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  • Posted by Pirate , on 25/11/2013, @ 10:41am


    A new and more indepth teardown of PS4 reveals how much "beef" the PS4 actually has...and its more than initially reported!
    The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One may not offer an enormous jump over last-generation graphics out of the gate, but the SoCs inside the consoles " semi-custom APUs made by AMD " are a huge leap forward in terms of integration and capability. Both consoles integrate functionality that was previously broken out into multiple chips, using the most advanced 28nm process currently available. A new teardown of the PS4 gives us a look at how the SoC itself was assembled " and how Sony chose to hedge its bets a little when it came to yield. (For some real-world speed comparisons between the Xbox One and PS4, watch our exclusive side-by-side speed test video.)
    Chipworks has published multiple die photos of the SoC, and they show us some very interesting things about how the chip was built.
    First off, this should settle, beyond any question, exactly which CPU architecture the processor is based on. Despite continuing claims from some that the SoC must contain a higher-end Kaveri/Steamroller-class CPU, the tiny x86 cores implemented here are clearly based on Jaguar/Kabini. Each core is roughly 3.1 millimeters square " exactly the size AMD gave for that chip. The large (rather plaid) boxes in each quad-core arrangement are the L2 cache. Memory I/O wraps all three sides of the die, which makes sense " the SoC itself uses a GPU-style memory layout. It’s not clear from this diagram whether HSA is implemented on the chip or not, though it might be possible to identify the IOMMU unit that HSA requires with a close analysis.
    Speaking of the SoC, this is one big puppy.
    Die size on the chip is 328 mm sq, and the GPU actually contains 20 compute units " not the 18 that are specified. This is likely a yield-boosting measure, but it also means AMD implemented a full HD 7870 in silicon. According to Chipworks, the GPU is 88 mm sq, and takes up about a third of the total die. Looking at AMD’s published figures for the HD 7870, however, the Pitcairn GPU core is a 228 mm sq part. So which is correct? Probably both. Chipworks is only counting the cores as part of the GPU, whereas the full Pitcairn die contains memory controllers, audio processing blocks, video encode/decode hardware, the PCIe 3.0 bus interface, and a number of other low-level silicon blocks that increase total die size. The actual streaming processors are only one component.


    Discuss in Forums (3)


    1. GregoryRasputin
      10:48 AM

      The images are hotlinked @Pirate...

    2. Persian McLovin
      11:10 AM

      Very nice! Pretty incredible device for $349!

    3. sinsizer
      12:15 PM

      Can't wait to get the new A10-7850K next year. :)