AMD will sell a stripped-down version of Sony's PlayStation 4 APU

By on February 28, 2013, 12:30 PM

At this point we know that Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 game console will be powered by an AMD APU that consists of eight Jaguar CPU cores as well as integrated Radeon graphics with a shared GDDR5 memory set. AMD’s head of global business units John Taylor recently shard some more information with the Inquirer about the APU, noting that a modified version will be made available for consumers to purchase later this year.

He said that everything Sony has shared about the processor thus far is AMD’s intellectual property. It is by far the most powerful APU they have built to date, he said. They haven’t done anything similar for anyone else in the market as it contains IP that we will see in A-series APUs later this year.

It’s all part of AMD’s flexible system on chip strategy, which allows them to take a consumer APU and fine-tune it for a customer. If nothing else, the new A-series APUs will highlight just how much work Sony has put into the PS4 chip.

The PS4-like APU that will be available later this year obviously won’t include Sony’s technology nor will it have the same number of cores or the sheer number of teraflop performance. The fact that Sony selected an x86 APU as the platform for their console has no doubt left some people believing that it’s little more than a modified mid-range PC shoved inside a game console shell.




User Comments: 18

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1 person liked this | Littleczr Littleczr said:

The ps4 will be great for Casual user who don't want to fiddle with a gaming PC. Makes me think that the games will improve and pc gamers like me won't get watered down console game versions.

1 person liked this | j0hnrea j0hnrea said:

...the games will improve and pc gamers like me won't get watered down console game versions.

Computers won the console (and phone) wars. The success of the XBox proved that. Looking at the Top500 supercomputers, graphics cards defeated PowerPC (XBox 360, PS3) in performance.

I inferred from AMD's announcement 3 things:

1) If you want to hack on a PS4-type hardware for functional reasons, you have a legal outlet.

2) If your facebook machine or phone can't handle interesting games or the malware on it, you should get a PS4.

3) With DDR4 releasing soon, and the XBox 720 announcement rumored to use DDR3, consoles from Sony and MS may start doing iterative releases, like iPads and iPhones currently do. Being able to sell inventory across channels means Sony and MS get upgrades first, with general availability later.

ArthurZ ArthurZ said:

Is that AMD's visions as the road to recovery? Bad idea. Who is going to buy from AMD? Are they going to transition to being a gaming empire? They will sink with Sony together as a torpedoed convoy

AMD simply has no expertise in retailing or online business and gaming.

Ma_ga said:

Isn't the other way around? sony is using an "powered-up" APU and now AMD is going to sell the "normal" one to the public

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I'm looking forward to seeing how that apu performs when it's released.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

The ps4 will be great for Casual user who don't want to fiddle with a gaming PC. Makes me think that the games will improve and pc gamers like me won't get watered down console game versions.

Somewhat of a false economy unfortunately. When PS4 launches, undoubtedly PC gaming gets a lift due to a more substantial and closer-to-PC orientated nature of the console- but consoles generally have long life spans, so while PC gaming will continue to evolve via API (DX11.1, 12, DirectCompute etc), and more pervasive use of more competent instruction sets, it won't take long for the PS4 to stagnate relative to the PC. If the Unreal4 demo (PS4 v. PC) is anything to go by, even the bright, shiny and unreleased PS4 might already be making compromises from Day zero.

Guest said:

Amd gaming graphics is in all 3 new consoles, wii u, xbox 720 and ps4

psycros psycros said:

The ps4 will be great for Casual user who don't want to fiddle with a gaming PC. Makes me think that the games will improve and pc gamers like me won't get watered down console game versions.

Somewhat of a false economy unfortunately. When PS4 launches, undoubtedly PC gaming gets a lift due to a more substantial and closer-to-PC orientated nature of the console- but consoles generally have long life spans, so while PC gaming will continue to evolve via API (DX11.1, 12, DirectCompute etc), and more pervasive use of more competent instruction sets, it won't take long for the PS4 to stagnate relative to the PC. If the Unreal4 demo (PS4 v. PC) is anything to go by, even the bright, shiny and unreleased PS4 might already be making compromises from Day zero.

And all this means is that the inevitable PS4 emulators will just get better over time I would never buy a console, but I might buy console-exclusive *games* if I could play them on my PC, with full mouse/kb support.

Zeromus said:

The ps4 will be great for Casual user who don't want to fiddle with a gaming PC. Makes me think that the games will improve and pc gamers like me won't get watered down console game versions.

Somewhat of a false economy unfortunately. When PS4 launches, undoubtedly PC gaming gets a lift due to a more substantial and closer-to-PC orientated nature of the console- but consoles generally have long life spans, so while PC gaming will continue to evolve via API (DX11.1, 12, DirectCompute etc), and more pervasive use of more competent instruction sets, it won't take long for the PS4 to stagnate relative to the PC. If the Unreal4 demo (PS4 v. PC) is anything to go by, even the bright, shiny and unreleased PS4 might already be making compromises from Day zero.

And all this means is that the inevitable PS4 emulators will just get better over time I would never buy a console, but I might buy console-exclusive *games* if I could play them on my PC, with full mouse/kb support.

Especially how far developed x86 virtualization has come. VMX instructions provide additional paging, and additional binary-translation guest-host context transition, it's not far from possible at all.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

@psycros, Zeromus

Not sure why you're quoting my post, nor the post I replied to. They have little bearing upon what you are expounding.

The report concerns a "stripped down" PS4 APU (and not the games themselves). Common sense should dictate that the "stripped down" means removal of the Sony IP (since it isn't ATX spec), and the GDDR5 shared memory (since there is no JEDEC spec for that)- so stripped down likely means a standard DDR3 controller and chips. What you're likely to end up with is a pretty standard APU with DDR3 soldered onto the board.

Especially how far developed x86 virtualization has come. VMX instructions provide additional paging, and additional binary-translation guest-host context transition, it's not far from possible at all.
Within the context of an AMD APU shouldn't that be SVM ? VMX is Intel (VT-x)

Zeromus said:

@psycros, Zeromus

Not sure why you're quoting my post, nor the post I replied to. They have little bearing upon what you are expounding.

The report concerns a "stripped down" PS4 APU (and not the games themselves). Common sense should dictate that the "stripped down" means removal of the Sony IP (since it isn't ATX spec), and the GDDR5 shared memory (since there is no JEDEC spec for that)- so stripped down likely means a standard DDR3 controller and chips. What you're likely to end up with is a pretty standard APU with DDR3 soldered onto the board.

Within the context of an AMD APU shouldn't that be SVM ? VMX is Intel (VT-x)

Not necessarily, would you use an AMD CPU or Intel CPU to emulate a AMD CPU? lol

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Not necessarily, would you use an AMD CPU or Intel CPU to emulate a AMD CPU? lol

Isn't the story about AMD APU ? I could have sworn the topic was the AMD chips powering the PS4, and de-powered AMD APU SoC for the PC market...at least that's what I was posting about...I didn't realize that meant using Intel emulation to play console games

AMD-V equals SVM (Secure Virtual Machine) : AMD developed its first generation virtualization extensions under the code name "Pacifica", and initially published them as AMD Secure Virtual Machine (SVM),but later marketed them under the trademark AMD Virtualization, abbreviated AMD-V.

Intel VT-x equals VMX

Zeromus said:

Isn't the story about AMD APU ? I could have sworn the topic was the AMD chips powering the PS4, and de-powered AMD APU SoC for the PC market...at least that's what I was posting about...I didn't realize that meant using Intel emulation to play console games

AMD-V equals SVM (Secure Virtual Machine) : AMD developed its first generation virtualization extensions under the code name "Pacifica", and initially published them as AMD Secure Virtual Machine (SVM),but later marketed them under the trademark AMD Virtualization, abbreviated AMD-V.

Intel VT-x equals VMX

Yeah I know, I'm quite familiar with AMD's implementation (Their first implementation for hardware-assisted-virtualization didn't even include paging support for long mode, otherwise known now as EPT [which Intel had in their first implementation]). What I was coming from is emulating PS4 games on a PC, and emulating them very well (choosing intel as the host processor). Thanks for the extra facts I already know, I'll be sure use them next you pull out your all-so-famous sarcasm card.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

What I was coming from is emulating PS4 games on a PC, and emulating them very well.

No problem. Just interested in finding out why my post was quoted when you and psycros seemed to having a conversation that had virtually nothing to do with what I wrote. Normally, if I get an alert that my post is quoted I'll check it out to see what area of it is being discussed....imagine my despondency once I realized that my quoted post served absolutely no purpose other than as some interlude before some chit-chat about playing console games on PC

raypozas said:

AMD APU's with a 7850 GPU equivalent would be a game changer for the low end PC market. Only little over 4% of worldwide users game over 1080P resolutions it seems according to the Steam Hardware & Software Survey of January 2013.

Guest said:

I wonder how xbox or nintendo will fight against PS4, will they use nvidia titan's GPU for their next console? :p

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

I would imagine changing the 256-bit GDDR5 interface into 128-bit GDDR5, with motherboard makers being asked to integrate four GDDR5 chips with price adjustments on the chipset side; and 128-bit common DDR3 interface for system memory. It's not like AMD hasn't toyed with the concept of two independent IMCs on a CPU before (K10).

PC nerd PC nerd said:

Do you reckon similarity between the new consoles and PC's will produce some ports that aren't unplayable piles of shite, like current console ports.

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