Moles say Sony will kill Cell CPU for PlayStation 4
AMD Fusion the chosen successor?
Sony's PlayStation 4 will not use the PS3's Cell processor, it has been claimed, because the current chipset and rumoured next-gen variants are too complex for developers to work with quickly.
Industry sources indicated that the Cell, which was spearheaded by the now retired Ken Kutaragi, Sony's one-time PlayStation chief, will be dropped altogether as Sony pushes towards a more developer-friendly chipset, Kotaku reports.
Following last week's rumours that AMD will supply the GPU for Sony's as yet unannounced console, speculation about the PS4's innards has already started.
One such theory is that AMD will actually supply both the GPU and the CPU, both of which will utilise the chip company's Fusion architecture to combine these elements on the same chip.
Not only has id Software's John Carmack already dubbed the AMD tech a "forgone conclusion" in the future of computing, but such a move would allow Sony to give developers an already proven platform to work with.
And with rumours flooding in that Microsoft's next-gen console is gearing up for a 2013 release, Sony wouldn't want to be too far behind.
Sony launched the PowerPC-based Cell processor, a "Power Processing Element" combined with eight "Synergistic Processing Elements", for the PS3's release in 2006. ®
All of the facts in your post are incorrect.
The Cell is often used for final image processing while the RSX is used to draw textured polygons - not vice versa. There's usually a back-and-forth between Cell and RSX, not a simple pipeline. I don't know what you count as "heavy lifting" but the six Cell SPUs combined are only 1.5x as powerful as the RSX shader pipeline on paper, they cannot do texture caching, and they cannot rasterize at anything like RSX speeds. They are great for glow and Naughty Dog even use them for FXAA, but the RSX does most of the actual drawing. The SPUs are also used for things like animation skinning, physics, audio, etc.
GPU fill rate on the RSX is dreadful compared to X360, especially when using alpha. A 30FPS framerate on X360 can easily translate to 20FPS on PS3 due to alpha alone. This is why the SPUs are used for graphics; it helps offload the RSX. Ultimately, a lot of games will have superior X360 versions, simply because it's easier not to do all that SPU work.
The key thing for PS4 is to make this not be an issue any more.
Now can we have the Cell architecture for Linux please ?
Re: Doesn't make much sense now.
What do the PS3 and 360 have in common?
They aren't using crap archs like x86. Why ruin their superior hardware with it? The Cell is a good thing to have in a gaming rig; by now devs should be already familiar with it, and at the very least they are used to PPC arch by now. Switching to x86 would be more painful than it seems. So yeah, it's possible they're adding AMD Fusion for their graphical stuff, but I doubt it'll take over the main processor.
When the system was announced, I reckoned the system could be made to fly and do some really cool stuff, but would take the programmers some time to adjust to the mindset. My expectation was that PS3 games would technically lag Xbox for a year or 2 before taking the lead.
The main issue is that if something is difficult, people generally won't do it. When you add in cross-platform games (Xbox/PS3/PC), you want to generate as little custom coding as possible and keep the app as similar as possible across all 3 platforms. Coding to take advantage of the power of the Cell CPUs runs counter to that approach.
Microsoft were actually fairly clever in a marketing sense by making the Xbox run DirectX - they had a massive pool of devlopers ready made for the platform who already knew how to use and exploit the platform.
Maybe it doesn't smell right from all the BS you just shoveled
PowerPC is very much alive, IBM makes a fortune off of it in the Power line; currently Power7 series. Motorola still sells PowerPC processors and you can find them in many things, like your car. NASA also uses PowerPC on various things.
The Cell is NOT PowerPC based; it does have a PowerPC processor but that is it. The SPE's are not PowerPC based. The PowerPC portion is essentially a controller for the SPE's which are the ones doing the heavy lifting, not the PowerPC portion.
You do realize that the Power7 outperforms what Intel offers, right?