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17th January 09 #1
Xbox 360, PS3 Chip Co-Creator Talks Consoles' Relative Strengths
Former IBM technical architect David Shippy, who worked on both the PS3's Cell-specific PPU chip and Xbox 360's Xenon CPU talks to Gamasutra as part of an in-depth interview, and shares his thoughts on the relative pluses and minuses of each console's architecture.
Gamasutra asked him about the relative power of the two systems -- since he worked so intimately on them, does he have an opinion on which was the more powerful?
"I'm going to have to answer with an 'it depends,'" laughs Shippy, after a pause. "Again, they're completely different models. So in the PS3, you've got this Cell chip which has massive parallel processing power, the PowerPC core, multiple SPU cores... it's got a GPU that is, in the model here, processing more in the Cell chip and less in the GPU. So that's one processing paradigm -- a heterogeneous paradigm."
"With the Xbox 360, you've got more of a traditional multi-core system, and you've got three PowerPC cores, each of them having dual threads -- so you've got six threads running there, at least in the CPU. Six threads in Xbox 360, and eight or nine threads in the PS3 -- but then you've got to factor in the GPU," Shippy explains. "The GPU is highly sophisticated in the Xbox 360."
"At the end of the day, when you put them all together, depending on the software, I think they're pretty equal, even though they're completely different processing models," he concludes.
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