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PS3 TOOL DECR-1000A System Controller & Flash Chips Detailed

500°
252w ago - As we have been bringing you the first looks at the PS3 TOOL and its internals, we plan to detail every last part of the PS3 TOOL - starting with the big chip differences.

Today we are focusing on four important chips, specifically the PS3 System Controller, Flash, Flash Controller and IO controller.

Let's start with the System Controller. In the picture (below), it is top center. The System controller, CXR713F120A, is slightly different in part number from that of its retail equivalent (CXR713120).

It is interesting to note that we have also documented this chip in Prototype PS3 systems - meaning that the chip is most likely for old stock, reserved for development systems. Later on, in PS3 TEST's the chip model was changed back to that of its retail equivalent.

The system controller is equivalent to the medulla oblongata of your brain. It controls the systems basic functions - like power. It's the thing that makes your PS3 beep when you power it on. It also has some other interesting features, many of which we are still working on documenting.

To the left of the System Controller are some pads and buttons - the button resets the system, while the pads are for signals...
 

Patent Shows PS3 to PS2 Backwards Compatibility - No PS2 Chips!

750°
273w ago - PlayStation 2's use the emotion engine as a processor, which was removed from PS3s to save money.

This killed off PS2 backwards compatibility, but Sony has a new software solution.

A patent filed by Sony has a method for the cell processor to emulate the emotion engine which can bring PS2 backwards compatibility to all PS3s.

To quote: There are two main ways to emulate hardware. Interpretation is when target code is decoded and converted into a language the host can understand. The other strategy is to decode and recompile programs in the host's language.

Maybe the concept is better explained another way. Interpretation is like having someone constantly translating English to Japanese for you, non stop, twenty four hours a day wherever you go. Decoding and recompiling is like someone translating a sets of words and putting them in a dictionary you can reference.

Sony developed a way to translate instructions from an Emotion Engine chip into chunks that can be referenced.

Figure 2 from the patent is a schematic drawing of how the system works. Figure 3A is a drawing of the PlayStation 2's chipset. Figure 3B is the emotion engine. Figure 4 is where the whole story gets interesting! It's "an example of a host system based on a cell processor that...
 

Intel's Next Two Atom Chips Aim for Smartphones

50°
279w ago - Will Intel's Atom chip make it into smartphones? That's an interesting question.

And it's one the company seemed intent on addressing at its investor conference earlier this week- and in particular, at a session focused on the next generation of Atom chips given by Anand Chandrasekher, head of the company's Ultra Mobility Group.

The next chip is called Moorestown, and it's due out early next year. While this chip is likely to be used mainly in products such as netbooks, Chandrasekher said it would also allow for a broader use in "mobile internet devices." That chip will be followed in 2011 by Medfield, which is the version really aimed at smartphones.

The smartphone market has been asking for a number of features that Intel chips haven't been able to provide, Chandrasekher acknowledged, such as lower total power, lower power when used, all-day battery life, performance, and broadband connectivity. Intel is taking a number of generations to get there.

The existing Atom chip (known as Menlow) takes the power the chip uses when it is active 10 times lower than the power of previous Intel chips, primarily designed for notebooks. The Moorestown version focused instead on bringing down the power the chip uses when it is idle (which is most of the time). He said Moorestown...
 

Canadian Game Industry Seeks to Jail Pirates, Targets Mod-chips

400°
283w ago - The [Register or Login to view links] is calling for tougher copyright laws in the country, including jail time for pirates and the criminalization of mod-chips.

To quote: A bill modeled after the [Register or Login to view links] in the U.S. was introduced in Canada last year but died before it could be passed when the government called an election.

Grassroots resistance to the bill was strong, with critics claiming it was overly restrictive and would leave individual citizens exposed to huge fines. Nonetheless, Parr called for similar legislation to be introduced "as soon as possible."

Among the changes called for by the ESAC is the right for the [Register or Login to view links] - what used to be called Customs - to seize goods they know to be pirated, something they cannot currently do without a court order, as well as stronger penalties, including jail time, for intellectual property crime and the outlawing of mod chips. "In Canada,...
 

All the Details on Intel's 32nm Westmere Chips

50°
293w ago - Intel has dropped more details of its upcoming 32nm processor line up, codenamed Westmere and featuring on-die graphics circuitry.

Rather than a wholesale architecture change, the move to 32nm is a die-shrink of the existing 45nm Nehalem architecture. Intel will start manufacturing the new chips at the end of the year, for mass release in early 2010.

"It's Nehalem upgraded. Nehalem - the largest design change - is the tock. Westmere is the tick we're announcing today," said Steve Smith, Director of Operations for Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, referring to Intel's tick-tock processing architecture strategy.

The first 32nm desktop chips will feature two cores with integrated graphics on the die. Clarkdale for the desktop and Arrandale for the thin and light market.

The 32nm Westmere processor core has been combined with a 45nm integrated integrated graphics and integrated memory controller. "Intel has had for the last decade or so, integrated graphics in our chipsets. So we're taking that, currently shipping in our 4 series chipset, and integrating that," added Smith.

Before that, though, there will be some more 45nm chips. "We have a variety of products that we expect to be shipping in the second half of 2009," said Smith. These long-awaited 45nm quad-core...
 
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