Mark Cerny is the lead system architect working on the Playstation 4, and he seems to be a very capable man to lead the console forward. In an interview, he discussed the effects the custom architecture and proprietary components of the PS4 will have on performance and the ability to squeeze every last drop of power out of the PS4’s hardware.

The PS4’s processor will be a single chip composed of 8 ‘Jaguar’ 64-b0t CPUs and an integrated GPU, allowing much faster communication between all components of the device and the system will run on an x86 architecture, familiar to developers. This chip will be manufactured by AMD. Cerny, commenting on the x86 architecture, said: “The adoption of the x86 architecture made it much easier to develop game software because enough toolchains, numerical libraries and software that utilizes multimedia instructions are available for it…And compilers quickly supporting the latest extended instructions for vector operation are very advantageous.”

The use of GDDR5 in place of DDR3 in the PS4 will allow much faster data transfer (bandwidth) throughout the PS4, which, according to Cerny, had been the biggest problem for developers in the past. The provision of a whopping 8GB of GDDR5 (something which cannot be used in a normal PC build at the present time) provides new opportunities for developers and will keep the system capable far into the future.

Cerny discusses how the absense of eDRAM (which would be a major performance increase, but only on a small scale) makes one less choice for the developers to make. This type of RAM would be very small in capacity, but allow for very high bandwidth, however, it would make it difficult for the developers to choose which of the game’s processes to utilise the eDRAM and which are to run on the external, main RAM. The provision of a unified 8GB of GDDR5 removes this confusion and makes the console even easier to create upon.

“We received very positive responses to the concept of ‘Supercharged PC Architecture’ from developers because we made a drastic improvement to performance and made it easy to develop games at the same time. It is hardware for which games can be developed really easily.” Cerny commented when asked about the developers’ response to Sony’s hardware and architecture choices for the PS4 system.

Cerny also assured the PS4 is using many custom-created technologies in the console which will further optimise the console, provide more power to the developers and simplify the creation process for games. The Playstation 4 certainly is shaping up to be one of the biggest innovations Sony has ever made in the console business and the company appears to be going all out to create a consumer and developer friendly model, something which can ONLY mean good things.

Stick with us for more next-gen and PS4 coverage.