DF - In Theory: Can CPU co-processor boost PS3 power?

The Digial foundry Blog at Eurogamer writes:

"With Ken Kutaragi having departed Sony and Cell development having slowed down somewhat in recent years, it is difficult to imagine what part the innovative architecture has to play in any future console, aside from improving the chances of PS3 backwards compatibility. However, at the very least, the existence of this recent patent application suggests that SCE's engineers are, at least, still investigating the latent potential of the Cell tech."

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Xwow20082870d ago

I just like DF articles :)

ConanOBrien2870d ago ShowReplies(3)
andron2870d ago

Me too. They often are more technical than I can really understand, but they also give great insights into how games are made...

toaster2870d ago

Even if there is an external processor, there would not be enough bandwidth to utilize it. USB won't cut it.. lol. Simply: the PS3 motherboard was not engineered with expansion in mind.

Chris3992870d ago

GB LAN port. If you read the article it explains this and details real-time occurrences (Gran Turismo 5 running in super-HD on networked PS3s).

edhe2870d ago

yes but that's using a custom built HDMI connection & TV, it's not feasable to use that set up at home.

If you do something like this you'd have to upgrade the main machine or somehow only use one output on the multiple devices.

The forza stuff that uses multiple 360s i think uses the ethernet port too, but again it outputs 3 different pictures for the screens.

Ju2870d ago (Edited 2870d ago )

Two things here:

First: If each "client" is a full PS3, it also has an RSX which you can utilize to run shader programs.

Second: You would not want to transfer a framebuffer AS IS across those connected machines.

However, using the RSX on the client will limit you to the fact the result will be indeed a framebuffer you need to stitch somewhere - or interconnect with basically a n port HDMI switch (result would be "stitched" by a HDMI "screen composer" == additional HW).

But, since this patent only talks about the (Cell) CPU, it describes a cluster style setup. In such a scenario you would simple have a fast data interconnect and use one stream processor (spu) to encode/decode that stream to increase the bandwidth over a relatively slow (Gigabit Eth) port. You'd loose all shaders on the client unless the encoder/decoder packs/unpacks the framebuffer. Raw data before the render pass are better to pack, though. OTHO, a frame buffer can loose some info to when transmitted (its just pixels after all).

A cluster setup has been demonstrated by the realtime SW raytracer (google it) using 3 PS3s.

Any how, I think the patents outlines possibilities for a new generation CELL based devices, with the scaling down of the CELL (only 4 SPUs) this obviously targets smaller machines than the PS3 but will also allow these "building blocks" easily be scaled beyond the PS3 (can be as fast as XDR shared memory interconnects on a local main board with any amount of those "baby cells") while the SW would run completely transparently across all those devices.

chaos-lockheart2870d ago

leave the tech to Sony, if you guys really know what your talking about, you will be making the ps3s not Sony.

Chris3992870d ago

PS3 has some incredible foresight and design, when you think about it. Even if they don't use this tech (though they probably will in some way), it's amazing that they 'could'.

andron2870d ago (Edited 2870d ago )

In the article Sony actually have it working.

GT5 was demoed in 240 hz using four PS3, but it's doubtful it will be used commercially. Sure would like to see that demo though...

Chris3992870d ago

Just think that it's cool that the option is even there for a proprietary piece of tech made almost five years ago.

Ken K. was a freakn' visionary.

f00pgames2870d ago

Sure would like to see that demo though...
Me too

Xfanboy2870d ago

$1600 worth of hardware??

edhe2870d ago

Some of the concepts behind the cell were incredible but they never bore fruit because they were too busy downsizing the ps3 business to make it profitable again. Maybe next gen.

ChronoJoe2870d ago

Real old.

This is what Polyphony digital use for there presentations. Stick I think it's 4 PS3s together and you can get ULTRA HD. Obviously they were dev units though so, it's not like anyone can do it.

Parapraxis2870d ago

..and here I was about to run out and buy a few more PS3's =/


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