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  1. #1
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    Nikkei Electronics interviews PS4 architect Mark Cerny, TALKS eDRAM the special sauce

    Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) Inc announced the overview of the "PlayStation 4 (PS4)," a next-generation stationary game console, in February 2013. We interviewed Mark Cerney, Lead System Architect on PlayStation 4, SCE, on the philosophy with which the machine was designed.

    "The Single Chip Custom Processor," which SCE employed for the PS4, is equipped with eight "Jaguar" 64-bit CPUs, which are based on the x86 architecture and manufactured by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Inc, and the next-generation "Radeon" GPU, which has a performance of 1.84 TFLOPS. Why did SCE employ AMD's processor?

    "We made that decision from the viewpoints of technology, time and business," Cerney said. "We started to design the PS4 in 2008. Since then, we had discussions with many companies on the adoption of any technology."

    "The adoption of the x86 architecture made it much easier to develop game software because enough toolchains, numerical libraries and software that utilizes multimedia instructions are available for it," he said. "And compilers quickly supporting the latest extended instructions for vector operation are very advantageous."

    Addressing issue of memory bandwidth

    One of the elements that characterize the hardware configuration of the PS4 is its main memory. A bandwidth of 176 Gbytes per second was realized by using 16 4-Gbit GDDR5 memory chips, Cerney said.

    The reason why SCE employed the GDDR5 interface instead of the DDR3 interface, which is commonly used for the main memories of personal computers, was to solve the problem of memory bandwidth, which had been the biggest bottleneck, he said.

    "(Though it is a challenge in terms of cost and procurement,) we decided to offer a memory capacity of 8 Gbytes because of strong demand from developers," Cerney said. "We put priority on making a configuration that makes it easy for developers to create games so that many games will be made."



    Not making 'puzzle' for game developers

    What was the basic concept for the design of the PS4?

    "What formed the basis of the design was the thought that we should not make a puzzle for game soft developers," Cerney said. "For example, if we use eDRAM (on-chip DRAM) for the main memory in addition to the external memory, the memory bandwidth will be several terabytes per second. It will be a big advance in terms of performance."

    "However, in that case, we will make developers solve a puzzle, 'To realize the fastest operation, what data should be stored in which of the memories, the low-capacity eDRAM or the high-capacity external memory?'" he said. "We wanted to avoid such a situation. We put the highest priority on allowing developers to spend their time creating values for their games."


    Therefore, SCE decided to employ its own technologies required for game consoles while using the same basic architecture as used for personal computers.

    "We received very positive responses to the concept of 'Supercharged PC Architecture' from developers because we made a drastic improvement to performance and made it easy to develop games at the same time," said Cerney, who developed many games. "It is hardware for which games can be developed really easily."

    As for the "supercharged" parts, or the parts that SCE extended, he said, "There are many, but four of them are representative." They are (1) a structure that realizes high-speed data transmission between the CPU and GPU, (2) a structure that reduces the number of times that data is written back from the cache memory in the GPU, (3) a structure that enables to set priorities in multiple layers in regard to arithmetic and graphics processing and (4) a function to make the CPU take over the preprocessing to be conducted by the GPU.

    "We are claiming that our company is leading innovations," Cerney said. "And we certainly employed our own distinguished technologies for the PS4."

    http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20130401/274313/?P=1
    Last edited by victorijapoosp; 04-04-2013 at 10:44.

    Maths is biased! It keeps telling me the PS4 is 50% more powerful than XboxOne!
    Great song, should have more views :'(

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  2. #2
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    Nice read!!!
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    very nice read. What was that about memory bandwidth?

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    Excellent read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    what i find most intriguing is
    "And we certainly employed our own distinguished technologies for the PS4."
    Now of course AMD designed the chips with Sony, therefore there are customisations that differentiate it from microsoft who are rumoured to have a vanilla apu in comparison. Will it give sony the edge if microsoft suddenly decide to revise their specs and try to match the ps4 cpu and gpu in terms of Tflops?

    i personally can't wait till some pro engineers do a youtube teardown to show us exactly what is inside. The PS3 is sheer beauty under the hood.

    Maths is biased! It keeps telling me the PS4 is 50% more powerful than XboxOne!
    Great song, should have more views :'(

    SHIMAASAAAANIIII!!!!!

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    Nice read, but nothing particularly new.
    "The biggest adversary in our life is ourselves. We are what we are, in a sense, because of the dominating thoughts we allow to gather in our head. All concepts of self-improvement, all actions and paths we take, relate solely to our abstract image of ourselves. Life is limited only by how we really see ourselves and feel about our being. A great deal of pure self-knowledge and inner understanding allows us to lay an all-important foundation for the structure of our life from which we can perceive and take the right avenues.”

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterMunky View Post
    Nice read, but nothing particularly new.

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    Him talking about why they didn't use parts that's rumored to be in the 720 is new...also the details about some of the supercharged parts puts the "ps4 is brute force only, not efficient" talk to rest.




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    PS4 is going to be a beast.

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    Thanks for sharing.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Two4DaMoney View Post
    Him talking about why they didn't use parts that's rumored to be in the 720 is new...also the details about some of the supercharged parts puts the "ps4 is brute force only, not efficient" talk to rest.
    Ha! Whoever said the PS4 was brute force ONLY? I've only heard people say the Xbox 720 was MORE efficient then the PS4....THAT IT..... not that the PS4 wasn't efficient at all.

    Anyways... this guy didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know.

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    Um he told us why they didn't use edram...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatSpaceKoaster View Post
    Ha! Whoever said the PS4 was brute force ONLY? I've only heard people say the Xbox 720 was MORE efficient then the PS4....THAT IT..... not that the PS4 wasn't efficient at all.

    Anyways... this guy didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know.

    I suspect you didn't read the whole article. maybe I should embolden important bits for your consumption, like a shampoo advert prepares women for the "science bit".

    Maths is biased! It keeps telling me the PS4 is 50% more powerful than XboxOne!
    Great song, should have more views :'(

    SHIMAASAAAANIIII!!!!!

  18. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by victorijapoosp View Post
    maybe I should embolden important bits for your consumption, like a shampoo advert prepares women for the "science bit".
    Lol! That's hilarious.
    "The biggest adversary in our life is ourselves. We are what we are, in a sense, because of the dominating thoughts we allow to gather in our head. All concepts of self-improvement, all actions and paths we take, relate solely to our abstract image of ourselves. Life is limited only by how we really see ourselves and feel about our being. A great deal of pure self-knowledge and inner understanding allows us to lay an all-important foundation for the structure of our life from which we can perceive and take the right avenues.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterMunky View Post
    Lol! That's hilarious.
    I agree, I actually lol'd.
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    so the PS4 will have edram

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    Quote Originally Posted by victorijapoosp View Post
    I suspect you didn't read the whole article. maybe I should embolden important bits for your consumption, like a shampoo advert prepares women for the "science bit".
    Ahhhh...I can ****ing read dude and my statement remains the same. Maybe YOU didn't know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolguy View Post
    so the PS4 will not have edram
    Fixed that for you.
    'no, no one in their sane mind uses OpenGL on PS3' - Repi
    'nope, PS3 uses a wonderful low-level API called libgcm' - Repi

  23. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by victorijapoosp View Post
    I suspect you didn't read the whole article. maybe I should embolden important bits for your consumption, like a shampoo advert prepares women for the "science bit".
    Moisturizing 8GB GDDR5
    Rejuvenating Bandwidth
    Games that are full of body!

    lol!


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  25. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyClaw View Post
    Moisturizing 8GB GDDR5
    Rejuvenating Bandwidth
    Games that are full of body!

    lol!
    My body is ready.
    "The biggest adversary in our life is ourselves. We are what we are, in a sense, because of the dominating thoughts we allow to gather in our head. All concepts of self-improvement, all actions and paths we take, relate solely to our abstract image of ourselves. Life is limited only by how we really see ourselves and feel about our being. A great deal of pure self-knowledge and inner understanding allows us to lay an all-important foundation for the structure of our life from which we can perceive and take the right avenues.”

  26. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterMunky View Post
    My body is ready.
    More like your hair should be ready!


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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyClaw View Post
    More like your hair should be ready!
    My hair is ready.

    "The biggest adversary in our life is ourselves. We are what we are, in a sense, because of the dominating thoughts we allow to gather in our head. All concepts of self-improvement, all actions and paths we take, relate solely to our abstract image of ourselves. Life is limited only by how we really see ourselves and feel about our being. A great deal of pure self-knowledge and inner understanding allows us to lay an all-important foundation for the structure of our life from which we can perceive and take the right avenues.”

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  29. #23
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    Makes sense why they didn't pony up for Kaveri, then. They have proprietary Sony IP that serves to carry out a lot of the functions of the Kaveri generation architecture.
    Who would have thought building a solid product that serves your customer's needs would beat out money, marketing, hype, and greed.

  30. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatSpaceKoaster View Post
    Ahhhh...I can ****ing read dude and my statement remains the same. Maybe YOU didn't know.




    In all seriousness. Previously, sony have not spoken about eDRAM, nor why they hadn't used it. Now they have, directly from the system architect. they had the ability to get "terabytes" worth of bandwidth... an astronomical figure compared to what both Sony are now using without eDRAM and what MS are rumoured to be using with the eDRAM option.
    Last edited by victorijapoosp; 04-04-2013 at 20:51.

    Maths is biased! It keeps telling me the PS4 is 50% more powerful than XboxOne!
    Great song, should have more views :'(

    SHIMAASAAAANIIII!!!!!

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    One of the elements that characterize the hardware configuration of the PS4 is its main memory. A bandwidth of 176 Gbytes per second was realized by using 16 4-Gbit GDDR5 memory chips, Cerney said.
    So we were right about Sony just ordering more of the same memory (or manufacture less systems) they were already ordering to achieve 8GB GDDR5? From what I understand they went from using 8x 512MB (4-Gbit) GDDR5 chips to 16x 512MB (4-Gbit) GDDR5 chips in each PS4.

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