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

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tviceman

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2008
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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!

Exactly, I wasn't even trying to argue or talk about the profit margins. I just wanted clarification that AMD is selling physical chips to Sony rather than Sony handling the production and paying AMD a royalty.
 

lamedude

Golden Member
Jan 14, 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.
175 million Wii and 360's sold but the coffers are empty. MS should be reluctant to use chips they can't own after the first Xbox unless AMD made MS a deal they couldn't refuse.
 

Pilum

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Aug 27, 2012
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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.
Did any CPU maker ever get their logo on a console - MIPS, Intel, IBM? No? This should tell you something...
 

Pilum

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Aug 27, 2012
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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.
The Xbox360 has had 6 threads since 2005. The PS3 9 threads since 2006. This hasn't had much impact on the importance of single-threaded CPU performance for PC games. There's really no reason to believe things will be different this time.
 

NTMBK

Lifer
Nov 14, 2011
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The Xbox360 has had 6 threads since 2005. The PS3 9 threads since 2006. This hasn't had much impact on the importance of single-threaded CPU performance for PC games. There's really no reason to believe things will be different this time.

The limiting factor was the PS3. It had 1 "real" thread, 1 lightweight SMT thread, and a whole bunch of SPUs which you can hardly count as true threads- they all needed to be controlled and governed by the PPU. This is very different to 8 equally strong threads, with equal performance and privileges.
 

NTMBK

Lifer
Nov 14, 2011
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Did any CPU maker ever get their logo on a console - MIPS, Intel, IBM? No? This should tell you something...

My Gamecube had an ATi graphics sticker on the front.

EDIT: (And no, I didn't put it there myself. :p )
 

inf64

Diamond Member
Mar 11, 2011
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Also that 1 thread it had was very very weak. The bunch of SPUs were only good for certain tasks and not for general purpose computations. All in all,very bad and expensive choice for a PS3 console by Sony. This time they did everything alright,choosing much more balanced CPU/GPU combination. PC gaming can only benefit from this.
 

jacktesterson

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
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The Wii has a ATI logo on it too. Forgot about this.

wii_unbox_32.jpg
 

svenge

Senior member
Jan 21, 2006
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Did any CPU maker ever get their logo on a console - MIPS, Intel, IBM? No? This should tell you something...

There's an "ATI" sticker on my Gamecube...

EDIT: Whoops, didn't notice my counter-example was already posted...
 

Idontcare

Elite Member
Oct 10, 1999
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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.

Should be no different then how the rest of the market works - AMD owns the responsibility of designing and getting the chip fabbed, Sony owns the responsibility of putting the chip into something and selling the end-product to resellers. Same as smartphones and so on.
 

Pilum

Member
Aug 27, 2012
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The limiting factor was the PS3. It had 1 "real" thread, 1 lightweight SMT thread,
Huh? Both threads on the PPE are equal, as is the case in most SMT architectures. AFAIK only POWER supports (dynamic) SMT thread priority.

and a whole bunch of SPUs which you can hardly count as true threads- they all needed to be controlled and governed by the PPU. This is very different to 8 equally strong threads, with equal performance and privileges.
Yes, of course coding for the SPUs is far trickier than coding for a coherent architecture. However, any code written for the PPE/SPUs will port easily back to a symmetric and coherent architecture, e.g. x86. Game developers were forced to use multi-threading on the consoles, especially because the in-order PPC/SPU cores had such weak single-threaded performance. This didn't change anything about PC games having a strong preference for single-threaded performance.
 

NTMBK

Lifer
Nov 14, 2011
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Huh? Both threads on the PPE are equal, as is the case in most SMT architectures. AFAIK only POWER supports (dynamic) SMT thread priority.

I was referring to the performance gain from the use of the second thread. I haven't developed for PS3 so I don't know hard numbers, but on modern x86 2 threads on 1 core only gives you ~15% performance boost over 1 thread on one core. The incentive for using that second thread is lower than for a true second core.
 

Pilum

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Aug 27, 2012
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I was referring to the performance gain from the use of the second thread. I haven't developed for PS3 so I don't know hard numbers, but on modern x86 2 threads on 1 core only gives you ~15% performance boost over 1 thread on one core. The incentive for using that second thread is lower than for a true second core.
You're talking about the OoO Core family, which is extremely efficient at using its execution resources even with on thread, and thus doesn't gain much with SMT. In-order architectures are a different story. Atom gains around 50% on Cinebench R10 with SMT enabled. PPE will be more efficient as it will stall less often on its LSU, thanks to the big register file (32GP/FP/Vec (128Vec for Xbox360)).

Of course, on the CELL you might have ignored the second thread if you went wild on the SPUs, as the additional performance of the PPEs 2nd thread would be negligible compared to 6 SPUs. But for the Xbox360 I don't see how programmers will generally have ignored at least ~40% of available CPU power.