Gaming Industry News, Views, Ideas and Fears

PSP Chip Diagram

Kutaragi's been on the podium yet again it seems. However, this time he's showing something a bit more solid; the chip layout diagram for the PSP. (click to enlarge)

Note it has a Vector FPU, not a VU, but I presume it'll be a cut down version of the PS2's VU chip. There's no mention of the size of the instruction and data cache, I just hope they've learnt lessons from their previous hardware so its speed isn't crippled like the PS2.

It looks like they've done something decent with the sound chip this time, using a reconfigurable DSP instead of the hashed together super-famicom chip they've been using since the Playstation 1. Vram is just 2 megabytes but the screen resolution is less than half that used in most games these days at 480x272 (I wonder what the refresh latency on the LCD screen is?). It has an MPEG4 decoder chip onboard too which frees up the CPU to do other stuff whilst watching movies (or maybe there's a special high-efficiency mode to simply pipe the MPEG4 output into the Graphics Core to save battery life).

The "Media Engine" plus its 2mb of sub-memory smells like a re-configured playstation 1 chipset to me. All in all though, very interesting stuff.

Here is a snippet from the interview (roughly translated):

[Q] Looking at the spec for PSP, it seems like a bit of an overkill?

[Kutaragi] I don't think so, I simply put everything in that I wanted and it ended up like this. You can watch movies etc. on portable devices right now, but the experience watching them on a 16:9 screen is incredible and I wanted that. I want to be able to watch 5 2-hour movies on my long flights abroad.

When the walkman was launched it was met with the same criticisms, I can still remember it now. But when I put the headphones in my ear I said "oh, this is what it is about". This is exactly what the PSP will be like, then it won't just be me, everybody will burn with the same passion.