Washington: The trend of games goes high, two tech giants Microsoft and Sony planning to introduce their respective gaming device such as Xbox One and Play Station 4 (PS4).
We have seen some hints regarding use of AMD silicon power in their upcoming devices.
The world’s largest gaming show couple of weeks before, and the final pieces of the game console puzzle are starting to come into place.
The public want to know that what will run in the XBOX One and the PlayStation 4, how the devices look like, what they won’t, digital rights management and their price. Why Microsoft and Sony chose AMD silicon to power their new consoles.
Both companies were looking for a way to increase the console “footprint”, increase the amount of apps, and lower the cost of software development. The XBOX One and the PS4 are designed to do a lot more than games. They designed the consoles to be the future hub for all home entertainment and home automation and control. To effectively do this, they will need hundreds of complex apps that are relatively straight-forward to code. Therefore, you need to start with an application processor architecture that supports this, and it’s not Power architecture.
Sources have confirmed that both Sony and Microsoft felt that MIPS didn’t have the right size developer ecosystem or the horsepower to power the new consoles. Then it came down to ARM versus X86 architecture.
According to reports, there was a technical “bake-off”, where prototype silicon was tested against each other across a myriad of application-based and synthetic benchmarks. At the end of the bake-off, ARM was deemed as not having the right kind of horsepower and that its 64-bit architecture wasn’t ready soon enough. The 64-bit can maximize memory addressability that’s why it is important, and the this 64-bit is completing the requirement of multiple apps to run in console, operating systems and hypervisors. ARM-based architectures will soon get as powerful as AMD’s Jaguar cores, but not when Sony or Microsoft needed them for their new consoles.
Both Microsoft and Sony had different requirements for graphics, video processing, content security, and even memory. Companies could have attempted to pull it off on their own, but they just didn’t have the experience or the IP required to put five to seven billion transistors on one piece of silicon. They also could have contracted a third party like Open Silicon, but frankly, this is way too complex a project and the stakes too high to go with anyone who hasn’t done leading edge design. And who can forget the Microsoft’s “red ring of death” costing them billions and tarnishing the XBOX brand. The requirement for a custom SOC removed Intel from the running, as well as their graphics.
Every one of these factors above contributed to AMD getting the nod. AMD won this business because they have the advanced IP, know-how, experience and commitment to make this happen. They have leading edge IP in CPU, GPU, memory, video, audio, and I/O. They also designed the first quad core, X86 SOC, and it’s not a giant leap to take this to eight cores. Finally, AMD built an entire product division to support the effort that others weren’t prepared to commit. It was a clear-cut win.
Now that is why Sony and Microsoft both chose AMD.