Playstation 3 GPU is still in development

Written by Tim Smalley

May 25, 2005 | 11:11

Tags: #g70 #playstation-3 #ps3 #ps3-demo #rsx

Companies: #e3 #nvidia #sony

At the recent J.P. Morgan technology conference, NVIDIA's CFO, Marv Burkett, gave a fifteen-minute presentation discussing how business matters inside NVIDIA are flowing, including how well certain areas of the business are growing. The larger topics covered included RSX, the chip behind the awesome graphics on Playstation 3, and upcoming 90 nanometre products.

Burkett stated that RSX is still in development and that no actual silicon is available yet. In other words, the silicon is not even taped out thus far. If we look at Sony's schedule, we expect that RSX is being finalised right now, and should be taped out before September, and the first silicon will be available nearer Christmas, in time for enough units to be made in the run up to the expected Spring 2006 launch.

The beauty is that once NVIDIA have bug-free silicon and the chip works as it is meant to, Sony will take complete control of production, paying NVIDIA for the technology. Once Sony take over production, NVIDIA need not worry about anything related to the production of the GPU, which means that the money they make of Playstation 3 will be free, as their work was completed before Sony took over the reins.

This means that there is one question that remains unanswered. The pre-E3 press conference that was held by Sony had a large number of technology demos - what GPU was used to render those if RSX is still in development?

Burkett discussed how NVIDIA and Sony had used an upcoming product with many similar capabilities to the RSX to demonstrate the capabilities of the Playstation 3 GPU. The demos at the show were running on NVIDIA's upcoming high-end desktop part, and also SLI systems. It is unclear whether these were based on the new desktop part that we've referred to as G70 in the past, or whether they were GeForce 6800 Ultra SLI combinations.

So, if NVIDIA's upcoming part is capable of all that we saw demonstrated at the press conference, what is RSX capable of?

Do you think RSX is going to be even better than NVIDIA's upcoming desktop products? Let us know.
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