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AMD: Fusion Makes Sense For Next-Gen Consoles

Could Microsoft, Sony, or even Nintendo be eying AMD's tasty new Fusion platform? Or perhaps even Nvidia's Project Denver as the foundation for their next gaming consoles? For Neal Robison, senior director of content and application support at AMD, the use of Fusion makes total sense, as the platform packs tons of horses within a small form factor.

"If you are looking at a system that can provide a great deal of horsepower, the Fusion architecture certainly makes sense," he said in an interview with X-bit on Sunday. "With the processing power on its CPU in addition to just general graphics performance, I think it is really interesting because it gives a bit of headroom."

X-bit points out that Sony's PlayStation 3 uses a Cell heterogeneous multi-core microprocessor, and that AMD's own Fusion concept is a heterogeneous multi-core chip containing x86 processing cores and Radeon stream computing elements. That said, AMD could easily provide a Fusion-based system-on-a-chip platform for any of the three big console manufacturers.

"I see the Fusion architecture as capable of scaling both up and down," Robison added. "We’ve already talked in the past about the role of the Fusion architecture in areas such as server, and we think that our architecture is strong enough to be able to scale to many different usage scenarios."

Now would certainly be the time to promote Fusion as a baseline solution for next-generation consoles, as both Microsoft and Nintendo have already revealed that they're currently working on the next-gen designs.

What we'd like to see with the next crop is a finer line drawn between consoles and PC/Macs, a platform that allows the developer to create scalable engines and games that don't focus on one particular device (console vs. PC). Even if one console used Fusion and one used Nvidia's Project Denver, we'd still be a step closer to universal development.

With that said, could Nvidia's Project Denver be console bound? The platform isn't due to arrive until 2013, but will reportedly consist of a "Maxwell" GPU fused with general-purpose ARM processing core(s). It may even use 20-nm processing technology and offer 14 – 16 GFLOPS of double-precision performance per watt by 2014. The next-gen consoles aren't even slated to arrive until sometime around 2015, so it's quite possible the Big Three are waiting on something like Fusion and Project Denver to arrive (like tablet makers waited for Android 3.0 "Honeycomb").

"Project Denver will support a range of systems from laptops to supercomputers. It is still a product in development, so I can't provide any more detail about potential platforms than that," Nvidia's Ken Brown said.

To read the full interview with AMD, head here.

  • LuckyDucky7
    "What we'd like to see with the next crop is a finer line drawn between consoles and PC/Macs, a platform that allows the developer to create scalable engines and games that don't focus on one particular device (console vs. PC). Even if one console used Fusion and one used Nvidia's Project Denver, we'd still be a step closer to universal development."

    But that's what they do already! And it's not even quality development! You can't see the graphics quality in PS3/Xbox 360 games like you do in PC games- and that's the issue! The console developers that then port the games to PC (unlike the other way around like it should be) and then the graphics suck.
    Reply
  • nebun
    PC was and still is the best :)
    Reply
  • _Pez_
    I say I will never buy consoles, because computers rocks for games with settings maxed out at 1080p !, of course if you have the right hardware. :P
    Reply
  • husker
    Maybe it makes sense and maybe not, but AMD is hardly unbiased on the subject. Stop the presses -- This just in:

    Manufacturer: Our Product Makes Sense For Our Customers.
    Reply
  • 11796pcs
    Oh please make the Fusion platform a beast AMD. If AMD is able to secure a spot in one of the next-gen consoles hopefully that base will give them some cash for working on Bulldozer and it will get rid of any takeover rumors that Toms keeps throwing around.

    P.S. We all know consoles suck, everyone doesn't need to keep pointing it out.
    Reply
  • shoelessinsight
    LuckyDucky7But that's what they do already! And it's not even quality development! You can't see the graphics quality in PS3/Xbox 360 games like you do in PC games- and that's the issue! The console developers that then port the games to PC (unlike the other way around like it should be) and then the graphics suck.
    Most companies will almost always develop for the console first and then port to the PC as an afterthought. I hate it, you hate it, but it makes good business sense.

    I think what the author of the article is trying to say is that by bringing common PC hardware and architecture into consoles, releasing games for both consoles and PC will, hopefully, be less about "Porting" and more about a game being compatible with several similar systems.

    In other words, a console would just be another PC configuration rather than an entirely different platform, which ideally means that games would more likely work natively across them without the need for translation.
    Reply
  • I feel that at the rate technology is advancing, Next-Gen consoles are going to be outdated on day one of release. Just look at the Smartphone market, there's newer and better phones being released all the time. How can the console segment keep up if other markets are moving so quickly. I feel that consoles will either continue their evil reign and stall development (poor PC players :( ) or console makers are going to have to move away from developing the hardware for their consoles and just supply the software that allow the use of platform specific games.
    Reply
  • Flameout
    ***********************************
    fyi, it's not always about graphics
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    Reply
  • pelov
    dcompartI feel that at the rate technology is advancing, Next-Gen consoles are going to be outdated on day one of release. Just look at the Smartphone market, there's newer and better phones being released all the time. How can the console segment keep up if other markets are moving so quickly. I feel that consoles will either continue their evil reign and stall development (poor PC players ) or console makers are going to have to move away from developing the hardware for their consoles and just supply the software that allow the use of platform specific games.
    That means developers will have to pander to a wide audience with a wide range of hardware! The lazy bastards won't approve of such a thing.

    As for fusion... I'm quite excited. I think x86 has a bit of an edge when it comes to gaming, especially dedicated gaming devices. AMD will be offering CPUs (APUs, really) that are many times faster than the crap inside a ps3 and xbox360 and a graphics card that outperforms those inside the crappy boxes as well.

    In this respect it's a great thing for consoles, but not too sure how I feel about that as a PC gamer...
    Reply
  • welshmousepk
    Assuming the next gen consoles also support 1080p, it should allow for a much more comparable platform. Being able to natively make games across all platforms, then jsut tweak settings for performance on each, will stop all this awful port nonsense.

    Make a game, allow for higher graphic settings on pc, and lower on consoles. No porting of the engine required. Sounds good to me.
    Reply