PS4 APU - is Sony or AMD handling the actual production?

tviceman

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Is Sony paying AMD royalties for the APU in the PS4, or is AMD handling the manufacturing and straight up selling the chip to Sony? There is a big difference monetary exchange between the two setups.

The reason I ask is because AMD licenses x86 from Intel and I wasn't sure of the legalities of Sony handling the manufacturing of an x86 chip and paying royalties to AMD for it.
 

Abwx

Lifer
Apr 2, 2011
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According to recent infos they are likely selling the chip since
they said that they own all IP about it and will sell cut down version
in the consumer market.
 

ShintaiDK

Lifer
Apr 22, 2012
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Unless something is radically changed. Sony will buy from AMD and the chips will be made at TSMC.
 

inf64

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Mar 11, 2011
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All of the IP in the PS4 is AMD's IP. It means they have designed the hardware and sold the design to Sony. Sony designed the OS,controllers,packaging and similar stuff. As for who makes it we don't know yet,but AMD cannot make it since they own no fabs. If TSMC is the foundry for the SOC then AMD will probably get some small royalty per console/chip sold by Sony. This small amount can end up being huge amount when Sony sells ~20-30 million consoles in a few years.
So Sony is not the one making the SOC itself,it's TSMC as per AMD's design. Sony just licensed AMD's IP and used it for its product.
 

NTMBK

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Nov 14, 2011
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According to recent infos they are likely selling the chip since
they said that they own all IP about it and will sell cut down version
in the consumer market.

Is that based on that Tom's Hardware article? I think that that was just Tom's totally misunderstanding how reusable Jaguar and GCN cores work, and probably refers to Kabini.

EDIT: Sorry, the Inquirer, not Tom's.
 
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inf64

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Mar 11, 2011
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Yeah they totally misunderstood John Taylor. There won't be any PS4's SOC in free sale, Taylor was just talking about Kabini and possibly Kaveri later in the year. This thing that they made for Sony will definitely be "the most powerful APU" (from AMD) for a long time. I doubt we will see 1.84TF capable iGPU in 2015,made by AMD.
 

Abwx

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Apr 2, 2011
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It depends on the actual CPU chip.

If they use two 4C separate dies then it s likely that they are talking
simply of Kabini/Temash , but what if the chip is a 8C single die ?..

What will they do with dies that have only 7 or 6 functional cores.?..
 

tviceman

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So basically it is no longer like past consoles, where the design was sold to Microsoft (or whoever) and Microsoft managed the building of the chips themselves and just pays a royalty to AMD for the design. This time around, AMD is no longer selling the design, but the chip itself (after TSMC builds it).

So it should end up giving AMD higher revenue per chip vs. per license, correct?
 

NTMBK

Lifer
Nov 14, 2011
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So basically it is no longer like past consoles, where the design was sold to Microsoft (or whoever) and Microsoft managed the building of the chips themselves and just pays a royalty to AMD for the design. This time around, AMD is no longer selling the design, but the chip itself (after TSMC builds it).

So it should end up giving AMD higher revenue per chip vs. per license, correct?

It's not unprecedented- Intel had a similar model for the original XBox.
 

ShintaiDK

Lifer
Apr 22, 2012
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So it should end up giving AMD higher revenue per chip vs. per license, correct?

Thats far from certain. The reason is that its x86, thats why AMD have to manufactor it. And if AMD goes belly up, so will consoles.

I doubt the console makers are paying more than they normally would. So expect razor thin margins and something that needs 5-8 years to really pay off.
 

NTMBK

Lifer
Nov 14, 2011
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And if AMD goes belly up, so will consoles.

Not necessarily true. AMD could easily carry on existence as a skeleton company whose sole purpose is selling PS4 and XBox processors, based on existing designs, fabbed by TSMC. The only issue with that would be when it came to die shrinks.
 

Jimzz

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Oct 23, 2012
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And yet AMD continues to drop on the stock market :\

The profit magins on these are very thin. The biggest win for AMD in this deal isgetting games coded for AMD hardware (GPU) and also coding for more than 2-4cpu cores (Piledriver and future designs).

Piledriver does well when using all 8 cores but when comparing 1 to 1 to intel; intel wins. AMD needs more code to be designed for over 4 cores to make it look better.
 

Zstream

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Oct 24, 2005
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The profit magins on these are very thin. The biggest win for AMD in this deal isgetting games coded for AMD hardware (GPU) and also coding for more than 2-4cpu cores (Piledriver and future designs).

Piledriver does well when using all 8 cores but when comparing 1 to 1 to intel; intel wins. AMD needs more code to be designed for over 4 cores to make it look better.

What he said :colbert:
 

Tegeril

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Apr 2, 2003
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Right but this is still revenue flowing through the company and paying salaries, razor thin margins or not…which sounds like an upside to AMD currently :p
 

mrmt

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The profit magins on these are very thin. The biggest win for AMD in this deal isgetting games coded for AMD hardware (GPU) and also coding for more than 2-4cpu cores (Piledriver and future designs).

IIRC Jaguar does not have much in common with Bulldozer/Piledriver.
 

Gikaseixas

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At least seems to be a business that they wont end up bleeding cash like crazy.
 

Ancalagon44

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IIRC Jaguar does not have much in common with Bulldozer/Piledriver.

Yes but it now means that developers must write their code to use at least 6 threads (my guess) in order for it to perform well on the PS4 and XBox Next, thanks to the relatively low single threaded performance of each coupled with high core count.

If they are already writing code with 8 cores in mind, and its x86 code, it should port pretty well to Bulldozer derivatives, which are natively 8 core designs, as opposed to most of Intel's CPUs, which are 4 core. Only the higher end Intel CPUs are 4 cores with HT.
 

blackened23

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Jul 26, 2011
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It's quite confusing to see discussion and blanket statements on what the margins will be when none of us know WTF.

It could be low, it could be high, nobody really knows. Certainly nobody here on this board!
 
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itsmydamnation

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Feb 6, 2011
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Thats far from certain. The reason is that its x86, thats why AMD have to manufactor it. And if AMD goes belly up, so will consoles.

I doubt the console makers are paying more than they normally would. So expect razor thin margins and something that needs 5-8 years to really pay off.

Or they could be selling them at good margin because AMD have products no one else can match. I also love how GCN which has like 6 SOC's (excluding consoles) and jaguar which is designed to allow multiple CU's and for portability now magically takes 5-8 year to get ROI. :rolleyes:
 

happysmiles

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May 1, 2012
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The profit magins on these are very thin. The biggest win for AMD in this deal isgetting games coded for AMD hardware (GPU) and also coding for more than 2-4cpu cores (Piledriver and future designs).

Piledriver does well when using all 8 cores but when comparing 1 to 1 to intel; intel wins. AMD needs more code to be designed for over 4 cores to make it look better.

Marketing and credibility through association

AMD are terrible with marketing their products, ask anyone really!

It seems that the confidence in AMD pre-2013 has been really low and I only saw their products in second-rate laptops or 10-11.6"

With the PS4 win, it really puts AMD in the spotlight and say "we got our act together and now delivering quality products"
Puts trust back into other manufacturers and developers and ultimately updates their image for customers "This uses similar hardware to the playstation 4? YES PLEASE"

Now if Apple uses Kaveri for their next Macbook Air then that should cement AMD's status.

I think the bigger picture is actually HSA, if game engines well on PS4 and can be ported to PC then slightly modified for ARM phones/tablets it would be a cross-platform dream.
 

Olikan

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Sep 23, 2011
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I doubt the console makers are paying more than they normally would. So expect razor thin margins and something that needs 5-8 years to really pay off.

kinda hard to belive...maybe 6 at max...

PS4 = standard tecnology (jaguar, GCN, GDDR5)
PS3 = exotic tecnology (CELL, XDR, Blu-Ray)
 

nenforcer

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Aug 26, 2008
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The fact that AMD is in a trifecta of next generation consoles is huge (Nintendo Wii U, XBOX Next, PS4) and now may be a good time to purchase AMD stock.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Marketing and credibility through association

With the PS4 win, it really puts AMD in the spotlight and say "we got our act together and now delivering quality products"
I really hope that AMD gets their logo upon bootup of the console, and/or gets their logo physically on the console. At least, printed large on the console's box.
 

Dark Shroud

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Mar 26, 2010
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We can probably expect a similar Juager based APU in the 3rd gen Xbox as well. Hopefully MS will be using at least 6 CPU cores in their system. That way the games engines can be coded for multiple x86-x64 threads. I can't wait to get a nice boost in baseline performance in CPU games.

A console trifecta and getting their Steamroller CPUs out sooner than later would be a nice win for AMD.