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PPCm vs. PPCs: What are the differences?  

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Ok, some of you are probably wondering what I am getting at while others (e.g. chipheads) will know exactly what I am talking about. In the forthcoming X-Box360 and Playstation3 the move is to utilize Motorola (and company) PowerPC processors.

I have two things, en-basic, about this and that isn't telling me much: Microsoft's approach is to use three (3) PPC processors (two for core processing and one for graphics-handling), and Sony is to also use three (3) PPC processors with 8xDSP that essentially wraps the PPC up as a core.

Can a chiphead with a detail understanding of the differences in the PPC processors being chosen for use and the relavent off-chip DSP arrangement descriptor be ante-up for enlightenment, and also exactly how are the DSPs relating to traditional video-processing via the nvidia (for Sony) and ATI (for Microsoft) are integrated in the core processing?

For instance, both camps are using three (3) PowerPC processors, but these are not identical, are they? Also, Sony is wrapping their PPCs with eight (8) DSP, but is Microsoft's approach similar? I've also seen quotes (rumors?) that the M$ PPCs are 3-GHz and the $ony PPCs are 4.2-GHz.

I know this is a little premature and I have to wonder about the politics in the respective camps (ahem, Microsoft & Sony). Sure, Microsoft will launch the next X-Box before Sony, but then again Sony can wait a little while and use a faster PPC and market that as a key reason to go PS3.
post #2 of 4
Just so you know, the Sony chip (Cell) is a joint venture with IBM and Toshiba, nothing to do with Motorola. Most of the respected "chipheads" as you refer to them (us?) believe that there will only be one cell chip in the PS3 (consisting of one PPC(PPE) core and 8 SPEs). They showed a version of the Cell chip at a conference in February claiming that the chip was running at 4.6GHz. Most doubt this will be the speed of the PS3 version of the Cell chip.

As far as we know so far from rumor mostly, the Xbox360(?) will be 3 PPC based cores running at around 3.2GHZ. Though the speculation is that these cores are custom cores only based on the PPC architecture. The graphics will be done by the ATI graphics chip, not one of the three PPC cores. Though it is suspected by some that on the PS3 the Cell will take on the vertex calculating role while the nVidia GPU will do the pixel shading work.

most of this, until E3 is just based on rumor, but then again we may find out something more tonight(thurday may 12) on the MTV special although I don't think they'll go into much technical detail, saving that for E3.

This was not meant to be maliscious, just wanted to correct a couple things for you.
post #3 of 4
that question went way over my head but a nice forum for more technical discussions about video cards and consoles is beyond3d, maybe read some ofthe threads there:

http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=4
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I am familiar with the IBM+Toshiba PPC+8xSPE configuration, but I thought I read elsewhere this was the central core of the PS3 and not a 'that's all there is' configuration.

So, if the next XB is using three pseudo-PPCs I'd have imagined they had to license core technologies instead of OTS processors. Still, what I wonder is if they really recompiled OS code or are running emulation since the fundamentals of the kernal are originally x86-based.
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