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AMD Elaborates on PS4's Custom ''Jaguar'' APU

By - Source: AMD | B 116 comments

AMD and Sony worked together to create a custom "Jaguar" APU.

AMD's Vice President of Global Communications and Industry Marketing John Taylor recently "elaborated" on the APU that is packed in Sony's semi-announced PlayStation 4 console. He said the new gaming console is the first announced design win based on a semi-custom AMD APU which was jointly developed in coordination with Sony.

"At the most basic level, an APU is a single chip that combines general-purpose x86 central processing unit (CPU) cores with a graphics processing unit (GPU) and a variety of system elements, including memory controllers, specialized video decoders, display outputs, etc.," he said. "Our semi-custom solutions take the same treasure trove of graphics; compute and multi-media IP found in our APUs, and customize them for customers who have a very specific high-volume product that could benefit from AMD’s leading-edge technologies."

But for the PlayStation 4, AMD leveraged the building blocks of its 2013 product "roadmap" for PCs and created a solution that incorporates the upcoming "Jaguar" CPU cores with next-generation Radeon graphics, thus delivering nearly 2 TFLOPS of compute performance. This will allow developers to "fundamentally" change the console gaming experience by letting them harness the power of parallel processing.

As stated on Wednesday, the APU will consist of eight x64 AMD "Jaguar" cores and a next-generation Radeon GPU comprised of 18 "compute units" capable of cranking out 1.84 teraflops. This chip will be backed by 8 GB of unified GDDR5 RAM (17 GB/sec of bandwidth), a built-in HDD, USB 3.0, a Blu-ray optical drive, Gigabit Ethernet, Wireless N and more. Note that a Radeon HD 7970 is rated at 3.5 teraflops.

AMD's "Jaguar" is the successor to "Bobcat" which powers current C- and E-Series low-power APUs. The company is expected to launch its first batch of Jaguar-based APUs during the middle of 2013, codenamed as Kabini and Temash. These 28-nm chips will have power envelopes of 15W or less, and up to four cores.

In addition to the PlayStation 4 explanation, Taylor hinted at big news on the horizon for gamers with AMD hardware. Could the company possibly be retaliating against Nvidia's Project Shield? We'll find out next month when AMD reveals its big surprise at the Game Developers Conference.

"This is going to be a very exciting year for gamers, especially for those with AMD hardware in their PCs and consoles, as we have even more game-changing (pun intended) announcements still to come," he said. "Look for some more exciting things happening at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in March when we will provide even more info on how we are working with game developers to make AMD the hardware of choice for running the best games!"

Alright, you have our attention. Blow our minds next month, please. Meanwhile, we'll salivate over the new PlayStation 4 game screens… maybe.

 

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  • 31 Hide
    southernshark , February 22, 2013 2:08 AM
    Sounds awesome. I might actually buy some AMD stock.
  • 30 Hide
    unksol , February 22, 2013 2:37 AM
    EXT64"(17 GB/sec of bandwidth)"That seems somewhat low, particularly for a GPU


    You guys have GOT to start checking things Toms says instead of just nagging on whoever the article is about. how can you read news here and not know they always mess it up? If it sounds wrong it probably is. From their own article that they linked.

    "The 8GB of unified memory is shared between the CPU and GPU and supplies over 170GB/s of bandwidth."

    They just screwed up their copy and paste again
Other Comments
  • 31 Hide
    southernshark , February 22, 2013 2:08 AM
    Sounds awesome. I might actually buy some AMD stock.
  • -9 Hide
    horaciopz , February 22, 2013 2:35 AM
    17 GB/sec is too low for GDDR5 memory, I mean a geforce 8400gs has more o.O! Actually a more real number would 170 Gb/sec, my HD6950 is about that number with 1330 memory clock... Which is about the bandwith of a HD 7850 and therefore the suspected performance of the APU....

    This is awesome, a partial gaming computer on that console will be great for ports and the raw power looks awesome compared with the PS3 hardware and what it can do by now.... So it may last pretty good. Imagine what developers can do with such power actually "used" or better said, optimized! yeah! :D 
  • 30 Hide
    unksol , February 22, 2013 2:37 AM
    EXT64"(17 GB/sec of bandwidth)"That seems somewhat low, particularly for a GPU


    You guys have GOT to start checking things Toms says instead of just nagging on whoever the article is about. how can you read news here and not know they always mess it up? If it sounds wrong it probably is. From their own article that they linked.

    "The 8GB of unified memory is shared between the CPU and GPU and supplies over 170GB/s of bandwidth."

    They just screwed up their copy and paste again
  • 0 Hide
    bossferas , February 22, 2013 2:44 AM
    I am confused... are they going to have an apu (with its gpu on-die) and another separate gpu in the system totaling two gpu's? or will it just have a strong apu?
  • 27 Hide
    esrever , February 22, 2013 2:44 AM
    the bandwidth is 176GB/s. Toms can't copy/paste properly, nor can it seem to proof read.
  • -5 Hide
    A Bad Day , February 22, 2013 2:45 AM
    17 GB/sec of bandwidth? Isn't that DDR3's bandwidth? WTF?

    Publish first, never fact check...
  • 8 Hide
    A Bad Day , February 22, 2013 2:48 AM
    bossferasI am confused... are they going to have an apu (with its gpu on-die) and another separate gpu in the system totaling two gpu's? or will it just have a strong apu?


    From what I researched, there were no mentions of a separate GPU. Besides, it would make sense to have a single GPU than a more cumbersome dual GPU system (think micro-stuttering).
  • -3 Hide
    therabiddeer , February 22, 2013 3:05 AM
    A Bad DayFrom what I researched, there were no mentions of a separate GPU. Besides, it would make sense to have a single GPU than a more cumbersome dual GPU system (think micro-stuttering).

    Well, they mention that there is an enhanced GPU and I dont know of any APU's that come even close to a 7850 in performance, so its likely an APU and a GPU (they also mention parallel processing, which is what that would involve)
  • 21 Hide
    DjEaZy , February 22, 2013 3:07 AM
    ... AMD's ATi buy starts to pay of...
  • 23 Hide
    forces , February 22, 2013 3:14 AM
    Wii U, xbox 720 and PS4 all have AMD Radeon graphics... well done AMD... you have a lot of work to do... things look better now
  • 3 Hide
    blazorthon , February 22, 2013 3:16 AM
    therabiddeerWell, they mention that there is an enhanced GPU and I dont know of any APU's that come even close to a 7850 in performance, so its likely an APU and a GPU (they also mention parallel processing, which is what that would involve)


    It's a custom APU. From what I've read, they basically integrated a Jaguar CPU into a Pitcairn-like GPU.

    Also, modern multi GPU gaming is actually not using multiple GPUs for enhanced parallel processing, at least not in the way that the word seems to imply to me. That would be splitting a frame between the GPUs whereas modern multi-GPU technology lets each GPU take turns rendering entire frames on its own. Maybe that still counts as parallel processing, but it's not what the phrase seems to imply to me. I think that they were just throwing that term out there for work between the CPU and the GPU.
  • 7 Hide
    madjimms , February 22, 2013 3:19 AM
    leon2006Its internal gpu so its clear to be less capable compare to dedicated gpu


    Well dedicated GPU's are usually more powerful, that's kind of a "duuuh" thing to say. But that shouldn't matter in this case because its pretty obvious from the specs its a fairly capable machine.

    Does this mean the GTA V port to PC will be super optimized?????
  • 1 Hide
    vmem , February 22, 2013 3:19 AM
    considering the reduced overhead on the hardware side and the optimized software platform we would ideally see gaming capabilities close to a highend piledriver/7950 desktop rig in terms of pure gaming... should be awesome
  • 12 Hide
    Avro Arrow , February 22, 2013 3:21 AM
    Domination of the console market is a big feather in AMD's cap. There are megabucks to be made in that space and the extra revenue will greatly aid AMD's R&D department in coming out with a CPU that doesn't stink to high heaven.
  • 5 Hide
    blazorthon , February 22, 2013 3:25 AM
    MadjimmsYou think?....


    Being integrated doesn't mean that it can't beat a dedicated/discrete model. It all depends on the exact models that you are comparing. For example, if you compare an integrated Radeon 6550D from a Llano A8 to a discrete Radeon 6450, the integrated will kick the crap out of the discrete. If you compare an integrated Radeon 7660D from an A10-5800K, an even more powerful APU, to a discrete Radeon 7770, then the discrete will beat it badly. However, if you compare that discrete Radeon 7770 to an integrated Radeon 7870 like is theoretically comparable to the PS4's GPU, that integrated GPU will again win even without considering how consoles have an extreme optimization advantage.
  • 12 Hide
    A Bad Day , February 22, 2013 3:28 AM
    leon2006Its internal gpu so its clear to be less capable compare to dedicated gpu


    An integrated GPU can match or even outperform (due to reduced latency in communication with the CPU) a dedicated GPU with the same chunk of silicon, if two conditions are met:

    1. A very fast system RAM is used. In this case, the PS4's GDDR5 system RAM blows even DDR4 RAM out of the water in bandwidth performance.

    2. Sufficient thermal dissipation, because cooling one hot silicon is harder than two smaller pieces. I'm fairly sure Sony took precautions so the APU doesn't overheat and burn out.
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