121w ago - Today Sony PlayStation 3 hacker durandal has released OedipusRSX PS3 RSX Reality Synthesizer documentation for other developers to improve graphics utilized in PS3 homebrew applications and games.
Below is some background on the PS3 RSX 'Reality Synthesizer' via Wikipedia, as follows:
The RSX 'Reality Synthesizer' is a proprietary graphics processing unit (GPU) codeveloped by Nvidia and Sony for the PlayStation 3 game console.
Unless otherwise noted, the following specifications are based on a press release by Sony at the E3 2005 conference, slides from the same conference, and slides from a Sony presentation at the 2006 Game Developer's Conference.
500 MHz on 90 nm process (shrunk to 65 nm in 2008 and to 40 nm in 2010)
Based on NV47 Chip (Nvidia GeForce 7800 Architecture)
To quote: BTW Mathieulh I know you gave durandal (Durandal Dokuchayev) that CEX-DEX ZIP, that it wasn't you that bundled that up, and you were not supposed to do so either
[Mathieulh] (email@example.com): mathieu
[Mathieulh] otheros #opers pspdev
[Mathieulh] *.gitbrew.org :Gitbrew
[Mathieulh] is a Deus on Gitbrew
[Mathieulh] is logged in as Mathieulh
[Mathieulh] is using a secure connection
[Mathieulh] idle 00:02:07, signon: Tue Aug 30 13:52:59
[Mathieulh] End of WHOIS list.
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Please pardon my ignorance here, but would this allow allow for improvements to the existing emulators & possibly new ones incl N64, PS1/PS2, Dreamcast, Sega Saturn etc and perhaps more sophisticated & graphically complex homebrew..?
Would it also enable HW acceleration of HD video playback..?
There are also some more info's about the GPU, which I like to post to this article.
The RSX is a graphical processor unit (GPU) based off of the nVidia 7800GTX graphics processor, and is a G70/G71 hybrid with some modifications. The RSX has separate vertex and pixel shader pipelines.
The following is a small sample of serial numbers of the RSX by model number.
The following are relevant facts about the RSX
8 vertex shaders at 500Mhz
28 pixel shaders (4 redundant, 24 active) at 550Mhz
28 texture units (4 redundant, 24 active)
8 Raster Operations Pipeline units (ROPs)
Includes 256MB GDDR3 650Mhz clocked graphics memory
Earlier PS3 Models: Samsung K4J52324QC-SC14 rated at 700Mhz
Later PS3 Models: Qimonda HYB18H512322AF-14
GDDR3 Memory interface bus width: 128bit
Rambus XDR Memory interface bus width: 56bit out of 64bit (serial)
More features are revealed in the following chart delineating the differences between the RSX and the nVidia 7800 GTX.
Other RSX features/differences include:
More shader instructions
[LIST] Extra texture lookup logic (helps RSX transport data from XDR)
Fast vector normalize
Note that the cache (Post Transform and Lighting Vertext Cache) is located between the vector shader and the triangle setup.
A sample flow of data inside the RSX would see them first processed by 8 vertex shaders. The output are then sent to the 24 active pixel shaders, which can involve the 24 active texture units. Finally, the data is passed to the 8 Raster Operation Pipeline units (ROPs), and on out to the GDDR3. Note that the pixel shaders are grouped into groups of four (called Quads). There are 7 Quads, with 1 redundant, leaving 6 Quads active, which provides us with the 24 active pixel shaders listed above (6 times 4 equals 24). Since each Quad has 96kB of L1 and L2 cache, the total RSX texture cache is 576kB. General RSX features include 2x and 4x hardware anti-aliasing, and support for Shader Model 3.0.
Although the RSX has 256MB of GDDR3 RAM, not all of it is useable. The last 4MB is reserved for keeping track of the RSX internal state and issued commands. The 4MB of GPU Data contains RAMIN, RAMHT, RAMFC, DMA Objects, Graphic Objects, and the Graphic Context. The following is a breakdown of the address within 256MB of the RSX.
The RSX is dedicated to 3D graphics, and developers are able to use different API libraries to access its features. The easiest way is to use high level PSGL, which is basicially OpenGL|ES with programmable pipeline added in. At a lower level developers can use LibGCM, which is an API that talks to the RSX at a lower level. PSGL is actually implemented on top of LibGCM. For the advanced programmer, you can program the RSX by sending commands to it directly using C or assembly. This can be done by setting up commands (via FIFO Context) and DMA Objects and issuing them to the RSX via DMA calls.
Upgrading the PS3 is theoretically possible of course but it really wouldn't be viable at all. Not only would be it overcomplicated and cost too much to make sense but it just wouldn't be worth doing considering realistically the old hardware would only be a tiny fraction of the processing power necessary.
That's also ignoring the fact that the old hardware isn't going to last that long. It'd be dandy if all of the PS3s lasted 20 years but the fact is a lot of them broke down after 2, which is partially because the average Joe doesn't know that it is essentially a computer that needs maintenance... the dust needs to be cleaned out, the original thermal compound needs to be replaced, you can't throw it in a volcano and still expect it to work, etc. That aside it's upsetting and actually disturbing to see how much Sony stinged out on quality.
They practically used mud for thermal paste, the heatsink's finish actually greatly interferes with contact (oddly enough) and the heatsink itself might as well have been replaced with a rock... it's made of extremely low quality material. I'm not sure about modern PS3s but the fat ones I've seen the inside of didn't even use solid state capacitors, they used the "1 cent for 20 billion" electrolytic capacitors made in Taiwan which are notorious for having massive amounts of batches in the 2000s which literally blew up after a few months of use. I personally experienced that with several motherboards.
What I've always hoped for is that the next generation of consoles would stop using alien mumbo jumbo and switch to a standard x86-64 architecture for the purpose of interfacing with a standard PC to use that as an "upgrade". That way those who don't care about graphics can have their 720p at 30 frames and be happy about it and those of us who do care can use the PCs we likely already have.