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PowerPC is the choice for all new consoles

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  • PowerPC
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Anonymous
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June 30, 2004 3:34:40 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.powerpc.tech,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1616981,00.asp

_______________________________________________________________________________
PowerPC Roadmap Turns to Consoles
By Mark Hachman
June 25, 2004

IBM Corp.'s PowerPC roadmap has narrowed in recent months.

With IBM's sale of its embedded PowerPC 4XX family in April to Applied
Micro Circuits Corp., analysts say the company is moving away from
developing standard products entirely, chips used as storage and
network controllers, to concentrate on developing custom solutions for
a few key customers.


Those core applications include Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh
computer; IBM's own blade servers; and a variety of next-generation
video game consoles that may eventually evolve into more
general-purpose computing devices.

Currently, IBM's PowerPC public roadmap comprises three product lines:
the 9XX series, used within the Macintosh and IBM's JS20 blade
servers, currently being revamped for the mobile and server markets;
the 7XX series, spearheaded by the PowerPC 750GX for embedded
applications; and a pair of cores available for licensing.

The real work is behind the scenes, however, where IBM is developing
the "Cell" processor for future entertainment consoles sold by Sony
Corp.; the processor used by the "Xenon," Microsoft Corp.'s
next-generation Xbox; as well as the "Revolution," Nintendo Ltd.'s
next-generation console. IBM has already shipped more than 10 million
PowerPCs to Nintendo for use in the current GameCube, each a 485MHz
derivative of the G3 called the "Gekko."

During 2003, the PowerPC's penetration into non-compute applications
such as storage and network controllers totaled just under 47 million
units, according to Semico Research Corp. of Phoenix. The total
includes sales from IBM as well as Freescale Semiconductor, the other
primary developer of the PowerPC architecture. Austin, Texas-based
Freescale will spin off from Motorola Inc. later this year as an
independent company focused on designing and selling semiconductors.

By comparison, ARM Ltd.'s embedded architecture sold 783 million units
in 2003; MIPS Technologies Inc.'s MIPS architecture sold 126 million
units. Sales of embedded X86 processors from Intel Corp. and other
suppliers was under 19 million units, mostly into point-of-sale
terminals and kiosks.

With the sale of the PowerPC 4XX series in April for $227 million in
cash, IBM essentially exited the standard products market, concluded
Linley Gwennap, principal analyst with The Linley Group in Mountain
View, Calif.

"This sale is likely the final step in IBM's strategy of divesting
from the standard-product business," Gwennap wrote in a note to the
company's clients. "The company will now focus its resources on
developing products for a few large customers (such as Sony, Apple and
IBM's systems business) as well as its ASIC and foundry business. This
strategy reduces the company's product-development risk. IBM will
continue to offer a few products, such as the PowerPC 7xx family, to
third parties that request them."

"The PowerPC in the communications infrastructure goes head-to-head
with MIPS, and thus is hampered," said Semico analyst Tony Massimini.
"IBM decided to follow different path, and get into video games…across
the three major platforms. That's going to pump up the volume numbers
for PowerPC going forward."

Instead, most of the true embedded work will be left to AMCC and to
Freescale, which has yet to spell out its plans in the PowerPC space.
The spinoff has announced a range of cores, including the e300 and
e500, based on the PowerQICC cores for communications, and slated to
scale beyond 1.5GHz; the e600, a G4-compatible
symmetric-multiprocessing (SMP) chip expected to scale beyond 2GHz;
and the e700, an unannounced 32-bit/64-bit microprocessor that should
scale to 3GHz and beyond.

That doesn't mean that IBM's PowerPC architecture won't compete in the
embedded space.

"I think you'll see the PowerPC 970FX in a much wider range of
applications, following the embedded market," said Jesse Stein,
PowerPC marketing programs manager at IBM. "While frequency is a
concern…first and foremost is power."

In addition, IBM will continue to market the 7XX series of processors,
known more commonly as the basis for the Apple G3 line. The PowerPC
750GX builds upon the older PowerPC 750FX, adding a full-speed, 1MB
Level 2 cache and the ability to run at 1.1GHz. IBM will still market
solution in the 4XX series, but as customizable, system-on-a-chip
solutions, Stein said.


IBM's real work is with its gaming-platform customers, including
Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Sony, Toshiba and IBM are developing
the "Cell" processor, a modular design whose specifications are
unknown. However, IBM engineers will apparently disclose more details
about the chip at a conference in Vail, Colo., sponsored by the
Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

According to a technology white paper supposedly authored by Pete
Isensee of the Microsoft Xbox Technology Group that was making the
rounds of game sites Wednesday, the "Xenon" Xbox 2 will use three
3.5GHz PowerPC custom cores, each with 64KB of Level 1 cache and a
shared 1MB of Level 2 cache. The white paper's authenticity could not
be confirmed.


However, some of the early comments by other IBM customers indicate
that clock speed will not drive the designs. In both the Sony and
Nintendo designs, IBM will work with graphics-chip maker ATI
Technologies Inc., Thornhill, Ontario, to generate graphics.

"I suppose I could give you a list of our technical specs, but I won't
for a simple reason: They really don't matter," said Satoru Iwata,
Nintendo's president, during a press conference at the Electronic
Entertainment Expo show in Los Angeles in May discussing the company's
next-generation console, which would deliver an "unprecedented play
experience". "The time when horsepower alone made an important
difference is over."
_______________________________________________________________________________

More about : powerpc choice consoles

June 30, 2004 8:21:26 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.powerpc.tech,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

radeonr420@yahoo.com (R420) wrote in message news:<51488ce2.0406292234.7131596b@posting.google.com>...
> http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1616981,00.asp
>

Interesting read thank you dude.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 30, 2004 1:01:55 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.powerpc.tech,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

radeonr420@yahoo.com (R420) wrote in message news:<51488ce2.0406292234.7131596b@posting.google.com>...

> The real work is behind the scenes, however, where IBM is developing
> the "Cell" processor for future entertainment consoles sold by Sony
> Corp.; the processor used by the "Xenon," Microsoft Corp.'s
> next-generation Xbox; as well as the "Revolution," Nintendo Ltd.'s
> next-generation console. IBM has already shipped more than 10 million
> PowerPCs to Nintendo for use in the current GameCube, each a 485MHz
> derivative of the G3 called the "Gekko."

I didn't think the "Cell" processor was PowerPC based though, am I
wrong? This could be good news for Mac users, if all the consoles are
PowerPC dependent then porting games to the Mac should be a lot easier
than it has been in the past.

- Jordan
Related resources
Anonymous
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June 30, 2004 1:56:25 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.powerpc.tech,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips, R420 wrote:

> PowerPC Roadmap Turns to Consoles
> [...]

R420,

comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips deals with the hardware chips used inside
"IBM PC compatible" computer systems. In other words, the PowerPC
platform is off-topic in comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips.

Check http://sandpile.org/ for a list of processors that are topical here.

Could you, please, refrain from posting off-topic articles to this group?

[ Followup-To set to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips ]

--
Regards, Grumble
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 30, 2004 1:56:26 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.powerpc.tech,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

>
> Could you, please, refrain from posting off-topic articles to this group?
>
> [ Followup-To set to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips ]


okay.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 30, 2004 5:41:24 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.powerpc.tech,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

On 30 Jun 2004 09:01:55 -0700, lundj@earthlink.net (Jordan Lund)
wrote:
>radeonr420@yahoo.com (R420) wrote in message news:<51488ce2.0406292234.7131596b@posting.google.com>...
>
>> The real work is behind the scenes, however, where IBM is developing
>> the "Cell" processor for future entertainment consoles sold by Sony
>> Corp.; the processor used by the "Xenon," Microsoft Corp.'s
>> next-generation Xbox; as well as the "Revolution," Nintendo Ltd.'s
>> next-generation console. IBM has already shipped more than 10 million
>> PowerPCs to Nintendo for use in the current GameCube, each a 485MHz
>> derivative of the G3 called the "Gekko."
>
>I didn't think the "Cell" processor was PowerPC based though, am I
>wrong?

Cell is kind of a PowerPC based design, though it's heavily modified
from any existing PowerPC based chips and not at all binary
compatible.

> This could be good news for Mac users, if all the consoles are
>PowerPC dependent then porting games to the Mac should be a lot easier
>than it has been in the past.

Not really. The operating system is the tricky part, not the ISA.
For example, XBox2 consoles might be using PowerPC chips, but they'll
still be running the Win32 API with DirectX for the most part. The
compiler can take care of the differences in the processors with
little difficulties at all, so porting to Windows/x86 is relatively
easy. On the other hand, to port it to a Mac you would have to
completely replace all the Win32 and DirectX code, basically rewriting
most of the game.

If the software is the same, porting is (relatively) easy, hardware is
taken care of by the compiler.

-------------
Tony Hill
hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 30, 2004 6:29:02 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

"xTenn" <xTennREmoveThisPart@tds.net> wrote in message
news:40e301eb$1_3@newspeer2.tds.net...
>
> "BelPowerslave" <belpowerslave@ev1.net> wrote in message
> news:40E2DF19.D06E36F2@ev1.net...
> >
>
> ( Personally I find R420's postings amusing, but a purposeful email change
> to avoid spam would put a different spin on things... ).
>


Hey - I went back to November of last year and the email address (at least
as far as posting to the xbox forums are concerned) are the same as his
current one.

How far back are you going?
June 30, 2004 11:28:13 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.powerpc.tech,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

On Wed, 30 Jun 2004 13:41:24 -0400, Tony Hill
<hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:
>> This could be good news for Mac users, if all the consoles are
>>PowerPC dependent then porting games to the Mac should be a lot easier
>>than it has been in the past.
>
>Not really. The operating system is the tricky part, not the ISA.
>For example, XBox2 consoles might be using PowerPC chips, but they'll
>still be running the Win32 API with DirectX for the most part. The
>compiler can take care of the differences in the processors with
>little difficulties at all, so porting to Windows/x86 is relatively
>easy. On the other hand, to port it to a Mac you would have to
>completely replace all the Win32 and DirectX code, basically rewriting
>most of the game.

The OS part won;t be too much of a problem. You can wrap up the OS
layer wiht a higher layer, much like is used to create a
DX/OpenGl/Software Emu graphics layer. OK so it isn't simple but its a
stright forwards prooven methodology.

The biggest part will be all the extra error handling and capability
detection that is required to cater for different hardware
conigurations, such as graphics cards. Again there are nigh standard
libraries that development houses use for this now anyway.

>If the software is the same, porting is (relatively) easy, hardware is
>taken care of by the compiler.

Partially yes. Mostly by the software that the compiler is compiling.

--
GSX600F - Matilda the cracked teapot, gaffer tape included
Wipe up catpoo to reply

Wipe off cat poo to reply
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
July 1, 2004 12:57:15 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.powerpc.tech,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

"Jordan Lund" <lundj@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:92dbefbe.0406300801.a3c55ce@posting.google.com...
> radeonr420@yahoo.com (R420) wrote in message
news:<51488ce2.0406292234.7131596b@posting.google.com>...
>
> > The real work is behind the scenes, however, where IBM is developing
> > the "Cell" processor for future entertainment consoles sold by Sony
> > Corp.; the processor used by the "Xenon," Microsoft Corp.'s
> > next-generation Xbox; as well as the "Revolution," Nintendo Ltd.'s
> > next-generation console. IBM has already shipped more than 10 million
> > PowerPCs to Nintendo for use in the current GameCube, each a 485MHz
> > derivative of the G3 called the "Gekko."
>
> I didn't think the "Cell" processor was PowerPC based though, am I
> wrong? This could be good news for Mac users, if all the consoles are
> PowerPC dependent then porting games to the Mac should be a lot easier
> than it has been in the past.
>
> - Jordan

Cell is using PowerPC CPUs to supervise and orchistrate the workload to the
APU processors which are going to be the work horse of Cell processors. the
PU portion of Cell, seen in the Cell patents, are CPU cores, and are most
likely PowerPC of some sort. speculation is that these are G4 class
PowerPCs.

Each PE (processing element or processor element) has a PU ( the CPU core,
likely to be PowerPC) with 8 attached processors, the APUs. a full Cell
based CPU, like the one for PlayStation3, might be made of 4 PEs, so that
would be 4 PUs and 32 APUs.

Cell is modular and scalable so basicly any combination of PEs, APUs, and
FPUs within each APU can be used to make a whole range of Cell based
processors. Cell is not just one chip, but the one most people talk about
is "the Cell" for PlayStation3.

I am hoping that IBM and perhaps Sony as well, make a new next gen computer
will Cell based processors. maybe even the next next generation Macs after
G6.
March 15, 2014 2:57:39 AM

Filed Groups : comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.powerpc.tech,alt.games.video.sony-playstation2,alt.games.video.nintendo.gamecube,alt.games.video.xbox ( More info ? )

My radeonr420@yahoo.co ( R420 ) wrote in message news : < 51488ce2.0406292234.7131596b @ posting.google.co I> ...

IBM develops the work > real , however , behind the scenes
> The future of entertainment consoles sold by Sony " Cell " processor
> Corp. , " Xenon , " Microsoft Corp. processors in use
> Xbox Next Generation , as well as " The Revolution , " Nintendo Co. , Ltd.
> The Next Generation consoles . IBM has already sold more than 10 million
All 485mhz existing GameCube , Nintendo Access > PowerPC
> Derivative G3 " Gekko . " called

While I do not " Cell " processor PowerPC - based does not believe in
Wrong ? All consoles , but this may be good news for Mac users
PowerPC Mac addicts should be much easier then carrying games
it than in the past .

embeddedplanet
!