92w ago - Following up on our previous article, today Kotaku (linked above) reports that according to inside sources Sony may be ditching the Cell Processor for the PlayStation 4 console.
Below are the details, to quote: "The PlayStation 4 will not use Sony's Cell processor nor any possible successor to the vaunted chipset that was introduced to the world through the PlayStation 3, gaming industry sources tell Kotaku.
What we're hearing from sources follow a Forbes rumor last week that chip-maker AMD would make the graphics chip for a PS4, a shift from the PS3's use of a graphics chip from AMD rival Nvidia.
The abandonment of the Cell architecture would thrill the many game developers who have struggled with the complex chipset, but it could also be viewed as the admission of a mistake.
Cell was the pet project of PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi, who dreamed that the chip- a "Power Processing Element" married to eight "Synergistic Processing Elements"- would make the PS3 the most impressive gaming console ever. He spoke of a home equipped with multiple devices that were powered by Cell, all of them linking to each other to increase the computational power driving any of the devices.
Cell was not the revolution Sony hoped and hyped that it would be. It also never managed to make the PS3 appear to be significantly more powerful than the year-older Xbox 360. That could have been the Cell's fault or simply the result of development decisions that compelled game creators to make their games run on both the PS3 and the generally-more-popular XBox 360.
But with no Cell or Cell successor in the PS4, what would Sony do? Here's where the reporting turns to speculation. One theory I've heard is that AMD will provide both the CPU and GPU for the PS4, meaning that AMD, not Sony, would engineer the main processing and graphics chips for the machine. Should AMD be doing that, they could go with the AMD Fusion architecture, which puts CPU and GPU on the same chip.
AMD has already been putting chips like this out (one was considered for the MacBook Air), which would enable Sony to turn to developers and say: you could be working with the PS4 architecture right now; just work on an AMD Llano chip or something.
Would developers like that? They'd have to prefer it to Cell and- what do you know- here's one of gaming history's best programmers, id's John Carmack, saying in an interview with PC Perspective last year that AMD Fusion-style chip architecture is "almost a forgone conclusion" for the future of computing.
A Sony rep declined to comment on this story, citing the company's policy not to comment on rumors and speculation."
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Considering the rumors about GCN as a base for the GPU, I'm pretty sure it will not be something below a HD7800. Considering the APU, this might actually be true, but again - it will probably be an APU with a GCN Core, like for example the coming Trinity processors. Anything below that will definitly not be able to play anything in Quad-HD or even 1080p 3D.
Previously we covered rumors that AMD is building the PlayStation 4 graphics tech, Sony may ditch the Cell processor and the PS4 being codenamed Orbis, and now IGN reports that the next-generation system will sport AMD's A8-3850 APU and HD 7670 GPU.
To quote via IGN.com (linked above): The PlayStation 4, reportedly codenamed Orbis, may utilize custom chips based on AMD's A8-3850 APU and Radeon HD 7670 GPU, sources have told IGN, offering the combined performance of both integrated and discrete graphics processors.
According to the http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/apu/mainstream/Pages/mainstream.aspx#6, the A8-3850 packs a quad-core 2.9GHz processor with an integrated graphics chip. The APU will work in tandem with the system's dedicated GPU, the HD 7670, a DirectX 11-enabled card clocked to 1GHz with up to 1GB of dedicated VRAM.
The HD 7670 is a rebranded version of last year's HD 6670, sporting identical specs across the board. If you recall, the HD 6670 is the same card that we reported will be used in the Xbox 720. The implication, of course, is that the two systems will effectively go toe-to-toe as far as discrete graphics are concerned.
By current standards, the HD 6670 is an entry-level processor with a price of about $74.99. Benchmark tests place framerate performance for taxing titles games like Metro 2033 and Crysis 2 set to high settings at a resolution of 1920x1080 (1080p) with average framerates of just over 30 frames-per-second.
The chip also supports HDMI1.4a output, which is necessary for the system's rumored 4k output. Naturally, a comparably lightweight operating system and console-optimized games will likely improve performance, but the PS4's real edge could come from the secondary GPU provided by the APU.
Onboard the A8-3850 is an HD 6550D, which makes the APU capable of running games at baseline specs and lower resolutions without the help of a discrete GPU. When the APU is paired with the HD 7670, however, Sony will be able to utilize an asymmetrical CrossFire configuration to share the load of realtime graphics processing.
Our sources caution that while current plans for the device make use of the the chipsets mentioned, it is possible that changes could be made prior to the system's launch.
With publishers rumored to have already begun development for the system and the system slated for a 2013 release, additional details are sure to emerge over the next few months.
Update: For further clarification, the chips being used in the PlayStation 4 are based on the off-the-shelf parts detailed above and are being custom tooled for the console. Exact specs may vary.
CPU: 22nm Cell Broadband Engine X Processor @3.2 GHz with 16PPEs and 128 SPEs
GPU: 22nm Custom Nvidia/SCEI 'Quantum Leap' GPU @2GHz - based on a GK104 x2 Kepler Architecture
Memory: 10GB XDR2 + 10GB GDDR6
Storage Capacity: Included 250GB/320GB Model depending (Upgradable)
Operating System: Sony Aether GUI
Maximum Video Resolution: 2160p 2D and 1080p 3D
Maximum Audio: 11.1
Media Formats: PS4 Game Disc, PS3 Game Disc, PS2 Game Disc, PS1 Game Disc, HD Blu-Ray Disc, DVD, CD and Digital Distribution
Controller Input: DUALSHOCK 4, DUALSHOCK 3, PS Iris, PS Vita, PS Omni, PS Certified Xperia, Sony Tablet, PS Move, PS Eye, Sixaxis, Remote Controller, USB Controllers, Keyboard and Mouse
Connectivity: USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Ethernet, PS Vita Memory Cards, MMC/SD/SDHC/SDXC and XQD Memory Cards support
Updated alleged PS4 specifications:
AMD Fusion APU - Codenamed 'Liverpool'
AMD x86 Quad Core at 3.2 GHz
ATI r10xx (3rd generation) GFLOPS at 800 MHz and 1843 - Codename "Tahiti"
2 GB RAM
HDMI 1.4 - 1080p output
320 GB + HDD
16 GB Flash Memory
It's said that developers urge Sony to upgrade the RAM - 2GB seem quite a bit few.
Finally, from http://www.vgleaks.com/world-exclusive-ps4-in-deep-first-specs/ comes the alleged first full PS4 specs below, to quote:
In exclusive we have the detailed first specs (not final) for PS4, most likely first alpha kits sent to developers:
4 core (2 core pairs) 3.2 GHz AMD x86 (Steamroller)
aggregate, 10x PS3 PPU performance
512 KByte L2 per core pair
64 bit pointers
2 GByte UMA, pushing for 4 GByte
192 GByte/ sec non-coherent access for e.g. GPU
12 GByte/ sec coherent access for CPU
>50% longer memory latency for CPU/ GPU compared to PC!!!
DXT is lowest bpp texture compression format
50 GByte BD drive
PCAV, between 3.3 and 8x BD, most likely clamped to 6x
automatic background caching to HDD
HDD SKU with at least 380 GByte
video encoder/ decoder
audio processing unit, ~200 concurrent MP3 streams
HW zlib decompressor
Our source claims that the final specs should be 10x powerful than PS3, due to this info has got 10 months. Here is also some spec information on the upcoming XBox system (XBox Quort) alias XBox 720: