Latest update: It seems like Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End may be using the extra processing power as well. A tweet from Naughty Dog lead designer Robert Cogburn possibly hints at its usage.
Last week it was widely reported that Sony had unlocked the 7th CPU core of the PS4 for developers. The information was taken from FireLight Technologies’ website, a company that deals with audio middleware [FMOD], when they revealed that their tech was using the PS4’s 7th core. The change log has since been removed but we got in touch with FireLight to get a confirmation regarding the same.
Brett Paterson from FireLight Technologies confirmed to GamingBolt via email that the 7th CPU core of the PS4 is indeed available for the developers. However its allocation is not dynamic which possibly means that only a certain percentage of the core’s processing units are available to the developers. Brett also revealed a few details regarding how FMOD is using the 7th core. FMOD is shared with other OS libraries on the core and in case FMOD doesn’t receive enough CPU, the debugging profiler needs to be used to check out what is causing the overhead. [Read more about PS4’s Razor profiler here]
According to previous reports, only 6 of the 8 cores were available for developers which means the 7th core will definitely help development in someway. In case of FMOD, the developer can simple offload the audio middleware on the 7th core while ensuring other OS libraries and code are working properly.
Microsoft on the other hand also provided developers with the Xbox One’s 7th core but with a dynamic range of 50-80% utilization. This has helped several developers improve frame rate and other performance parameters of Xbox One games. It will be interesting to see how this will help the developers working on the PS4. If you are interested in learning more about FMOD and FireLight technologies, check out GamingBolt’s interview here.