While much of their GDC presentation was cloaked in techno-babble and industry-speak, Sony reps Mark DeLoura and Dominic Mallinson underscored the paradigm-shifting approach Sony is taking with its future console.
â€œThe goal for the developers is to create the next generation of entertainment,â€ declared Mark DeLoura, Manager of Developer Relations, Sony Computer Entertainment America.
Sony, IBM, and Toshiba co-developed and unveiled the specs on the Cell chip in early February. The 4 GHz architecture is comprised of a 64-bit Power processor core, which is surrounded by eight Synergistic Processor Units (which themselves house four Floating Point Units), for a chip capable of delivering 256 gigaflops at 4 GHz.
According to Dominic Mallinson, Director, Sony Computer Entertainment America R&D, â€œWe can run multiple operating systems on the chip at the same time.â€ He later added, â€œEach operating system can protect the others from crashes or security problems.â€
Mallinson and DeLoura also detailed that unlike the PS2, PS3â€™s Cell technology will allow designers to program for it in more complex languages, such as C/C++.
Additionally, the Cell will support Collada XML for PS3â€™s art assets interchange, and the OpenGL ES applications programming interface for 3-D graphics. A partnership with NVIDIA will see the graphics card maker begin producing PS3 GPU by the end of 2005.
In a January interview with Xbitlabs.com, NVIDIA corporate marketing head David Roman said, â€œThis is the next generation GPU [...] It will support DirectX 9, Shader Models 3; it will be the most feature-rich, the most powerful GPU that weâ€™ve ever created.â€
Sonyâ€™s GDC presentation comes just a day after the news that top members of Sonyâ€™s high command will get the first look at the PS3 in action during a closed door presentation in Japan next week.
The GDC has been rife with talk of those rumors, but alas, no one from SCEA is saying or denying anything.