PS3 internals

Discussion in 'Consoles' started by one, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. Fox5

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    If Toshiba is giving them a sweet deal on it (at or near cost) it may be cheaper or the same price as an equivalent off the shelf solution.

    And if Sony is losing out on the deal, yes it would be stupid, but that's why I said like a government. Businesses can do stupid things too just to honor contracts.
     
  2. inefficient

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    If it was an off the shelf solution from Toshiba, why is the chip in question labled as a Sony chip (SCEI cxd4302gb) and not Toshiba?

    There is no chip labed "Toshiba" in the PS3 itself. The only Toshiba chip is the sixaxis controler.

    If the chip labled SCEI cxd4302gb really is based on the SCC then in all likely hood Sony bought the designs and is fabbing it.

    The question is, why would Sony want to fab a chip that big that has features they would never use in PS3? Two answers I can think of is: They didn't have enough time to complete their stripped down version before launch but will have a smaller version in the future. Or they want to use the component in their other systems as well so they want to drive costs down by mass producing it.
     
  3. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    The chip could be fabbed at Sony/Toshiba's joint fab and simply be packaged differently, while still being a Toshiba design. For example, none of the Cell chips bare IBM anywhere on them, yet we know that IBM is the only source of these at the moment.

    I think knowing that the SouthBridge likely is an SCC (or variant) - simply due to the die size similarities - the question then goes to: "why?" I think there may be a couple of different angles in that regard.
     
  4. Shifty Geezer

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    From that HotChips, presumably this SCC is running all the I/O - USB, Gigabit, etc. That makes it a necessary component, although a big one. It's bound to scale in price much better than lots of smaller chips, and is maybe more reliable? How else would you get a dozen different IO devices attached to the FlexIO?
     
  5. Jim_Fear

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    I thought Cell was also being fabbed in Sony's Nagasaki plant?
     
  6. Crossbar

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    While we are talking about attaching devices to the FlexIO, how is the EE+GS chip attached?
    Could this chip(SCC?) be emulating the interface of the southbridge of the PSTwo as well or have anyone seen any description of how it is done?

    If you look at this semi-professional document, there is an overview of the internal bus structure of the SCC, it seems pretty flexible.
    That document claims that the SCC is used in the PS3, I remember when the document was released some year ago that it was dismissed as nonsense, but maybe there is some truth in it after all?

    Edit: I found this nice picture over here:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. inefficient

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    Waste not want not

    Unused:
    3x TSIF Digital Video In
    Analog Video In
    Analog Audio In
    3x Video Out (HDMI,D4,A-DAC)
    IEEE1394 Firewire
    1x P-ATA - Can't use, thats why there is a separate S-ATA controler

    Used:
    USB2.0
    Analog Audio Out
    SPDIF Audio Out
    1x P-ATA - For the Bluray drive
    G-Ethernet

    It just seems wrong...
     
  8. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
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    NVIDIA => NRE2 => Southbridge.
    Hmm! That'd make more sense than the PSP2 for that specific block of NRE, given the timeframes.


    Uttar
     
  9. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    Well, but not just yet. Cell will start being fabbed there on the 65nm node; the line should honestly be just about ready now though.
     
  10. Crossbar

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    Good catch! Could be.
     
  11. bobthebub

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    The PS3 VS Wii, Comparisons of Core LSI Chip Areas article that measured the PS3 southbridge covered that topic a little as well.

     
  12. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    Government is a business operating at a loss without risks
     
  13. -tkf-

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    It makes sense in a Cell way. SCC is the perfect Cell partner, yes it can do more than it does in the PS3, but i wouldn´t be surprised if the costs for making a smaller chip with less functions AND the Cell connectetivity wouldn´t be all that different considering that the SCC is already developed and ready to roll. It´s gonna take some time for the manufactoring price to catch up on the price to develop such a chip. Just a though of course...
     
  14. Crossbar

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    Very possible, from the die size, the external SATA-controller and all other evidence, it seems very likely it is indeed the SCC chip in there. Another price related possibility is that since the PS3 is hardly using about half of the functions in the SCC, mind you I don´t know the die area of the corresponding logic, Sony may be taking care of malfunctioning chips from Toshiba, where some function not used by the PS3 is broken. That would help yield and price as well.

    Something that strikes me when looking at the part list of the board is that there are so many major chips that have not been tailored/optimised for the PS3, such as the
    • The SCC chip
    • The Silicon Image HDMI Transmitter
    • The Marvell SATA Controller
    • The Complete PSTwo chipset (+ RDRAM memory)

    The benefit of using all these more or less standard components is that you get some reliable and proven circuitry in there, and you may get them faster than if you were to design them ground up, the drawback is that they are pretty expensive, which result in a pretty expensive console (another popular topic:smile: ).

    One conclusion from this could be that Sony do not plan to manufacture any high volumes of this console according to this spec. (not a surprise I know). Because when you go over a certain number it would have been worth the effort to design some more stream-lined custom circuits. Then you could argue that this is a hack job because Sony was under stress and they needed to get something out of the door, so they took a short track and used some standard circuitry to reduce the risk.

    Maybe there is some truth in that considering the risk part, but this console has been under design for about 6 year so I think that if they wanted to have a custom made southbridge in the PS3 right from start they would have done that. I think Sony decided to concentrate some major engineering job into the first cost-reduced version instead of putting a large effort into the first PS3 version which has a limited life cycle anyhow. Mind you, the effort(cost) may have been large enough already through the design of Cell and RSX.

    I am predicting some major redesign coming this fall together with the die shrinked Cell and RSX.
    The PSTwo chip will diappear possibly some parts of the GS will be integrated together with a SATA controller in a new custom designed 65 nm South-Bridge. Possibly the Silicon Image chip as well, but I don´t know if there are some particular requirement of that I/O circuitry that would make it harder.
    Anyway, once they´ve done that, I think Sony will ramp up the PS3 pretty aggressively and be more price competetive.

    So I think Sony has the current price point just because they can, and at the same time still sell millions of units (how many remains to be seen), the current design is only intended to establish a foothold on the market and to be on that market a relatively short time and in relatively low volumes. Sony is prepared to take the piss for having an expensive console at start and save some major design efforts for the cost-reduced and high volume version coming later on, together with some attractive game titles.

    Time will tell. :)
     
  15. Capeta

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    I don't see the Silicon Image chip disappearing. HDMI has been out for a long time already yet almost EVERYONE buys these chips. I don't see SONY designing their own HDMI chip. Also does SONY even have a SATA chip for sale? I doubt that they do unless they've been selling them to SATA board makers. Silicon Image also makes SATA chips.
     
  16. Kryton

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    Why do I get the feeling the PS2 chipset is wired to the analog connections? Could possibly explain 2 scaler fixes at once :S

    Edit: Also, haven't Sony hinted at PVR functionality with many people questioning how they could provide it?

    Edit2: What is the card reader connected to in the premium SKU, that could use PATA (especially for CF)?

    Edit3: Does the SCC support HDMI 1.3 and HDCP? The Silicon Image chip maybe there purely for this.
     
  17. Capeta

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    PVR functionality will need an external adapter, likely a USB device similar to those for PCs.
     
  18. inefficient

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    USB would be the most obvious solution.
     
  19. Crossbar

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    I made a reservatíon about the Silicon Image chip, but I would be very surprised if you coudnt find some SATA VHDL-ip for sale, I am sure Nvidia could help out in that matter if that was the case.
     
  20. Rainbow Man

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    I don't understand why sony put in a separate SATA controller when they could just have used one of those parallel to dserial converter things that wrere so common when SATA was brand new. Those were by all reports cheap effective and had no discernible performance impact.

    Heck the first raptor harddrive was by far the fastest unit at the tiem and it used one integrated right on the PCB as I recall..

    Peace.
     
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