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AMD to sell a cut down version of Sony's Playstation 4 APU

Will show how much work Sony has done
Tue Feb 26 2013, 17:37
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CHIP DESIGNER AMD will offer a cut down version of the APU chip that will be in Sony's Playstation 4 later this year.

AMD's accelerated processing unit (APU) strategy got a major boost last week when Sony announced that it will be using an AMD Jaguar based APU in its upcoming Playstation 4 games console. Now AMD has said that a cut down version of the same APU will be available to consumers, albeit without Sony's technology.

While Sony revealed some information about the AMD APU that will power the Playstation 4, the details that were made public were all about AMD's technologies rather than Sony's. AMD told The INQUIRER that the APU used is a custom A-series part that has a mix of AMD and Sony technology.

However John Taylor, head of marketing for AMD's Global Business Units, said that a version of the same chip without Sony's technology will be available for consumers later this year.

Taylor told The INQUIRER that the AMD branded APU chip will not have the same number of cores or the same computing capability as Sony's part.

He said, "Everything that Sony has shared in that single chip is AMD [intellectual property], but we have not built an APU quite like that for anyone else in the market. It is by far the most powerful APU we have built to date, it leverages [intellectual property] that you will find in our A-series APUs later this year, our new generation of APUs but none that will quite be to that level of sheer number of cores, sheer number of teraflops."

AMD is scheduled to launch its third generation APUs this year, but what is interesting is that the firm can effectively take part of a consumer chip and customise it for customers such as Sony.

Taylor said that this is all part of AMD's "flexible system on chip strategy", but what the upcoming A-series parts will show is just how much work Sony put into the chip that is found in the Playstation 4.

Sony's decision to opt for AMD's x86 APU had left some commenting that the Playstation 4 is merely a console made out of commodity hardware, but given that AMD will be selling the commodity version of the chip minus Sony's technology, perhaps for the first time the industry can see just how much work console designers such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo do beyond the standard hardware available to consumers to squeeze out more performance. µ

 

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