Feb 23 2013
By: JonathanCarabalo Lombax Warrior 220 posts

The PS4's world-famous Vector co-processor

[ Edited ]
0 replies 811 views Edited Feb 25, 2013

A truly innovative feature - the Playstation 4's world-famous vector co-processor.  It's connected to a CPU core.  It doesn't look like much on paper:



  • 100 million transistors
  • 300 mhz
  • $25 to produce
  • 25 nm production process
  • 16-way SIMD floating-point multiply-add instructions (512-bit)
  • 1024-bit load-store instructions
  • 512 Kbytes local memory
  • L2 cache of the X86 CPU
  • Write-to-memory feature - bypassing the CPU
  • Has a connection to the instruction dispatch of a regular x86 Jaguar core


It doesn't look like much, except for the 16-way multiply-adder!  Besides that though - it only costs $25.00.  "How can $25.00 worth of CPU logic improve the graphics pipeline?"  Thus - top-secret alien technology.  The world-famous vector co-processor.  With it - developers can pull off pretty amazing effects, in real-time.  I've already seen:


  1. Full-screen per-pixel lighting!  Pretty amazing - I haven't seen any games do that. 
  2. Extremely realistic fire effects
  3. Extremely realistic ice simulation
  4. Massive degrees of normal/displacement mapping

And this is just the start. 


Feel free to continue this discussion at the linked thread below:


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