and talent and elitism on the other side: so typical of our times, isn't it?

my guess is the former: i think sony has been traumatized by the dev's response to the PS3 and will finally succumb to the ineluctable idiocratization of this industry.

Larrabee is an interesting piece of hardware very much inspired by the CELL but more accessible to average whiny kiddy coders cuz it has traditional caches, all cores can access main ram, x86 compatibility and there's an excellent tool chain to go with it.

I would love a pure Larrabee CPU-GPU unified architecture with lots of cores and lots of ram: simple and badass!

xwabbit3208d ago

Lol would you imagine if the PS4 could handle ps1,ps2 and ps3 games in its hardware!

Elven63208d ago

Toshiba is pushing CELL (I have a CELL chip in my laptop, pretty useless at the moment though) so why wouldn't Sony? Although I can see Intel and CELL working together, in my Qosmio laptop for instance I have a Intel Core 2 Duo running with CELL running along side it, basically the Intel chip is the main chipset and the CELL chip is the back up one basically their to aid both the GPU and CPU if coders want that to happen, of course, only 3 applications do that so far, and their not very good apps to boot! :(

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kewlkat0073208d ago

I actually do not think the Cell was intended in the PS3 if it wasn't for the format war.

This is so long ways away..feels strange talking about it.

Kushan3208d ago

There's nothing wrong with the CELL itself, it's not difficult to program for a CELL microprocessor, the problem simply lies in the fact that there were 7 of them and that IS hard to program a game for. The CELL was designed to work like that, unlike dual core processors in PC's, the CELL was designed to easily expand - you could easily make a system with 500 CELL SPU's in it, but if Sony released a PS4 with say 20 SPU's, it would be just as hard to program for then as it is to program for the PS3 today - you'd have to find a way to split a game up into 20 independent processes rather than 7. Sony would be better off sticking with the 7 SPUs, but make them much, much faster.

kewlkat0073208d ago

Your doing way too much work and work arounds to get results. Though you get great results, I just do no think developers are really about that type of Architecture.

DJ3208d ago

In fact, activating an SPU for use by your game engine only takes lines of code. Cell was designed to be scalable, and all game programmers who've 'graduated' to the concept of multi-core architecture and proper multi-threading are trumpeting how well-built the CPU is.

It has a huge amount of internal bandwidth, and the cores all actively communicate with each other. Add in the fact that Cell can be pushed to 98% efficiency, compared to 75% efficiency from traditional IBM and Intel CPUs, and you really do have a winning design.

DeadlyFire3208d ago

Sony is gonna use a Cell chip. Its 99% likely to happen.

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y0haN3208d ago

The GPU better not be another weak-ass one like the GeForce 7900, it better be amazing. I guess Blu-Ray will be a lot cheaper by then with more capacity, so they can afford to spend more money elsewhere.

3208d ago
gametheory3208d ago (Edited 3208d ago )

The next PS3 having 4 cell processors? That's VERY realistic. Low cost, not as big as a jump as it was from PS2 to PS3, and of course, that's what the PS3 was actually *intended* to be.

Also, on the Intel rumor... well, Sony owns the GPU design unlike Microsoft with its first Xbox. In fact, Sony sold an RSX manufacturing plant to Toshiba, so Sony doesn't depend on nVidia. nVidia simply tweaked the 7900 GTX and sold the IP rights to Sony.
Sony can tweak it or produce it or tell anyone to manufacture it for them if they want to.

Since the Larrabee is intended to be a much better CPU in terms of graphics processing, by 2012 it's likely that whatever CPUs intel has in the market will be able to outperform the 7900GTX which came out in 2006. So it's likely that whatever Intel is working on for PS4 (if it's true) will be able to emulate RSX's capabilities and surpass it by some significant amount (though not as big as a jump from lat-gen to this one as I mentioned). Considering the direction GPUs are taking, it might also be able to aid with some physics and AI processing.

The PS4 will at least be capable of doing what Sony showed a few weeks ago, i.e. 4 PS3's hooked up together were able to display GT5 in full 2160p glory at 240 frames per second. And that probably requires less power than what the PS4 will have under the hood, and it's also probably unoptimized (especially if you consider that it's 4 networked machines and NOT a single machine).

I wonder what the PS4 would be capable off if games were designed with lower resolutions in mind, or hell, with [email protected] in mind.

I wish Sony adds 2 GB of XDR2 RAM, and also that they add EDRAM like the 360 has, but instead of just 10 MB which only gets you so far, make it a lot more (128MB maybe?). That might just help it achieve about 16xAA with not as big a performance hit. Also, an upscaler like the one you find inside the 360. And finally, a huge ass HDD, support for 200GB or more blu-ray discs, and a fast blu-ray drive. And of course, innovate in terms of interface and games so Nintendo doesn't take them by surprise again.

Antan3208d ago (Edited 3208d ago )

Even in 2012 that would still cost a fair whack. my guess is something along the lines of 2/3 ppu`s instead of the 1, though running at 4ghz plus. 16+ spu`s again running 4gig plus, 1 gig plus gfx processor of some sort, 1 to 2 gig main memory and as you say something similar to the 360`s edram though of course bigger, blu ray prices should be relatively cheap come that time, so maybe 4x speed?............

Based on my spec, thats still a considerable increase above the PS3 and developers (come 2012) should know the PS3`s architecture inside out, so they should be up and running pretty early, unlike the PS3 of course.

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DeadlyFire3208d ago

Its coming in 2011 not 2012. 4 Cells = no. The new Cell chip is 5 times faster already why 5 old chips when one new one is 5 times faster. PS3 and X360 CPU both run 6 threads on their CPUs. Sony promised 8-9, but only 6 are usable by the developers. The new Cell will at least have 32 threads possibly 64 threads. Intel's Larrabee will have 64 threads running as well. That is a big number. Lots of little things can be tweaked for them to work well together. Sony's intention with the Cell was to make a GPU/CPU hybrid. Perhaps with Intel's GPU they will learn even more on their way to pushing a CPU/GPU hybrid.

RSX is a one time deal with NVIDIA. Its gone now. RSX 2 would be pointless and out of the way for Sony to go after. Their aim is for CPU/GPU to work as one. Larrabee is already part of both.

Blu-Ray will make it as the disc drive of the PS4. Likely it will have quad layer support for 100 GB discs. Probably around 8x or 12x by 2011.

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