AMD Hints At New Game Console

Apparently, AMD has partnered with someone on a new console.

Posted By | On 13th, Dec. 2014 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


AMD, of course, knows the console market- currently, it provides the SoC solutions for all three consoles on the market, and given each console manufacturer’s newfound insistence on hardware continuity, it is likely that it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Therefore, when AMD talks about how it is providing hardware solutions for another, as of yet unreleased console, you have to sit up and take notice.

Speaking of future opportunities for AMD, Devinder Kumar, chief financial officer of AMD said, “I will say that one [design win] is x86 and [another] is ARM, and at least one will [be] beyond gaming, right. But that is about as much as you going to get out me today. From the standpoint [of being] fair to [customers], it is their product, and they launch it. They are going to announce it and then […] you will find out that it is AMD’s APU that is being used in those products.”

What is interesting is that this implies that the new console that he is talking about will be a real game console, as opposed to the recent dirge of Android powered microconsoles that we have gotten. Given that obvious players like Google and Amazon have already announced products in those categories, this rules all of them out.

It could be either Apple or Samsung, but honestly, the games console market, which is fiercely competitive and contracting sharply, is not an attractive proposition for a newcomer to the market, which means this console is probably by one of the big three already invested in the market. Given that the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One just released and are already rather successful, as opposed to the older Wii U which is a commercial failure, it is likely that AMD is talking about the new Nintendo console, which is expected some time in late 2016 at the earliest.

Whatever it is, hearing about new hardware makes me giddy.

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  • MrSec84 .

    Technically AMD provides 2 SOCs (system on chips) to the console market, one for PS4 and one for Xbox One. Wii U uses an MCM (Multi-Chip Module), so AMD only provides the GPU, with built in eDRAM, IBM provides Wii U’s CPU.
    In order for a die to be considered a system on chip it needs to have a GPU and a CPU, basically it’s an APU.

    If this is a new Nintendo platform it would be great if it was the first to use HBM or stacked DDR4 as a unified memory solution, basically an evolution of what PS4 uses, that would be a great move IMO.
    This could be the first console to use AMD’s Zen CPU core, the technology could become very mature by the time a 2017 launch date roles around.

    A 2016 reveal would be great.

    It’s possible Nintendo may use ARM for a new handheld and the rumors about a fusion of console and handheld for streamlined game development across both systems may be true.

    Lots to speculate on and very interesting.

    • Psionicinversion

      Ddr4 would cripple it if its higher end than ps4 which it should be and you can’t have stacked DDR4 I don’t think. HBM is stacked on will most likely be stacked on the gpu core itself providing ridiculously high amounts of bandwidth so the APU will never be bandwidth starved

    • MrSec84 .

      DDR4 wouldn’t cripple it, PC’s are using DDR4 now, so it’s just the next step along the evolution of memory. Samsung are making stacked modules of DDR4 now:

      It’s for the server market, but it’s not like that can’t transfer down into the PC or console market in the future as production becomes mature and gets a lot cheaper.

      As another future piece of tech to keep an eye on, next year a company called Crossbar says it can get it’s universal memory to market by 2015, basically huge storage that can do the job of DRAM and a traditional HDD, so no need for both, you can have Terabytes worth of storage, with the fast access of DRAM.
      Maybe the next Nintendo machine would be the first home console to use Universal Memory and HBM.
      Nintendo needs to have some game changing hardware in their next machine, not a small step from the current competition.

      3rd party developers couldn’t ignore something like that, especially if it also happens to use tech they will definitely be using in the future.

      Nintendo needs to get back into a competitive place.
      By production time in say mid 2017 this kind of tech will be pretty mature.
      If it’s not Universal Memory, then it’ll be stacked DDR4 as a replacement for GDDR5 as the next step in fast unified memory.

    • Psionicinversion

      hmmm i dunno, id imagine AMD would build its APU’s with HBM that its been developing with hynix over samsungs solution. Samsungs solution would definately benefit the PC though as can get 16GB DIMMs at last. Whilst Intel is using HMC with there new server processors/co-processors

      I cant see them throwing HBM and HMC away and using stacked DDR4 tbh. may work good for an APU i dunno. Depends what they intend to do.

      Also depend on the speed per DDR4 chip, GDDR5 is like approx 28GB/sec per chip i think. HBM is 128GB/s per 1GB chip (2GB chips will provide 256GB/s) thats how they will be able to have massive bandwidth and high memory amount in a small package and can stack it on the GPU/APU itself as a single package.

      Regarding Crossbar it says an optimistic expert reckons it will be 3-5 years for the tech your talking about. Another article thinks DDR4 may be last DDR memory and the stuff you were on about may become standard fair

    • MrSec84 .

      AMD would design whatever Nintendo wants, this isn’t a product for AMD to put out for themselves to sell in the PC market, it’s a part for Nintendo to use in their next home console. It doesn’t effect AMD’s partnerships, Nintendo would just decide what elements they want in their APU, assuming that’s what they go for, though that seems most likely as it’s the most cost effective from an overall production POV as far as the whole manufacturing process of the console goes.

      DDR4 modules would just require Nintendo to have the appropriate memory controller built into the APU.
      DDR4 modules don’t preclude the use of HBM, maybe the APU has a module of RAM connected to that die (vertically or horizontally).

      As for speed of DDR4 according to Samsung they can achieve 64GB/s in their modules right now, no doubt that will evolve in the future to even higher bandwidths.

      The thing about Crossbar’s kind of UM is that it can apparently be produced in today’s NAND production facilities, 2015 was what Crossbar said, maybe the guy was wrong, but even if it’s a year later it’s still feasible for Nintendo to have the option to use Universal Memory.

      Nintendo could wait until 2018 to go into production, let’s face it while Wii U is pretty far behind PS4 and XB1 in terms of it’s tech, it’s still perfectly suitable for the games Nintendo wants to make. PS5 and XB2 may not be announced until 2019 at the earliest, possibly 2020, so Nintendo would still have the option to go to market with a great evolution in technology compared to not only what they had in Wii U, but also PS4 and XB1.

    • Psionicinversion

      There so many different types of memory developed and under development that probably isnt room for all of them so have to see which prevails.

      Spose yeah nintendo can decide what to put in but id imagine theyd go for the cheapest memory solution

  • VultUx

    Maybe ATARI.

  • matt

    Nintendo are bringing NX portable and NX Home out late 2016,Iwata said they are having future consoles use the same OS basically and these 3 chips basically make sense for NX Portable/Home and the beyond gaming is a sever chip for the OS.


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