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on the rumored PS4 AMD Jaguar CPU 1.8Ghz and two disabled GPU compute units alongside the PlayStation 4 motherboard components explained.
To quote: PlayStation 4 - AMD Jaguar CPU 1.8GHZ - PS4 Rumor and Two Disabled Compute Units
The PlayStation 4's AMD Jaguar CPU clock speed has yet to be officially confirmed by Sony, but there is recent evidence and rumors to suggest that the CPU is running at 1.8GHZ. Previously, based on comments from various developers and speculation we'd guessed the PS4′s CPU was running at 1.6GHZ. Remember that the AMD Jaguar is designed to run up to 2GHZ, so the 1.8GHZ is right in the Jaguar's range.
Microsoft had up clocked the Xbox One's CPU to 1.75GHZ, and so we assumed the X1 had the CPU advantage - but if these recent rumors prove to be correct, the PS4 will have the X1 beat. Lower clock frequencies require less power and output less heat, and due to the APU of the PS4 already being fairly large, we weren't sure if Sony had the ability to raise the clocks.
Interestingly, Microsoft had previously stated in an interview they'd actually gotten far greater performance from increasing the clock speeds of the CPU (from 1.6GHZ to 1.75GHZ) of the Xbox One than when they'd increased the clock speed of the GPU. Indeed, they'd claimed to be CPU bound in many tasks. The PlayStation 4 is known to be reliant on shifting the processing onto the GPU (GPU compute).
There's also evidence to point out that there are two disabled CU (Compute Units) inside the PlayStation 4′s GPU. This is done for the purposes of yields - in other words, assume one of them fails, then you've still got 19 (with 18 enabled). If you'd only created 18 to begin with, and 1 failed during manufacturing then you'd only have 17 and it wouldn't be usable inside the PS4. To clarify these additional units cannot be enabled. That's basically 128 stream processors (64 per compute units). Or, about 204GFLOPS of computing power that's not usable (just for fun).
Once again, these rumors have not been confirmed and the below slide is showing as estimated.
PS4 Hardware - What's Inside The PS4
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CPU - AMD Jaguar X86-64 8 Core processor
The PS4′s main CPU is AMD's Jaguar Processor, each of the two modules holds four CPU cores, capable of one hardware thread each. The exact clock speed of the AMD Jaguar for the PS4 hasn't been learned yet, but there are reports that it runs between 1.6 and 1.8GHZ. The Jaguar is a low power CPU, built to draw low power and provide high levels of performance in the device. Unlike Sony's PlayStation 3, it is an X86-64 CPU - meaning that it is a CISC instruction set (Complex Instruction Set Computer).
This means that the device is easier to program, and more functions are available (such as memory operations) as instructions directly on the processor, rather than needing to code them specifically. The PS4′s CPU is also Out-of-Order execution, and due to advanced branch predictions, will waste much less time waiting for instructions when they 'surprise' the CPU - unlike the PS3′s Cell. The Jaguar also has 2MB of level 2 cache per module (4MB total), this is shared between the 4 cores.
The PlayStation 4′s jaguar is not as powerful as a traditional desktop but still packs a good punch. It's worth noting that 6 of the cores are believed to be available for games, while another 2 are reserved for the operating system. This has been shown in for example the Killzone Post-Mortem. The idea behind the next generation is to "go wide" - in other words, to split the jobs onto all of the cores available. For more details see the below image, and check out the Killzone Post-Mortem linked earlier.
GPU - AMD Radeon GCN
The PlayStation 4 actually features 20 Compute Units using the GCN (Graphic Core Next) architecture, but there are two disabled due to yields. Each CU (Compute Unit) contains 64 shaders each - this means that you're looking at 1152 total. The maths for this are simple enough - 64 * 18 = 1152. They are 'clocked' at 800MHZ, which puts out 1.84TFLOPS of peak performance. Each shader handles 2 instructions per clock (which is the same for all GPU's using GCN - including the XBox One and desktop GPU's).
In addition, there are 32 ROPS in the machine, which are responsible for final rendering of the scene and applying certain effects such as Anti-Aliasing. The system features a complex GPGPU (General Purpose compute on Graphics Processing Unit) setup, with a total of 64 compute queues. For a detailed overview of the Compute structure and how similar it is to AMD's next generation Volcanic Island R9-290 series cards, click here. The basic premise is to make it easy for the PS4 to queue a compute command, and then when there are free GPU cycles available (during a time in rendering where there is less stress on the GPU), it can run that compute command.
This can be used for anything from AI, Physics and many other purposes. The PS4′s GPU also has a technology known as volatile bit. This technology allows a piece of code to be tagged with a bit of data, and then deleted or changed on the fly. This is a vast area of improvement from the traditional workings of GPU's. It's also worthy to note that AMD took many of the ideas of the PS4 - such as the beefed up compute structure and implemented it into their next gen video cards.
As for performance, the PS4′s GPU certainly isn't as powerful as a high end PC desktop (many of which are capable of over 5TFLOPS - such as AMD's own Radeon R9-290X), but is still very powerful. The GPU's shader libraries are also very similar to AMD's new upcoming API technology - Mantle. Mantle is a low level language which is capable of much better access to the GPU. In theory, this will allow much better PC ports and better cross compatibility - although it will need PC games developers to really adopt the mantle technology. Mantle certainly has advantages over DX11 for example, such as being able to process over 100,000 draw calls in a single frame.
The PlayStation 4′s APU is comprised of the AMD Jaguar CPU and the GPU as described above. These are placed on the same package in an effort to reduce size and use APU computing (wiki link). The PS4 uses a custom chip, which Sony created alongside AMD. It is known as CXD90026G SoC (System on Chip) and measures 19.0 x 18.3 mm (348 sq mm) in size.
Memory - 8GB GDDR5 176GB/s bandwidth
The PS4′s main memory is using Samsung's K4G41325FC - providing a refresh rate of 16K/32ms per 4GB. The RAM is clocked at 5500MHZ (effective, actual is 1375MHZ) on a 256-bit memory bus. This provides 176GB/s memory bandwidth (peak - games developers have said the PS4′s actual bandwidth is around 172GB/s). The memory is split into 16 chips, each 512MB. The memory isn't that much higher latency compared to DDR3, which is a myth that continues to float about the internet. GDDR5 memory is typically used in PC's for their graphics card, and is lightning fast.
Modern PC GPU's feature higher bandwidth, but this isn't shared for the GPU. The PS4′s Memory bandwidth is shared on the GPU / CPU using a system known as HUMA. This allows data to be read by the CPU and GPU and not needed to be copied from one memory location to another.
Think of HUMA memory as one large container which both the CPU and GPU have full access. The basic premise is that rather than needing to copy from one memory location to the other, with HUMA the PS4 has full access to everything. For example, if the CPU needs to access a piece of data in location A it can do so, and then not need to copy that piece of data to location B for the GPU to then process, then the GPU move the data back to A for the CPU to process.
This is very different from the Xbox 360 - which despite have Unified Memory Access, the memory was divided. So for example, if a games developer wanted to allocate 200 MB of memory for graphics, the remainder for system they could. But, with HUMA this taken to the next step.
Not all of the PS4′s memory is available for games - and uses a technology known as flexible memory. See the below video for more info.
PlayStation 4 Sound Chip
The sound chip inside the PlayStation 4 is based on the same custom DSP design found in the next generation radeon cards. Its main purpose is to offload work from the CPU and to allow high quality surround sound, along with effects which take a lot of CPU cycles such as reverb, echo and real time positional sound. AMD's TrueAudio API is very similar to that of the PlayStation 4, which no doubt is a benefit to not only Sony but to AMD too. AMD have been trying to push the audio from their Radeon GPU's, and with this technology inside the PS4 it'll likely entice games developers to start exploring it.
The PlayStation 4′s secondary processor isn't fully understood yet. We know that it will help with various network tasks, although there are theories that this second chip will also help to background download and encode footage. The secondary chip also comes with 2Gb (256MB) of DDR3 memory, which runs at 2133MHZ.
Serial Flash Memory
The PS4 uses Macronix MX25L25635FMI 256Mb Serial Flash Memory, although currently just like the secondary processor we don't know exactly what its uses are. There are theories that it is being used to capture gameplay with the share button, for example video clips or to capture screen shots but this is currently not confirmed. There are an additional two Macronix MX25L1006E CMOS Serial Flash Memory on the system too.
The PS4′s Ethernet Controller is similar to the PS3′s and uses the Marvell Alaska 88EC060-NN82 chipset.
As you'd expect, the PS3 does indeed feature the latest USB standard - USB 3, the PS4′s chip is a Genesys Logic GL3520 USB 3.0 Hub Controller. USB 3′s transfer rate is 10GB/s.
PS4′s Hard Disk
The PlayStation 4′s 500GB hard drive (with reports of about 400GB being usable) is a 2.5 inch, 5400 RPM, 500 GB, SATA II from HGST. You can of course replace the PS4′s hard drive with one of your choosing, including a Sata 3 drive (which is a backwardly compatible standard). You may also put in a Solid State Drive (SSD), Hybrid Drive or a traditional HDD.
Optical Drive - Blu-ray
The PlayStation 4, just like its predecessor the PS3 uses a Blu-Ray drive for optical media. We're not quite at the fully digital age yet. Sony have opted for a much faster drive this time around, 3x faster the PS3′s. It is capable of reading 400GB discs (that's 16 layers).
Custom Clock Chip
IDT 6V41265NLG is a name you might not be familar with, but we believe it is what is responsible for 'talking' with the main APU and the PS4′s secondary processor.
Inside the PlayStation 4: Motherboard Components Explained
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It's been a few days since the PlayStation 4 was launched in North America and we are sure that technology bluffs are dying to see what's inside. You may find several PlayStation 4 tear-off articles around the Internet but our piece will go even deeper into the PlayStation 4′s architecture, outlying the various components and their respective specifications. So if you're interested in knowing what lies under the hood of the PS4, then this article might well be for you.
The PlayStation 4 features an 8 core x86-based CPU and 8GB of GDDR5 RAM. The latter has been unanimously praised by developers ever since the PlayStation 4 was revealed back in February this year. This 8GB is split into 16 DRAM modules of 512MB RAM each, 8 surrounding the CPU and the remaining 8 below it.
Sony are using Samsung's K4G41325FC model for RAM which boasts a refresh rate of 16K/32ms per 4GB. Described by Samsung as a fixed and permanently placed memory, K4G41325FC model is known to improve performance of the GPU. The latency in GDDR5 is not particularly high when compared to DDR3. This is because GPUs are designed to be somewhat latency independent so GDDR5′s latency should not be a big deal.
The PlayStation 3 was somewhat handicapped in running two applications at once. With the PlayStation 4, that's all set to change. It features Samsung's K4B2G1646E-BCK0 which is a 2Gb [not Giga Bytes, it is Giga Bits] DDR3 SDRAM secondary chip. This model features transfer rates of up to 2133Mb/sec/pin and is arranged as 16Mbit x 16 I/Os x 8 banks device. This roughly translates into 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM which is simply amazing since the PS3 had the same amount dedicated for video and its OS.
Serial Flash Memory:
The PlayStation 4 features a Macronix MX25L25635FMI 256Mb Serial Flash Memory. We are not entirely sure of the purpose for this memory, but we believe that this will be used to cache the 15 minute clips recorded and on the fly screenshots captured using the Share button. The PS4 also has two Macronix MX25L1006E CMOS Serial Flash Memory, one on the back of the motherboard and the other near the USB. It is a 1,048,576 bit serial Flash memory arranged as 131,072 x 8 internally.
CPU and GPU:
The PlayStation 4 features a custom built AMD solution for its unified GPU and CPU. Titled as CXD90026G SoC, the die measures 19.0 x 18.3 mm (348 sq mm) which is comparatively bigger than the PlayStation 3. It consists of 20 compute units, two of which are redundant to increase yield, and 1152 shader processors which should place it comparatively between AMD Radeon HD 7850 and 7870. The custom chip uses Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's 28-nm high-k transistors.
The PlayStation 4 uses the Marvell Alaska 88EC060-NN82 model, which is similar to the one found on the PlayStation 3.
The PlayStation 4 uses Genesys Logic GL3520 USB 3.0 Hub Controller which has an on-chip 8-bit micro-processor.
HDMI Communications LSI:
Panasonic MN86471A HDMI Communication LSI which has inbuilt copyright protection with HDCP encoding. This is something that Sony plans to patch later on so gamers will be able to capture in game video footage. Furthermore it features HDCP accelerator and supports uncompressed HD and SD video signals.
Integrated Wifi and Bluetooth:
Marvell's Wireless Avastar 88W8797 does the job here. The console also uses Skyworks' 2614B 315BB, a company that specializes in mobile communication.
The PS4 utilizes a 2.5 inch, 5400 RPM, 500 GB, SATA II from HGST. Some reports indicate that actual usable space is roughly 408 GB though. Users can hence upgrade the HDD to a higher capacity if they wish.
The PS4 will continue to use Blu-ray discs as its primary media. It is capable of reading discs three times faster than the PlayStation 3 and just like its predecessor will be able to playback 16-layer 400 GB discs. Furthermore it consists of four integrated circuits which seem to be control chips of some sorts:
It consists of three fuses:
And the following connectors:
- Renesas SCEI RJ832841FP1
- Microchip Technology 312 3536A B
- D7763EFV 325 T62
- STM8ED 9H A07 VG MYS 331Z
This will maintain the low power state activities of the PlayStation 4. We are assuming that the suspend/resume functionality will be handled by the SCEI CXD90025G processor. It is an application-specific integrated circuit that is intended to do specified intended processes rather than general ones. This chip is custom built by Marvell Technology.
Power Management Technology:
The consoles uses International Rectifier 35858 N326P IC2X. International Rectifier specializes in high performance and at the same time reducing power consumption.
Developed by Delta Electronics Inc, the console uses the KSB0912HE-CK2M model which consumes DC 12V and 1.40A.
The PlayStation uses a power supply which has an AC input of 100-240V~ 2.5A 50/60Hz. However the DC output varies as:
Custom Clock Synthesizer:
- +12V 17A (18.6A with 12V only loaded)
- +4.7V 18.6A
The PlayStation 4 uses IDT 6V41265NLG, a custom clock synthesizer that maintains the communication between the APU and secondary chip.
Thermistors are temperature measurement devices and hence are also used for protection. The PlayStation 4 uses nine thermistors on the front and one on the back for protection.