PlayStation Universe

NVIDIA/Sony to work beyond PS3

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on 13 July 2005

In an interview with UK website Bit-Tech, David Kirk, the chief scientist at NVIDIA has revealed that the company plans to work closely with Sony in the future and also takes time to hit back against claims from ATI over the superiority of the unified chip structure they are using in Xbox 360.

Kirk states "So far our relationship with Sony has been great” and continues “We have a much closer relationship and share a much broader vision for the future of computing and graphics."

While NVIDIA's dealings with Microsoft have traditionally been based around a customer-supplier relationship, NVIDIA has worked in close co-operation with Sony to design the RSX chip for its next-gen console.

"When we came together a few years ago, we found a vision and experience that we shared," Kirk explained.

"It sounds clichéd, but Japanese companies are often trying to create a vision and make the technology follow that, not the other way round - We believed in that."

Kirk said this is only the beginning of a long relationship between the two companies: "Our commonality has led to a number of product areas that go beyond PlayStation 3," he revealed. "The business deal is structured so that both companies benefit. It's a really good relationship."

Kirk went on to address the issue of unified versus discrete pipelines in graphics chipsets, which has been raised in recent weeks by claims from rival ATI that its Xbox 360 chipset will be more powerful than the PS3's RSX due to its use of the unified model.

Kirk pointed out that designing a graphics processor based on the unified model is extremely difficult to get right, explaining that "it's a challenge to create a chip that does load balancing and performance prediction."

"It's extremely important, especially in console architecture, for the performance to be predictable. With all that balancing, it's difficult to make the performance predictable."

"I've even heard that some developers dislike the unified pipe, and will be handling vertex pipeline calculations on the Xbox 360's triple-core CPU," he added.