How was PlayStation 4? The story of its designer




How was the PlayStation 4? The story of its designer

Создание PS4

In February 2013, the Corporation Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) in general terms, to tell about the new generation game console PlayStation 4 (PS4). Our resource repeatedly covered topic PS4, including detail . But readers interested in learning more about how to create stunning new. Journalists resource Tech-On! talked to the chief designer of the legendary video game console brand of ink (Mark Cerney). And this interview to clarify some still hidden by fog from the general public, the general outlines of new items.

Why x86?

Создание PS4

First of all, in the PS4 uses specially made for her processor. This merged together on a single chip eight powerful 64-bit «Jaguar». Themselves processors developed by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and are based on the architecture of x86. Impressive and GPU (graphics processing unit), which became «Radeon» next-generation performance with up startling figures: 1,84 TFLOPS (ie, trillions of floating point operations per second). I wonder why Sony Computer Entertainment decided to focus on the architecture of x86? Mark Cerny exhaustively answered this question many exciting:

In making the decision played a role such factors as technology, time and business. We started the PS4 in 2008. Since then we have been negotiating with many companies considering the possibility of using a particular technology.

The use of the x86 architecture simplifies the development of game software, as it has a sufficient set of software tools, libraries of programs for numerical analysis using her access to multimedia instructions. A favorable factor is the fact that compilers quickly begin to support the latest advanced instruction and vector operations.

That is, the x86 architecture is a very important advantage: it is widespread and under it easy to create the program (in this case the game). The answer, as is often the case, was lying on the surface. When equality of other factors always expedient and easier to choose the most common and well supported platform.
Addressing the problem of bandwidth

Создание PS4

One of the major hardware components PS4 is the main memory. According to Czerny, a bandwidth of 176 gigabytes per second is achieved by using sixteen 4-gigabit memory chips GDDR5.

Why does Sony Computer Entertainment decided to opt GDDR5 memory type DDR3, which is used as a mass memory for personal computers? The fact that this type of GDDR5 can solve the problem of the exchange channel memory, which, in the words of the designer, was the weakest point of the whole system:

(Discussing the difficulties that lie in the cost and supply), we decided to stop for 8-GB memory modules. The reason for this was the high demand from developers. Our priority is the development of such a configuration that will make game development easy task for developers. The result of [the decision] will create a lot of games.

And there are clear reasons for the decision. After all, you need to create not just a powerful console without showpiece that people admire and … forget the next day. Attractive platform for developers is crucial for Sony Computer Entertainment. Will developers – will play. Will the game – there is interest on the part of gamers. And the price of technology is probably also played a role.
Not be a problem for game developers

Создание PS4

So was the slogan under which the PlayStation 4 was being developed. About how this fundamental theoretical principle embodied in practical reality it will be interesting to listen to the most important designer:

The fundamental design principle was to thinking about what we should not do the puzzle for game developers. For example, if we were to use eDRAM (DRAM memory chip) as the main memory in addition to expandable memory, memory bandwidth would have a few terabytes per second. Performance-wise, it would be good.

But in this case, the developer would have to work on solving a puzzle. Under the most rapid operation, in which [of the two types of memory] should persist data: a low capacity eDRAM or additional memory, which has a large amount? We chose to make this situation arose. Our main priority was to allow developers to spend your precious time just to create games.

The result of applying the principle of simplifying the problem was the console game developers, based on the same technologies that are at the heart of an ordinary personal computer architecture. Designer himself calls it «Supercharged PC Architecture» («PC architecture with enhanced performance”). According to Mark Cerny, the architecture was greeted with approval:

We received very positive feedback from the developers to the concept «Supercharged PC Architecture», as it will significantly improve performance, but they have a simple [platform] for game development. This “iron”, to create a game that is very simple.

Sony – favorite innovation race

Инновации SCE

Designer casually touched and those parts of the console, which ensures its high performance. These solutions are brilliant engineers finds Sony Computer Entertainment:

There are many, but you can get an idea for the four of them.

Structure realizing high speed data transfer between the central (CPU) and graphics (GPU) processors.
The structure, which reduces the time during which the data is overwritten back of cache memory to the graphics processor.
Structure to set priorities in multiple layers on arithmetic and graphic processes.
Function, forcing the CPU to take on pre-treatment processes GPU.

In okolotehnologicheskih blogs do not cease heated debate about who is now a major world innovator – Apple or Samsung? There is a third point of view. At least for Mark Cerny answer to this difficult question is obvious:

We declare that our company is a leader of innovation. Our own outstanding technology used to make PS4.

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