AMD to sell altered PS4 APUs

Posted by Trent Nouveau

AMD says it will be selling a modded version of the custom chip it designed for Sony's upcoming Playstation 4 console.

According to AMD exec John Taylor, the accelerated processing unit won't be quite as powerful as the PS4 chip, although it will be quite similar. The PS4 APU, Taylor told The Inquirer, is "by far the most powerful APU we have built to date."

As PC World's Daniel Ionescu and Brad Chacos note, while the finer details of AMD's next-gen Jaguar architecture remain under wraps, at least details are known about Sony's processor.

Indeed, the chip driving the console boasts 8 x86-64 CPU cores, while the GPU is based on the next-gen Radeon graphics engine, capable of 1.84 teraflops of performance power. Because it is an APU, both the CPU and GPU reside on the same physical die, sharing 8GB of GDDR5 memory.

As Taylor confirms, the PS4-inspired APUs slated for PCs will be fitted with fewer cores and less computing capability than the chips made for Sony.

"We'd expect the PC version to cut the eight CPU cores in half, as AMD has previously stated that Jaguar-powered PC processors will have up to four cores," writes Ionescu and Chacos.

"Unfortunately, the PlayStation 4's home run specification—the 8GB of unified GDDR5 RAM—will no doubt suffer from extensive alterations in order to play nice with standard motherboards, which will likely send the memory bandwidth plummeting from the PlayStation 4's sky-high 176GBps rate."