A joint press release from Sony and nVidia today reveals that the two companies have been working together to develop the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) that will be used in the upcoming Playstation 3. Rumors have been circulating for awhile that the two companies were working together, but these were discounted by various gaming mags in the past. Turns out they were true after all.
“In the future, the experience of computer entertainment systems and broadband-ready PCs will be fused together to generate and transfer multi-streams of rich content simultaneously. In this sense, we have found the best way to integrate the state-of-the-art technologies from NVIDIA and SCEI,” said Ken Kutaragi, executive deputy president and COO, Sony Corporation, and president and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “Our collaboration includes not only the chip development but also a variety of graphics development tools and middleware, essential for efficient content creation.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Sony Computer Entertainment to build what will certainly be one of the most important computer entertainment and digital media platforms of the twenty-first century,” added Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO, NVIDIA. “Over the past two years NVIDIA has worked closely with Sony Computer Entertainment on their next-generation computer entertainment system. In parallel, we have been designing our next-generation GeForce GPU. The combination of the revolutionary Cell processor and NVIDIA’s graphics technologies will enable the creation of breathtaking imagery that will surprise and captivate consumers.”
The custom GPU will be manufactured at Sony Group’s Nagasaki Fab2 as well as OTSS (joint fabrication facility of Toshiba and Sony).
It’ll be interesting to see how well this works out for both companies. This will make the second major console to feature graphics technology from nVidia with the first being the current generation of the Xbox. Microsoft opted to drop nVidia in favor of ATI for the GPU in Xbox 2 and that was seen as a major blow for the folks at nVidia at the time. Word had it that Microsoft had become frustrated with shortages of nVidia’s GPU and that this was part of their decision to switch to ATI for the next generation of their console. ATI certainly has enough experience in this regards already being the source of the graphics technology used in Nintendo’s Gamecube as well as most likely Nintendo’s next console. This probably explains why Sony will be handling the production of this new chip themselves. Can’t blame someone else for shortages if you’re doing it yourself.