Sony game system said to have strength of 100 PCs
Still Holding out for the PS3?
Sony says its next-generation video-game console will feature an architecture that will allow it to pack the processing power of 100 personal computers on a single chip.
The console, due in just two years, also would tap the resources of additional computers using high-speed network connections.
If key technical hurdles are overcome, the "cell microprocessor" technology, described in a patent Sony quietly secured in September, could help the Japanese electronics giant achieve the industry's Holy Grail: a cheap, all-in-one box for the home that can record TV shows, surf the Internet in 3-D, play music and run movielike video games.
Besides the PlayStation 3 game console, Sony and its partners, IBM and Toshiba, hope to use the same basic chip design -- which organizes small groups of microprocessors to work together like bees in a hive -- for a range of computing devices, from tiny hand-held personal digital assistants to the largest corporate servers.
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Elpida licenses Rambus Yellowstone
Memory maker Elpida has licensed Rambus' Yellowstone high-bandwidth interface technology, the pair announced today.
Elpida joins Sony and Toshiba as Yellowstone licensees. Sony and Toshiba are believed to want the technology for the Playstation 3. Elpida wants it for its high-end offerings.
Rambus expects the first Yellowstone-based memory products to ship late 2004/early 2005.
Yellowstone takes memory throughput to 3.2GBps, but the technology has room to expand that to 6.4GBps, enabling 50GBps to 100GBps of memory system bandwidth. It leverages Rambus' FlexPhase system to ensure each bit arrives almost perfectly aligned with the clock cycle. Differential Rambus Signaling Level, which enables low-voltage, low-power, differential signaling, and ODR (Octal Data Rate), which allows eight bits of data to be transferred on each clock edge, form the core of Yellowstone.
Rambus claims Yellowstone lowers system cost through pin-count reduction and support for low-cost, high-volume PCBs and packages.
"We evaluated a number of different advanced memory interface technologies and concluded that the Rambus Yellowstone memory interface is one of the best the market has to offer," said Elpida's chief strategy officer, Hidemori Inukai, said in statement, though you'll note that it's not exactly a ringing endorsement: "one of the best" doesn't mean the same thing as 'the best'.
"We believe Yellowstone will have a promising future in applications that need very high bandwidth," he added.