AMD: Fusion Makes a Lot of Sense for Next-Generation Game Consoles

Nvidia Does Not Exclude Project Denver SoCs from Next-Gen Game Consoles

by Anton Shilov
03/27/2011 | 10:27 PM

The head of software developers relations at Advanced Micro Devices said that the company's Fusion concept makes a lot of sense for next-generation game consoles as it offers a number of capabilities that enables unique advantages.


"I think a Fusion-based system makes a huge amount of sense for next-generation consoles. If you are looking at a system that can provide a great deal of horsepower, the Fusion architecture certainly makes sense. With the processing power on its CPU in addition to just general graphics performance, I think it is really interesting because it gives a bit of headroom," said Neal Robison, senior director of content and application support, in an interview with X-bit labs that was updated late on Sunday.

It is interesting to note that current-generation video game consoles already use multi-core microprocessors and Sony PlayStation 3 even uses Cell heterogeneous multi-core microprocessor. AMD's Fusion concept is indeed a heterogeneous multi-core chip as it contains x86 processing cores as well as Radeon stream computing elements. It looks like it is pretty natural for AMD to offer a Fusion-based system-on-chip (SoC) or a combination of a heterogeneous multi-core accelerated processing unit with some high-speed stream processor inside along with a discrete graphics chips with fixed-function hardware. The first scenario seems more likely.

"I see the Fusion architecture as capable of scaling both up and down. We’ve already talked in the past about the role of the Fusion architecture in areas such as server, and we think that our architecture is strong enough to be able to scale to many different usage scenarios," said Mr. Robison.

It is noteworthy that Nvidia Corp. also pins a lot of hopes onto its project Denver, which is Nvidia's approach to fusing CPUs and GPUs.

"Project Denver will support a range of systems from laptops to supercomputers. It is still a product in development, so I can't provide any more detail about potential platforms than that," said Ken Brown, a spokesman for Nvidia, in a conversation with X-bit labs.

Nvidia will integrate general-purpose ARM processing core(s) into a chip that belongs to Maxwell family of graphics processing units (GPUs). The Maxwell-generation chip will be the first commercial physical implementation of Nvidia's project Denver. Nvidia Maxwell will be launched in 2013, it was revealed at Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference in September, 2010. Given the timeframe, it is logical to expect 20nm process technology to be used for manufacturing of Maxwell. The architecture due in almost three years from now will offer whopping 14 - 16GFLOPS of double-precision performance per watt, a massive improvement over current-generation hardware.