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Next generations consoles to use hybrid architectures with unified memory space.

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Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2013

The next generation of high performing gaming consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, will both use a hybrid architecture using a semi-custom SoC design based on AMD's modules.

 

Both consoles will use an 8-core CPU, each core being a AMD Jaguar core grouped in 2 4-core groups that share the L2 cache. Also, in both consoles the graphics processing unit consists will be based on AMD's GNC architecture, but the PlayStation 4 will incorporate 18 Compute Units, while the Xbox One will incorporate 12 Compute Units. The GPU processing power is intended to be used for graphic rendering and physics simulation.

Even if both consoles will incorporate 8 GB memory, he memory subsystem is were we can find more differences. The PlayStation 4 will use high bandwidth GDDR5 (176 GB/s) while Xbox One will use DDR3 with a maximum bandwith of 68 GB/s but will incorporate in the SoC a 32 MB embedded-SRAM. This ESRAM does not need refreshing and its latency is much lower, compared to DRAM. It is not clear yet how the ESRAM will be used; if it will be directly accesible by the OS and applications or if it will just behave as another cache level. In both cases the RAM will use a unified architecture, sharing the memory and its address space between the CPU and GPU. The non-unified memory architecture of the previous console generation was reportedly problematic.

The PlayStation 4 also includes a secondary custom chip which handles tasks associated with secondary tasks (like uploading and downloading data, handling social media networks, etc..).

More information on PlayStation 4

More information on Xbox One

 

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