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    DF: Orbis unmasked: what to expect from the next-gen PlayStation

    Both the next generation PlayStation - and its Xbox competitor - feature eight-core CPUs clocked at 1.6GHz according to sources trusted by Digital Foundry. The main processor architecture driving both consoles is said to be derived the new "Jaguar" technology currently in development by Intel's arch-rival, AMD. These are low-power processor cores designed for the entry-level laptop and tablet market, offering an excellent ratio between power consumption and performance. The PC Jaguar products are set to ship later this year in a quad-core configuration - next-gen consoles see the core count double with some customisations added to the overall design.

    Married to the eight-core processor, Orbis also features Radeon HD graphics hardware. We've previously suggested that AMD's mobile "Pitcairn" design - the Radeon 7970M - could be a strong basis for a next-gen console graphics core in terms of power consumption and die-size. Running at 850MHz and featuring 20 of AMD's "Graphics Core Next" compute units, our information suggests that Orbis shaves off 10 per cent of that number, offering up 18 CUs in total, and sees a mild downclock to 800MHz. Incorporated into a design dedicated to cutting-edge visuals and gameplay, this hardware has some serious potential.

    It is perhaps more than coincidence that these specs offer up the 1.84 teraflops metric for the Orbis GPU that was mooted yesterday, assuming that the figure is calculated in the same way that it is for AMD's current "Graphics Core Next" range of products. At this time we cannot confirm the make-up of the Durango graphics hardware - rumours have circulated for quite some time that it is some way behind Orbis, but equally there has been the suggestion that the GPU itself is supplemented by additional task-specific hardware. We could not confirm this, but an ex-Microsoft staffer with a prior relationship with the Xbox team says that two of these modules are graphics-related.

    PlayStation Orbis: Spec highlights
    Distilled down to the fundamentals, these are the details we can share about the technological make-up of the next generation PlayStation.
    CPU: Eight-core AMD processor running at 1.6GHz
    Graphics core: Radeon HD hardware, 18 compute units at 800MHz
    Additional hardware: GPU-like Compute module, some resources reserved by the OS
    System-on-chip codename: Liverpool
    Memory: 4GB GDDR5, 512MB reserved by the OS

    However, there's a fair amount of "secret sauce" in Orbis and we can disclose details on one of the more interesting additions. Paired up with the eight AMD cores, we find a bespoke GPU-like "Compute" module, designed to ease the burden on certain operations - physics calculations are a good example of traditional CPU work that are often hived off to GPU cores. We're assured that this is bespoke hardware that is not a part of the main graphics pipeline but we remain rather mystified by its standalone inclusion, bearing in mind Compute functions could be run off the main graphics cores and that devs could have the option to utilise that power for additional graphical grunt, if they so chose.

    The news that so much processing power is packed onto a single processor is highly significant to the point where credibility could be stretched somewhat. However, helping to explain matters is the make-up of AMD's Jaguar tech - each core occupies just 3.1mm2 of die-space at the 28nm fabrication standard. Factor in L2 cache, and the overall CPU component could be as little as 75-80mm2 in total. That's in contrast to the 235mm2 of the launch PS3's Cell processor and the 240mm2 of the Emotion Engine chip inside the original PlayStation 2 - neither of which factored in the separate graphics hardware, which in both cases was even larger. By our reckoning, the more efficient eight-core set-up still leaves plenty of space for integrating the main GPU onto the same die, with space to spare. This offers up significant production cost savings and brings down overall power consumption.

    Bearing in mind that the 7970M draws just 75W and that Orbis cuts out a couple of compute units in combination with a drop of around six per cent reduction in clock speed, we can easily envisage the unit drawing no more than 150W from the mains overall once we factor in RAM, CPU and storage power draw. This compares favourably to consumption that sailed perilously close to 200W on the original versions of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and should reduce the dangers of another RROD/YLOD debacle.

    We also have hard data on Orbis's memory set-up. It features 4GB of GDDR5 - the ultra-fast RAM that typically ships with the latest PC graphics cards - with 512MB reserved for the operating system. This is in stark contrast to the much slower DDR3 that Durango will almost certainly ship with. Microsoft looks set to be using an offshoot of eDRAM technology connected to the graphics core to offset the bandwidth issues the use of DDR3 incurs. Volume of RAM is the key element in Durango's favour - there'll be 8GB in total, with a significant amount (two sources we've spoken to suggest 3GB in total) reserved for the OS.

    There'll be a relatively high CPU overhead too, with potentially two cores reserved for the customisable apps Microsoft wants to run in parallel with gameplay. Orbis has no such ambitions and may power past the new Xbox simply because it focuses its resources on out-and-out games power. There's always the possibility that Microsoft has looked at the prior success of Nintendo and its own Kinect and come to the conclusion that chasing after the maximum in raw horsepower isn't the way to win the next console war.

    While Durango continues to hoard many of its secrets, we now have a very good idea of the basic architectural outline of the next-gen PlayStation. So the question is, what sort of performance ballpark are we talking about here? In our Radeon 7970M review, we ran Battlefield 3 on medium settings, and Crysis 2 likewise on its very high preset - both at the magical 1080p60. With some frame-rate drops we could ramp that up to high and extreme respectively for a perfectly playable, visually arresting experience. In our tests the Radeon GPU ran in concert with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core CPU; bearing in mind the firm's domination over AMD in single-thread performance, not to mention the Turbo Boost technology that automatically overclocks the CPU to thermal limits, we reckon this is a fairly good ballpark comparison to an eight-core AMD CPU (primarily aimed at entry level markets, remember) running at a relatively low clock speed.

    Of course, these ballpark tests are not the be-all-and-end-all of next-gen power - let's not forget that the new consoles are dedicated games machines gifted with a host of advantages over PC hardware. Factor out the overhead of the Windows OS, introduce ever-evolving development tools written for a fixed platform, and consider the performance advantages of a dedicated design - particularly the fast interconnects between CPU, GPU and RAM. What we have here is hardware that easily punches above its weight compared to performance couched purely in PC terms. It's a state of affairs borne out by both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3: by 2007, PC hardware had already moved significantly beyond the raw horsepower offered by current-gen consoles, yet games like God of War 3, Halo 4 and Uncharted 3 have extracted visual performance that could only have been dreamed of back then. Based on what we know about the next-gen consoles, there's little reason why history can't repeat itself.

    That said, the AMD connection that defines both Durango and Orbis confirms that both consoles are much closer in design to gaming PCs than their predecessors, which may result in stronger ports to the computer format, not to mention the upcoming Steam Box - a piece of hardware free to evolve and grow more powerful year upon year in a way that Sony and Microsoft's boxes can't. And surely Valve must be looking at these specs with perhaps a little relief - AMD's CPU architecture is designed with power efficiency in mind, and in pure performance terms, even an eight-core set-up should be comfortably out-performed by a fast, modern desktop Intel quad-core processor. In developing and optimising next-gen titles for the lower power console CPUs, it would be richly ironic if PC owners reaped the benefits...
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/df...xt-gen-console

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    Lots of fun rumors, bs, and speculation flying around these days. Fun stuff!

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    so now the PS4 has eight cores....interesting

    tommorow the Xbox will have 12, or 4 hyper-threaded cores

    4GB ram seems solid for next PS....PS4 is a 32bit system????
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    Those are the latest specs compiled by GAF
    Orbis
    - CPU: 8-core Jaguar @ 1.6GHz
    - GPU: ~ Radeon 7970M in power, 18 compute units @ 800MHz (I'd seen 8830-8850 rumoured but also comments that those - were fake)
    - Memory: 4GB GDDR5 @ 192GB/s bandwidth - 512MB reserved for OS -> 3.5GB for games
    - Extra: "Compute module"

    Durango
    - CPU: 8-core Jaguar @ 1.6GHz
    - GPU: ~ ? in power (DF says potentially weaker than Orbis), 12 compute units
    - Memory: 8GB DDR3 @ 68GB/s bandwidth - 3GB reserved for OS -> 5GB for games
    Last edited by TGO; 01-18-2013 at 18:59.

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    I saw a PS4 kit at CCP HQ, they were working on the PS4 DUST port. I had a chat to one of the devs about it...my source. Apparently PS4 will be run by 4 of what he called Hamster Units. I asked him what this was and he showed me 4 hamsters running in 4 wheels. He also said it will have 10,000 jiggleflops and 1 RAM. A little shocked, I asked him how the PS4 could work with only 1GB RAM. He then corrected me, showing me a ram in the CCP offices. It was eating carrots. So there you have it $#@!es...My source is the most reliable. To recap:

    PS4=4 hamsters, 10,000 jiggleflops and a ram. THIS ISN'T A $#@!ING BASELESS RUMOR!!! Srs $#@! all up in this $#@!.

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    i find it hard to believe that Microsoft would have a dramatically weaker GPU. especially considering their GPU this time round, no doubt they're doing something similar with whatever chip they're working with now; something special that only a console can do, an advantage to stretch its legs.

    Sony's offering looks like a PC tbh o.O
    though "Compute Module" has me intrigued, i hope those rumours are true and i wonder what they could possibly do?
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    If those details have any weight to them I imagine the 720 has got a large kinect footprint in the OS
    overall Sony seems to be going for raw graphical & performance power over 720'ss equally powered but mainly built round the OS needs rather then gaming needs.

    ^^
    DF said it is not uncommon for Sony to push the envelop in terms of hardware, also rumours suggest Sony upgraded the GPU based upon 720, add Compute Module on top gives it its uniqueness Sony is known for too.
    these specs seem the most believable so far, I personally expected Orbis be more powerful ( on paper anyway )
    Last edited by TGO; 01-18-2013 at 19:17.

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    yeah thats what i was thinking, which is why i assumed 720 (im calling it that out of stubborness) would be similar to the specs provided thus far; 8 cores, extremely custom GPU, and lots of RAM

    where as the PS4 would suffice with 4GB RAM, 4 cores, and off the shelf GPU....in retrospect, their off the shelf GPU this gen hasn't won them any cookie points, wonder what they are doing with their chip for next?

    this would put them on par, almost....
    these specs show PS4 to be (potentially) the superior console, though i've read that devs don't think so o.O
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    So if I understand correctly, Orbis will have about 3.5GB memory for games, while Durango will have about 5GB for games. In order for games to compare well (since I also doubt the graphics capabilities of Durango will be significantly lower than Orbis) Sony should add at least another GB of memory to their system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fijiandoce View Post
    yeah thats what i was thinking, which is why i assumed 720 (im calling it that out of stubborness) would be similar to the specs provided thus far; 8 cores, extremely custom GPU, and lots of RAM

    where as the PS4 would suffice with 4GB RAM, 4 cores, and off the shelf GPU....in retrospect, their off the shelf GPU this gen hasn't won them any cookie points, wonder what they are doing with their chip for next?

    this would put them on par, almost....
    these specs show PS4 to be (potentially) the superior console, though i've read that devs don't think so o.O
    I read both are more powerful then each other, I don't think any devs before CES said anything tbh & was all BS rumours, but now we have loads of the same info (though chinese whispered) coming out from CES with a impending announcement, the truth is coming
    but we might have a glimpse of what it is here.

    ^^ Ram numbers are confusing, performance wise read the 720 ram as it, 5gb of performance
    PS4 will have double the performance of 4GB of DDR3 Ram so work it out, though MS is said to equal it out with edram.

    ok to put it simply, by time 720 off works off 1gb of info PS4 will have finished 3 loads of 1.5 gb, Thats to my understanding of it people are welcome to correct me
    Last edited by TGO; 01-18-2013 at 19:35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DTurkin View Post
    So if I understand correctly, Orbis will have about 3.5GB memory for games, while Durango will have about 5GB for games. In order for games to compare well (since I also doubt the graphics capabilities of Durango will be significantly lower than Orbis) Sony should add at least another GB of memory to their system.
    these are quotes (direct) from members in another thread

    Quote Originally Posted by itachi73378 View Post
    Yeah but you can always reduce memory usage through optimization but you can't magically increase bandwidth

    To be fair, large pools of memory comes with its own set of advantages, namely larger render distances so open world games may perform better, but then again those games use the same streaming tech as linear games so bandwidth wins there too
    Quote Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
    You can only optimize for size so much. If your data structure requires X amount of memory then having more memory bandwidth isn't going to change that.

    Not sure what you mean by streaming tech and linear games. If you're referring to streaming data off disk then more memory is useful there because you can pre-load more assets. It's not so much dependent on memory bandwidth because the disk is so much slower than RAM anyway.

    Memory bandwidth comes into play when processing data. It's how fast you can get things from memory to the processor and back (be it a CPU or GPU etc). But you also need enough memory to store what you're processing.

    Increasing memory bandwidth does not remove the need for memory.
    Quote Originally Posted by itachi73378 View Post
    I agree since all of this is a balancing act but increasing memory amount won't get rid of bandwidth requirements. High bandwidth allows for more objects onscreen per frame, higher res assets and elimination of pop in for example (not that pop in will be a problem because of tesselation anyway)

    Keep in mind that out of that 8gb for xbox we don't really know how much are games using. It'll just come down to how flexible the next gen engines are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGO View Post
    I read both are more powerful then each other, I don't think any devs before CES said anything tbh & was all BS rumours, but now we have loads of the same info (though chinese whispered) coming out from CES with a impending announcement, the truth is coming
    but we might have a glimpse of what it is here.
    i've read that too, over the past couple of days no less
    "whiplash" seems somewhat appropriate.

    i personally think Sony dont have what it takes. Microsoft are a Software company and should be intrinsically aware of what the industry will want to do with their tech.
    Sony on the other hand are Hardware based....
    Last edited by Fijiandoce; 01-18-2013 at 19:34.
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    lol @ all the xbox fanboy muppets claiming the PS4 will be half as powerful as the next box. Just read through a hundred or so posts from the last few weeks and had a good few laughs. Always the same people, only on PSU could they be allowed to stay. This is why all your best members left, but I digress.

    I'll trust digital foundry over 50 miles of baseless spasticulation.

    The Orbis or whatever it's gonna be called sounds interesting. Pleased to hear it's getting 4gb or DDR5, but ahh 6 would be nice. I think 4 gigs was the minimum we could expect really and very relieved to hear it's not 2gb. Tbh the CPU sounds a little underwhelming to me and I'm unsure about the GPU, it's top notch spec for it's price but going the light version? We'll see...

    Their info about the Durango is equally interesting. It certainly sounds like MS are focussing heavily on multimedia and want to put Win8 on it. Which wouldn't surprise anybody. The difference in RAM is surprising, no idea how that will turn out. It sounds like both will run cooler and quieter than I initially thought they would and that's definitely a good thing.

    The modules they mention for the Durango sound rather like the anti-aliasing chip that's in the 360, which I think everyone who's worked with it agree was a big success. If MS use multiple units like this to farm off specific work - anti-aliasing, physics, AF etc, it would certainly make up for a weaker GPU and we may well see it being the console that develops significantly over time - as the PS3 did this gen mainly because of the CELL's SPU's.

    They sound like they could be tied in regards to multiplatform titles. PS3 with a stronger GPU but the 360 having DX11.

    I really hope Sony don't neglect the multimedia side of things because clearly it's now a big part of a living room console and they'll need to ship it with functionality and a lot of features right out of the box. They can't $#@! up and then spend 4 years clawing themselves back like they did with PS3. Which was as bare bones as you can get in 2007.

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    well, i intended to only get one nextgen console, but...
    And surely Valve must be looking at these specs with perhaps a little relief - AMD's CPU architecture is designed with power efficiency in mind, and in pure performance terms, even an eight-core set-up should be comfortably out-performed by a fast, modern desktop Intel quad-core processor. In developing and optimising next-gen titles for the lower power console CPUs, it would be richly ironic if PC owners reaped the benefits...
    its looking like i have another clearer option now.

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    3GB in Durango is wrong, as also two cores for OS.
    "We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that (developers) want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is, what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?"
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    I think Sony would be shooting themselves in the foot with a shotgun, if these specs are true!!

    An AMD cpu that is clocked this low, is gonna get trashed in just 1 year.

    Anyway, i'll be buying the PS4 for the Exclusive games. I'm not a fan of all the $#@!ty multi-platform games.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Fijiandoce View Post
    yeah thats what i was thinking, which is why i assumed 720 (im calling it that out of stubborness) would be similar to the specs provided thus far; 8 cores, extremely custom GPU, and lots of RAM

    where as the PS4 would suffice with 4GB RAM, 4 cores, and off the shelf GPU....in retrospect, their off the shelf GPU this gen hasn't won them any cookie points, wonder what they are doing with their chip for next?

    this would put them on par, almost....
    these specs show PS4 to be (potentially) the superior console, though i've read that devs don't think so o.O
    Quote Originally Posted by TGO View Post
    If those details have any weight to them I imagine the 720 has got a large kinect footprint in the OS
    overall Sony seems to be going for raw graphical & performance power over 720'ss equally powered but mainly built round the OS needs rather then gaming needs.

    ^^
    DF said it is not uncommon for Sony to push the envelop in terms of hardware, also rumours suggest Sony upgraded the GPU based upon 720, add Compute Module on top gives it its uniqueness Sony is known for too.
    these specs seem the most believable so far, I personally expected Orbis be more powerful ( on paper anyway )
    this idea is incorrect. all rumours - alot of them from AMD sources themselves - say that the 720 hardware is more customised. hence a 1.2TF machine matching a 1.8TF machine.

    and TGO - have a look at what the ESRAM will do to the performance figures. 8gig vs 4gig (or 5 versus 3) +ESRAM - regardless of GDDR5 ram - makes this a very close race. i wouldn't get too caught up in believing that the GDDR5 will 'win', so to speak. i've seen far more technically minded people than you or i say they can't predict which will be the better option. it all depends on *what* you want to load into memory.
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    I guess the performance difference will be pretty much as the ps3/360 difference. The question is what are they gonna do with it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fijiandoce View Post
    so now the PS4 has eight cores....interesting

    tommorow the Xbox will have 12, or 4 hyper-threaded cores

    4GB ram seems solid for next PS....PS4 is a 32bit system????
    The PS4 is confirmed to have a miniature mass relay which is said to be 64 septillion times more powerful then the PS3.

    Link

    But really I can't wait to see the final models and their performance.







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    Quote Originally Posted by MjW View Post
    I guess the performance difference will be pretty much as the ps3/360 difference. The question is what are they gonna do with it.


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    thats the strange thing, if you go by the most *probable* numbers so far the difference is much larger, but i guess there are so many things that we don't know to take into account....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost-Rhayne View Post
    I saw a PS4 kit at CCP HQ, they were working on the PS4 DUST port. I had a chat to one of the devs about it...my source. Apparently PS4 will be run by 4 of what he called Hamster Units. I asked him what this was and he showed me 4 hamsters running in 4 wheels. He also said it will have 10,000 jiggleflops and 1 RAM. A little shocked, I asked him how the PS4 could work with only 1GB RAM. He then corrected me, showing me a ram in the CCP offices. It was eating carrots. So there you have it $#@!es...My source is the most reliable. To recap:

    PS4=4 hamsters, 10,000 jiggleflops and a ram. THIS ISN'T A $#@!ING BASELESS RUMOR!!! Srs $#@! all up in this $#@!.
    That's some serious *puts on glasses*

    horsepower

    YYYYEAAAAHHHH!
    Quote Originally Posted by brebaz View Post
    I think Sony would be shooting themselves in the foot with a shotgun, if these specs are true!!

    An AMD cpu that is clocked this low, is gonna get trashed in just 1 year.

    Anyway, i'll be buying the PS4 for the Exclusive games. I'm not a fan of all the $#@!ty multi-platform games.
    How can you say that with confidence? Clock speeds on their own don't mean anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn View Post
    I'll trust digital foundry over 50 miles of baseless spasticulation.
    This!

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    Glad it is GDDR5 instead of DDR3.

    That seems to be the most solid rumor out there. Looks like there is nice bus as well.

    I wonder what the compute module is for? BC maybe?

    Strange that they would downclock a moble GPU. That can't be right. Why would they need to do that? It is already geared to be low power efficient.
    _______________________________________________

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  28. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier 95B View Post
    Lots of fun rumors, bs, and speculation flying around these days. Fun stuff!
    Only proves one thing... Next gen incoming!!!!!


    Next Gen top picks:
    PS4: Infamous SS, DriveClub
    One: Project spark, Forza 5
    Multi: Watchdogs, The crew, FFXV, KHIII

  29. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost-Rhayne View Post
    I saw a PS4 kit at CCP HQ, they were working on the PS4 DUST port. I had a chat to one of the devs about it...my source. Apparently PS4 will be run by 4 of what he called Hamster Units. I asked him what this was and he showed me 4 hamsters running in 4 wheels. He also said it will have 10,000 jiggleflops and 1 RAM. A little shocked, I asked him how the PS4 could work with only 1GB RAM. He then corrected me, showing me a ram in the CCP offices. It was eating carrots. So there you have it $#@!es...My source is the most reliable. To recap:

    PS4=4 hamsters, 10,000 jiggleflops and a ram. THIS ISN'T A $#@!ING BASELESS RUMOR!!! Srs $#@! all up in this $#@!.
    I can't believe I missed this, $#@!ing golden. Hahaha!.







  30. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kauldron View Post
    Glad it is GDDR5 instead of DDR3.

    That seems to be the most solid rumor out there. Looks like there is nice bus as well.

    I wonder what the compute module is for? BC maybe?

    Strange that they would downclock a moble GPU. That can't be right. Why would they need to do that? It is already geared to be low power efficient.
    not strange. heat/power consumption. they did it in the ps3's RSX by 50mhz, sony just "officially" forgot to tell you about it.
    Got YLOD? In the UK? I'll buy it off you.

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