Last Thursday in San Francisco, Cadence held a roundtable discussion with high-level staff responsible for some of the most crucial processors in the gaming space.
According to AMD's Feldstein, who led the design for the Xbox 360 GPU, "The great thing about game console chips is that you're not bound by the linear path the PC has to take -- the dictators who say where the PC is going, like Microsoft." Feldstein even said Microsoft behaves differently when it comes to the 360. "You're also looking at a longer time. You're looking at something that has to live for years rather than months. It's a closed environment, you don't have the open factors of PC. It's a great place to prototype and design."
Setting the tone for his comments throughout the session, Intel's Randy Stude, whose company has no current console products since the cease in production of the original Xbox, argued that consoles do not help with innovation. "Throw Moore's Law out of the window when you talk about consoles -- except every five or ten years when one comes out. Moore's Law applies to the PC industry."
However, IBM's Jim Kahle, chief architect of the Cell project which resulted in the processor for the PS3, disagreed totally. "Moore's Law is about density, and density applies to cost. On consoles you're trying to get the cost down."
Peddie then posed the question that Stude argued earlier -- can consoles be considered a place for innovation in processing?
Feldstein said, "360 is where we got our 'go forward' architecture. You can make interesting tradeoffs in these convergence devices. If you don't oversize your system you have a system that attacks the problem -- especially in the game consoles, more entertainment."
Feldstein suggests that since game development has made a major shift to consoles, so too does chip innovation. "If you talk to [software] developers today, their prime target is the console first. This is almost universal. Then they spread it out to the PC. I don't think it was this way five years ago. This year they're starting to go to the consoles first, because it's a more consistent place to play games."
Feldstein talked practicals. "Cost downs are a real pain if you were Intel or AMD doing new processors, because you can't change anything." As processors shrink, "significant parts change. If you're doing an Xbox or a Sony, everything has to be consistent, the last game has to [run] the same as the first game that was bought. NVIDIA and AMD, we're so hell-bent to do the performance and the density and you have to restrain yourself because things have to stay the same." However, when questioned about the AMD GPU's role in the Xbox 360's billion-dollar unreliability issues, Feldstein demurred comment.
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)