Microsoft Xbox Next and PlayStation 4 to Feature Eight-Core AMD Jaguar Microprocessor

Lefein

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Next-Gen Video Game Consoles to Utilize Yet-Unreleased AMD Microprocessor Technology
[01/21/2013 11:51 PM]
by Anton Shilov

The yet-not-officially-announce next-generation video-game systems from Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. are projected to utilize microprocessor technology that is not yet available for personal computers. The recent rumours about Xbox Next and PlayStation 4 “Orbis” imply that the two systems will be powered by Advanced Micro Devices’ code-named Jaguar x86 cores that will make it to the market later this year.

Jaguar Micro-Architecture to Power Next-Gen Consoles
According to Eurogamer.net’s Digital Foundry, both Microsoft Xbox “Durango” and Sony PlayStation 4 “Orbis” are going to be based on highly-integrated system-on-chips featuring AMD Jaguar x86 64-bit cores. The SoCs are projected to be conservatively clocked at around 1.6GHz, which should ensure maximum possible yields as well as low temperature of multi-core solutions. Keeping in mind that video game consoles are designed to last for many years, it is possible that SoCs inside future PlayStation and Xbox will feature certain tweaks, optimizations and innovations that will not be available on personal computers for a while.

The idea to use AMD’s low-power/low-cost cores instead of high-performance x86 cores has both pros and cons. On the one hand, AMD’s Jaguar looks very promising on paper and has a number of advantages that may be especially valuable for game consoles, including 128-bit floating point unit (FPU) with enhancements and double-pumping to support 256-bit AVX instructions as well as an innovative integer unit with new hardware divider, larger schedulers and more out-of-order resources. On the other hand, AMD’s Jaguar is substantially behind the company’s high-end x86 cores when it comes to general-purpose performance and therefore some of the operations may take a long time to complete, unless there are not special-purpose accelerators integrated or the consoles will heavily rely on GPGPU [general-purpose computing using GPUs] technologies.

Perhaps, the main advantage of using AMD’s Jaguar for video game consoles is relatively simplistic design of the core that lets Microsoft and Sony to make chips powered by Jaguar at different foundries without major problems with porting the design to a different process technology. Yet another benefit of Jaguar is its small size (just 3.1mm2 per die, without L2 cache), which allows to integrate eight of such cores into one chip without significantly improving costs.

Graphics Performance Remains A Mystery
Based on earlier rumours, the Digital Foundry also suggests that graphics processing unit inside PlayStation 4 “Orbis” is projected to feature higher raw performance than graphics core of Xbox “Durango”. However, the web-site claims that the SoC inside Microsoft’s future console also has a graphics core incorporated. Such GPU makes sense for GPU compute as well as for multimedia graphics applications that do not require high-performance graphics (Xbox Live apps). Obviously, the same core can assist the main GPU engine when needed, hence, the actual difference between graphics processing performance of the two consoles still remains unclear.

Many media sources also reported that while Sony PlayStation 4 “Orbis” will rely on 4GB of high-speed GDDR5 memory, Microsoft Xbox Next “Durango” will feature 8GB of mainstream DDR3 memory as well as high-speed eDRAM buffer for GPU with some fixed-function logic to compensate slower memory.

It is expected that both consoles will be available this holiday season for $350 - $400. Formal announcements by Sony and Microsoft are projected to be scheduled in the first half of 2013.

Microsoft and Sony did not comment on the news-story.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mainbo...t_Core_AMD_Jaguar_Microprocessors_Report.html

So, it's all coming down to the graphics processors and RAM like I predicted. Also, I told you Sony would be going with faster RAM! It will be interesting to see what they mate with this thing.
 

J3ff3

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[QUOTE="Lefein, post: 5991561]http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mainbo...t_Core_AMD_Jaguar_Microprocessors_Report.html

So, it's all coming down to the graphics processors and RAM like I predicted. Also, I told you Sony would be going with faster RAM! It will be interesting to see what they mate with this thing.[/QUOTE]

nothing new here.

in fact i've not seen much recently to suggest there is an onboard GPU on the durango. which is a shame, because as things stand the ps4 gpu is quite a bit better. i don't want games programmed for the lowest common denominator.

and the ram is pretty much a wash. 170GB/s vs 192GB/s, volume versus quality. no real way of knowing which will be the better, although the slight nod seems to be going to the ps4. but again, the architecture is quite different.
 

daLa

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#4
I really do hope Sony nails it with their setup, to be honest if all of this is true and Microsoft is focusing on APPS, I say kudos because it is the future, if we end up on PS4 with no apps I bet we'll be asking for them. But if Sony focuses on getting better looking games then I'm all in for it.
 

Lefein

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#5
You can pretty much count on some basic app support such as Netflix, Facebook, Crunchyroll, etc etc. 4GBs in an enclosed console like system should be more than sufficient for such things. I imagine it will all interface very similarly to the Vita environment where you have the capability to run multiple applications at once until you launch a game.
 
Oct 18, 2006
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I am just waiting for the official announcements, it would be funny if Sony threw a curve ball and made the RAM 8GB like Microsoft's system using either 8GB of GDDR5 or a mix of 4GB GDDR5 and 4GB DDR3, either way, this generation looks like it is going to be great!
 

Lefein

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MonkeyClaw, you touched on a big X Factor that would differentiate these consoles. Does this 4GB include the graphics memory for a dedicated GPU or will this be shared between the system and the GPU? These things will make a huge impact on how games work and behave on the new Playstation.
 
Oct 18, 2006
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[QUOTE="Lefein, post: 5991601]MonkeyClaw, you touched on a big X Factor that would differentiate these consoles. Does this 4GB include the graphics memory for a dedicated GPU or will this be shared between the system and the GPU? These things will make a huge impact on how games work and behave on the new Playstation.[/QUOTE]

If they did the 4GB/4GB split between GDDR5 and DDR3 I would prefer to see it shared between the system and GPU that way it would be up to the developer to choose which RAM and how much to use, but for the PS4/Orbis operating system I would think a portion of the DDR3 could be used instead of wasting precious GDDR5. DDR3 RAM is so insanely cheap now (you can get a 4GB module for $20 on Newegg, which it would be much cheaper for Sony) so I would think it would be a no brainer to throw that in the PS4/Orbis...
 
Oct 18, 2006
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[QUOTE="Lefein, post: 5991614]I don't think there will be any DDR3 in the PS4.[/QUOTE]

Neither do I, unfortunately...but having both in the system would be nice to see, you can never have enough RAM and having 8GB even if it is mixed would definitely help the system in the later years!
 

Lefein

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Nah, I prefer faster RAM over more. Especially when you consider that this console will have a much faster BD-ROM drive to couple with games that utilize a streaming engine. At some point, we need to weigh in the trade-offs with having more slower RAM in a closed console environment.
 
Mar 11, 2006
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Those slides in the OP are from here originally:

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/1...-notebooks-and-tablets-if-it-launches-on-time

That article is just about Jaguar and has absolutely no connection to consoles or even mentions consoles. In fact, if you look at the title, it is saying the Jaguar is underperforming and AMD's hope is Bobcat will get them a place in notebooks and tablets, after missing the boat with netbooks, smart phones, and tablets.

Ask yourself this. Why in the world would Sony use an AMD MOBILE CHIP in the PS4? It makes no sense, other than it could be made very cheaply with poor performance?

Add to that, these recent news stories:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/amds-su-says-engineers-transitioning-005751173.html
AMD's Su says engineers transitioning from PC culture
"Su said her lack of experience in PCs, the source of 80 percent of AMD's business, has been an asset in developing new strategy."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/22/us-amd-hires-idUSBRE90L0D020130122
AMD hires chip veterans, diversifies beyond PCs
"In October, AMD announced it was laying off 15 percent of its workforce, its second round of job cuts in less than a year."

A powerful console is still about the CPU and the GPU. Does it really make any sense that AMD's SOC mobile realignment is part of the next generation consoles? And consider this. Why in all these announcements would it not come out that they are, right now, manufacturing millions of these so-called console chips? Manufacturing of components has to start many months before a console launch. If AMD had contracts with MS and Sony for millions of Jaguar's, how would that not be noticed? Add to that, Sony has never had any business dealings with AMD. Do you really think it would be possible that an army of Sony reps started showing up at AMD design offices, that would not leak somehow?
 
Oct 18, 2006
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[QUOTE="Lefein, post: 5991633]Nah, I prefer faster RAM over more. Especially when you consider that this console will have a much faster BD-ROM drive to couple with games that utilize a streaming engine. At some point, we need to weigh in the trade-offs with having more slower RAM in a closed console environment.[/QUOTE]

As do I, but which one would you rather have? 4GB GDDR5 or 4GB GDDR5 and 4GB DDR3 totaling 8GB? I don't want to get rid of the GDDR5 in any way, if I had the choice between 8GB of DDR3 or 4GB of GDDR5 I would definitely choose the GDDR5 choice, but what I was saying is that they could easily throw in the extra 4GB DDR3 as well which wouldn't really cost that much more.
 

jj03

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Thinks apps will be big on ps4. The jellybean background when the store boots up makes me think...

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
 

MATRIX 2

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[QUOTE="Lefein, post: 5991561]http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mainbo...t_Core_AMD_Jaguar_Microprocessors_Report.html

So, it's all coming down to the graphics processors and RAM like I predicted. Also, I told you Sony would be going with faster RAM! It will be interesting to see what they mate with this thing.[/QUOTE]

You do realize that the GDDR3 currently used in the 360 has a similar bandwidth to DDR3 -1600 MHz memory right?

Based on what MS did with the 360, it would be foolish to assume that they would use memory with essentially no improvement over what was used in the 360 instead of GDDR5 which is a significant improvement.
 

Lefein

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[QUOTE="MATRIX 2, post: 5991837]You do realize that the GDDR3 currently used in the 360 has a similar bandwidth to DDR3 -1600 MHz memory right?

Based on what MS did with the 360, it would be foolish to assume that they would use memory with essentially no improvement over what was used in the 360 instead of GDDR5 which is a significant improvement.[/QUOTE]

I'm not concerned with what the other people do with their consoles.
 
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MATRIX 2

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[QUOTE="Lefein, post: 5991953]I'm not concerned with what the other people do with their consoles.[/QUOTE]

[video=youtube;d7iOGfUdn0o]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7iOGfUdn0o[/video]
 

SHAZZMAZZ

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#18
[QUOTE="Lefein, post: 5991561]http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mainbo...t_Core_AMD_Jaguar_Microprocessors_Report.html

So, it's all coming down to the graphics processors and RAM like I predicted. Also, I told you Sony would be going with faster RAM! It will be interesting to see what they mate with this thing.[/QUOTE]

Com on SONY tell us the release date for the PS4, like to know the true.

Anyways if the info above is true then im loving it i want the PS4 in my hands nows.
 

J3ff3

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[QUOTE="Lefein, post: 5991953]I'm not concerned with what the other people do with their consoles.[/QUOTE]

"the other people"?

hang on, where's my sony flag..... someone, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET THE BUNTING!
 

Admartian

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#21
[QUOTE="Lefein, post: 5991578]You can pretty much count on some basic app support such as Netflix, Facebook, Crunchyroll, etc etc. 4GBs in an enclosed console like system should be more than sufficient for such things. I imagine it will all interface very similarly to the Vita environment where you have the capability to run multiple applications at once until you launch a game.[/QUOTE]
Agreed. I'm happy with the basics.

I can lean on my PC and tablet for "apps".
 

J3ff3

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[QUOTE="admartian, post: 5992159]Agreed. I'm happy with the basics.

I can lean on my PC and tablet for "apps".[/QUOTE]

it would be great to be able to do other stuff at the same time, seamlessly, as playing a game. but at the expense of gaming? probably not.

but then you have to consider, in a closed environment, and with ESRAM potentially solving bandwidth issues, will they need anywhere near 8gigs of ram anyway? we'll see.
 

Lefein

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[QUOTE="Zswordsman, post: 5992141]Ok, so is the jaguar a good processor or what? could sony get a better processor? if so which one?[/QUOTE]

It should make the developers quite happy. It's not a heavy lifter in terms of PC, but in the hands of game developers optmizing code for it, they can do a LOT with a CPU like this. OoO is really what the western developers have been campaigning for ever since the last gen was dominated by Power architecture.

In other words, think of a far less glitchy gen this time around. The developers will run with what they know. Most game engines aren't very CPU-bound in terms of raw performance. You won't see quite as nasty a gap between what PC versions of games do compared to the console counterparts this time around (Think 64 player Battlefield 3 versus the console version for reference sake).
 
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Ezekiel

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I hate to say it but I don't buy any of this. Why would Sony backpedal on RAM? Remember, we currently have 256MB of XDR for the system ram and 256MB of GDDR3 for the RSX. Now, I can understand if Sony were to use GDDR5 in the next GPU but DDR3 as the system ram? They would not only be going backwards in ram design architecture but backwards on speed as well. DDR3 1600MHz ram has half the raw speed of XDR while have even less in actual overall real world real-time performance. I just don't buy it. Will the PS4 have less overall ram than the competition? It's possible. Will the PS4 go backwards in ram technology? It's unlikely.

Now, as for the CPU rumors. I'm still of the belief that Sony will use a Cell BE derivative architecture CPU from IBM. The Power7 CPUs look to be the most plausible possibilities. Still, we don't know squat about what is going on. For once, Sony has done an excellent job of keeping tight-lipped.
 
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[QUOTE="Morganator, post: 5992537]I hate to say it but I don't buy any of this. Why would Sony backpedal on RAM? Remember, we currently have 256MB of XDR for the system ram and 256MB of GDDR3 for the RSX. Now, I can understand if Sony were to use GDDR5 in the next GPU but DDR3 as the system ram? They would not only be going backwards in ram design architecture but backwards on speed as well. DDR3 1600MHz ram has half the raw speed of XDR while have even less in actual overall real world real-time performance. I just don't buy it. Will the PS4 have less overall ram than the competition? It's possible. Will the PS4 go backwards in ram technology? It's unlikely.

Now, as for the CPU rumors. I'm still of the belief that Sony will use a Cell BE derivative architecture CPU from IBM. The Power7 CPUs look to be the most plausible possibilities. Still, we don't know squat about what is going on. For once, Sony has done an excellent job of keeping tight-lipped.[/QUOTE]

I am onboard with you on the whole RAM debadicle, but as for the Cell architecture, I have a feeling that will be going to the grave, you have to remember the whole Cell BE thing was Ken Kutaragi's baby, he is no longer there and I am willing to bet they drop it in the PS4/Orbis. It is just more logical that they are going to go with off the shelf parts and make it easier to develop for. I have a feeling we will be seeing the A10 APU along with a discrete GPU as well, which they might throw the old Cell BE in there as a processor for another function and also for backwards compatibility (like the PS2 did with the PS1 CPU), but I think even that is going to be a long shot!
 
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Lefein

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#26
Cell was supposed to go into TVs, computers, and all kinds of consumer goods but that never happened. It's pretty much dead in the water. There were no avenues of recuperating the research and development costs and there is no reason to carry it on to the next generation at this point. There were some truly amazing road map plans for Cell going to a kind of multi-multicore architecture by 2013. It would have been a true beast, but if Sony went that route, they would have no developers backing it.

The real key here is in the Vita. No doubt, if Cell was a commercial success, we would have seen a miniature Cell in the Vita but Sony opted for a more standard CPU instead. I have very little doubt this is the direction they will go in with the PS4. If Sony was going with something really exotic in the CPU, we would have heard about it by now since development kits are already going out as well.
 
Oct 18, 2006
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[QUOTE="Lefein, post: 5992573]Cell was supposed to go into TVs, computers, and all kinds of consumer goods but that never happened. It's pretty much dead in the water. There were no avenues of recuperating the research and development costs and there is no reason to carry it on to the next generation at this point. There were some truly amazing road map plans for Cell going to a kind of multi-multicore architecture by 2013. It would have been a true beast, but if Sony went that route, they would have no developers backing it.

The real key here is in the Vita. No doubt, if Cell was a commercial success, we would have seen a miniature Cell in the Vita but Sony opted for a more standard CPU instead. I have very little doubt this is the direction they will go in with the PS4. If Sony was going with something really exotic in the CPU, we would have heard about it by now since development kits are already going out as well.[/QUOTE]

Exactamundo!