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PlayStation 5: Sony’s Ninth Generation Console Specifications and Technology

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PlayStation 5 Key Features Finally announced. Should we look forward to a big breakthrough in the next generation of Sony consoles and games?

Sony has broken its silence. The PlayStation 5 technical specifications are now available to everyone, and system architect Mark Serney introduces a detailed overview of the nature of new hardware and the steps we should expect for a genuine end-to-end leapfrog to the PlayStation 4. Digital Fandery had the chance to see Cerny ‘s speech a few days earlier and had the opportunity to talk to Mark Cerny about the nature of the dedicated PlayStation hardware and the philosophy behind its design in more detail.

A detailed speech by Mark Cerny contains a new set of information about Sony’s plans for the next-generation console, and this is just before we go into the details that Mark Cerny shared in an exclusive conversation. Assuming we divide the current content into two. Today, we’ll share what we’ve learned from Sony’s online broadcast, and we’ll share more details shortly. All in all, these are the main topics we will cover today:

  • PlayStation 5 technical specifications and innovative boost approach applied to its operating frequencies
  • PlayStation 5 Graphics chip capabilities
  • How SSD Helps Present the Next Generation Dream
  • How Sony interacts with the extra storage
  • Unique 3D sound using the Tempest 3D Audio engine

The interesting thing about this introduction is that Sony has shown a vision of the next generation that offers some of the outstanding features of its previous consoles by the most advanced and unknown proprietary silicon with a specific focus on enhancing the gaming experience to the next level. But at the same time, this design does not forget the developer-friendly approach that appeared to be very successful in the PlayStation 4. The idea is that developers working with current-generation hardware can easily master the basics of the PS5 and gain access to the added CPU, GPU, and storage capabilities before digging into new ones.

Mark Cerny Sony

Technical Specifications

From the gamers’ point of view, we know that there is a great desire to know the basic technical specifications of the PlayStation 5 processor, and because of this new introduction, we now know much more about AMD’s custom-built processor at the heart of the PlayStation 5. In fact, we think that Cerney focused more on an experience that included some key features like SSD storage and the new Tempset audio engine. will bring, which is really exciting.

In the initial step, we know that the PlayStation 5 is a high-tech Zen 2 processor. build AMD uses our previous follow-8 physical cores and 16 disciplines were approved. But now we know that their clock speed is set to a maximum frequency of 1.2 GHz. The nature of the CPU and GPU operating frequency performance needs to be explained precisely, and so Cerny refers to the frequencies as “restricted”. For the processor, the frequency spectrum is set at 1.2 GHz, and it is estimated that it will be normal, but can work slower under certain conditions.

Sony’s proprietary version of the graphics chip RDNA 2 construction of the AMD 36 processor units ( compute units or CU ) at frequencies up to 2.23 GHz and a maximum level of 10.28 teraflops of processing power to effectively offer. Although the 3.5GHz range will be both high bandwidth and general chip speed, it can be reduced to a lower level if requested. With that description, the PS5 also uses a booster frequency that is equally important. It should be kept in mind that the efficiency of a processing unit or CU in RDNA architecture is far beyond that of a synchronous unit on the PS4 or PS4 Pro based on older architecture.

Introducing Boost in PlayStation 5

It’s important to clarify how PlayStation 5 uses variable frequencies called ” boosts “, but it should not be compared to the same technologies used in smartphones or even PC components such as processors and graphics chips. There, the maximum efficiency is directly dependent on the thermal capacity, and therefore, at higher temperatures, the frame rate of the game can be lowered and sometimes greatly reduced. This is essentially the opposite of what we expect of a console, and it is expected that all consoles will deliver exactly the same efficiency. It is clear that PlayStation 5 does not enhance the working speeds of its components in this way. According to Sony, all PS5 consoles will perform the same task under the same efficiency, no matter what the ambient temperature.

So how does Boost work on this? Simply put, PlayStation 5 is a set of power capacities that are dependent on the thermal limitations of the cooling system. Cerny says we are on a completely different side of the pattern, and instead of running a fixed frequency and obtaining variable power levels and power consumption based on the workload, we necessarily run a uniform power level and allow the frequency to be based on the heavy processing weight of the variable.

An internal detector evaluates the level of CPU and graphics chip processing load and determines the frequencies based on it. It is true that each piece of silicon has quite different temperature and power consumption characteristics, but the sensor lays the foundation for what it calls a “Model SoC” (system chip on a model chip). A standard reference for any PlayStation 5 that will be produced.

Boost Frequency in PlayStation 5

Mark Cerney also explains in his introduction:

Instead of looking at the actual temperature of silicon, we monitor the running activities on the CPU and GPU and determine the frequencies based on which make everything workable and repeatable. At the same time, we’re also using AMD’s own SmartShift technology, transferring any unused CPU power to the GPU to be able to process as many pixels as possible.

It sounds like a lucrative idea, but it’s in stark contrast to Microsoft’s decision to design the Xbox X series, which probably means developers should be mindful of the potential surges in power consumption that could affect speed, and Reduce efficiency. For Sony, however, this means that the PlayStation 5 on the graphics chip can achieve much higher operating frequencies than we expected. These speeds are also substantially higher than anything we’ve seen from current AMD products in the PC market. In addition, the efficiency rate is more than the 36 units available RDNA 2 extracted.

Sarney then proposed an interesting hypothetical scenario: a graphical core with 4 CU units running at a frequency of 1 GHz, versus a piece with 4 CUs. but clocked at 750 MHz. Both offer processing efficiencies of 5.1 truffles, but Cerney says the gaming experience is not the same.

He explained that:

The efficiency is obviously different because the Traflops unit is designated as the basis for measuring the computational power of the ALU ( Arithmetic Logic Unit ). This is just one part of the graphics chip, and there are many other parts that work at higher speeds as the frequency increases. With 1% higher frequency, drawings are 5% faster, the order buffering is also faster, L1 and L2 cache much more bandwidth and so on.

The only disadvantage is that system memory is reduced by 4%, but its many advantages still prevail. The use of 36 units CU parallel comfortable 48 unit CU in this case would be. When the triangles are small, it will be more difficult to fill all those CU units with efficient tasks.

Mouthpieces acknowledged that solutions of heat used in the hardware of the previous generation may not optimal, but the idea works based on the levels of energy consumption, thermal dissipation to the task easier to manage exchanged, without considering the speeds of high frequency that the CPU and GPU to run be.

PlayStation Graphics Core 5

Early exposure to PlayStation 5 can be seen as high power, but it seems that part of the job is left to developers to adapt to these new features. The question is, what happens when the processor reaches its power consumption threshold and its components slow down? Mark rekindle in his speech is clear that CPU and GPU are always respectively at frequencies of 3.5 GHz and 2.23 GHz will not work.

He says:

When the worst case occurs with a game, it will run at a lower clock speed and frequency. But it’s not that much lower, and for a 5 percent reduction in power consumption, only a few percent reduction in frequency will suffice, so I expect any speed reduction to be very minor. Taking all aspects into account, the shift in approach to variable frequency implementation will bring significant improvement to the PlayStation gamers.

At the facility level, Cerny talks about features that are in common with other upcoming AMD products or derivatives based on RDNA 2 technology. A new block, known as the Geometry Engine, gives developers unparalleled control over triangles and elementary drawings and simplifies drawing optimization to remove invisible components in the scene. This section also extends to the construction of primitive shaders, which look very much like the mesh shaders in Nvidia’s Turing architecture and RDNA 2 graphics chips.

Sony PlayStation 5 graphics

While Mark rekindle support for technologies such as machine learning or variable rate shading (shading with a variable rate or simply VRS ) did not mention, console PS5 definitely a hardware accelerated ray tracing (the technique of ray tracing with graphics cards series RTX NVIDIA introduced and The abbreviation is called RT ) by Intersection Engine , a topic that Cerny said is based on AMD’s strategy for future PC graphics chips. There was speculation that there was an external block to implement this capability, but it didn’t, and like the next generation of Navi chips as well as Xbox Series X hardware, RTBuilt-in and fully integrated with the graphic shaders. Like the RDNA structure , the PlayStation 5 console has access to the same RT implementations we’ve seen in PC space. Reflections, contact shades, shadows, and ambient lighting are good options to run with RT . Cerney says he has seen a title for the PS5 that has been able to successfully apply beam-based reflection techniques to complex animation scenes with only a slight drop in efficiency.

How does SSD fulfill the dream of the next generation?

The nature of the SoC chip and its features are of paramount importance. Much of this information is new and sometimes vital information that is classified based on our audience feedback. What is clear from this introduction, however, is that Mark Cerny has very different priorities and the concern of the next generation’s dream must also be borne in mind. There are two very specific parts involved: one SSD and the other an interesting part for the 3D sound hardware dubbed the Tempest Engine .

Sony emphasizes dual storage on the SSD (Solid Disk Drive) storage to deliver a truly transformative experience for the next generation. Every few years, Mark Cerny travels the world, meeting with dozens of developers and publishers, and using SSDs is their number one demand for the next generation. Sony actual implementation of different things, with a performance by orders of magnitude 2 (ie 10 2 = 100 times) faster than the PlayStation 4. Two gigabytes of data can be loaded in a quarter of a second, meaning that in theory all 5GB of PS5 memory can be loaded in just two seconds.

Enhancing efficiency with large order requires a lot of custom hardware that can seamlessly link SSDs to the main processor. Proprietary controller chip memory modules are connected by an interface with 12 channels in a total yield of 5.5 gigabytes per second with an overall capacity of 825 GB provide. If the current capacity SSD -Various consumption 512 GB, TB, and more in my opinion, may be 825 gigabytes of storage may seem an odd choice for inclusion. But the Sony solution is a proprietary solution, with 2GB being the most optimal for a 4-channel interface, and it has other benefits. In short, Sony here had more freedom to practice its design. Mark Cerney says:

We can look at existing NAND-Flash components and make something that has the most optimal value for money. Whoever makes an M.2 drive doesn’t necessarily have the freedom to operate, for example, marketing and selling an M.2 drive that does not meet one of its standard sizes.

PlayStation 5 SSD controller

The SSD controller itself connects to the main processor via a 4-way PCI Express 4.0 interface and features a number of dedicated hardware blocks designed to avoid SSD bottlenecks . The system has five prioritization stages that enable developers to prioritize data delivery based on game needs.

The controller also supports ZLIB industry-standard non- compression (reverse compression or UnZip – compressed files extraction) hardware , as well as a new Kraken extension from RAD Game Tools, which manufactures game-making tools and up to 6% Z compression. presents. The result is that 3.5 GB of physical bandwidth is converted to 1 or 2 GB of effective bandwidth and injected into the system. Mark Cerney says:

Also in terms of efficiency, our dedicated uncompressor has the capacity of 2 Zen 2 processing cores , which is the amount of processing we need to decompress the Kraken format with conventional processors.

A dedicated DMA controller ( Direct Memory Access for data input / output operations directly from / to memory) (equivalent to one or two Zen 2 kernels in terms of efficiency) is responsible for sending data where needed. However, two dedicated I / O processors perform both I / O and memory mapping simultaneously. Above that, the coherency engine part oversees the entire operation.

Cerny explains:

The data-dependence event (in short, it is the operation on specific data that causes the data to be duplicated and invalidated elsewhere , such as cash- in- memory and invalidates it) occurs in many places where perhaps the biggest drawback of dependency is the expiration of memory information. cache GPU is. Removing all graphics chip cache instantly when reading from an SSD is an unattractive option, as it can seriously damage GPU efficiency . So we devised a better solution to get things done and based on the address range of the data overwritten by the coherency engine The graphics chip will be notified to mark just the same range of changed addresses and to exit the cache.

All this will be available to developers without having to do anything. Even non-compression operations are controlled by proprietary silicon. Cerny explains:

“You just decide which data you want to read from your original and non-compressed file and where you want to put it, and the whole process of loading will be hidden from your view at a very high speed.”

How does Sony inhibit expandable storage?

Since Mark Cerny first revealed the custom nature of SSDs , there were questions about added or expandable storage. What happens when you fill in all the 6GB of internal storage storage? The answer is that PlayStation 5 is compatible with older consoles, and you can run your old games from standard external storage to conserve storage. It obviously won’t run as fast on the internal SSD , but it will free up space for the next-generation titles they will need. Our guess is that when space constraints are created, games can be backed up to standard hard drives. But there is another option to increase SSD storage .

We’ve seen Microsoft’s proprietary drives for the X-series console, but Sony still adheres to its strategy of allowing users to buy parts of the market and put them on their own. So yes, NVMe high speed PC drives will also work on Playstation 5. The only problem is that PC technology in this area is still far behind the PS5 . It takes some time for the newer PCIe 4.0 -based bandwidth drives to fit Sony’s specifications.

Then Sony must review and approve them to ensure they work properly. PS5 will have an NVMe slot , but drive compatibility is the first requirement. This is not just a bandwidth problem here, though it is an important criterion. The PS5 specification gives developers six stages of prioritization, while NVMe only has two priority stages.

Cerny says:

Of course we can connect to a drive with only two priority levels, but our dedicated I / O unit must manage the extra priorities instead of the controller inside the M.2 drive . Therefore, the M.2 drive needs some higher speed to take care of the problems caused by a different approach. Business drives also need to be physically fit into the position we have for M.2 drives on the PS5 . Unlike internal drives, unfortunately there is no standard for the thickness of an M.2 drive , and some have large heat sinks and some even have their own fan.

But the fact that the console’s internal SSD is a custom solution, with what might be called a non-standard capacity, has an impact on the capacity available through the M.2 compatibility drive. , even if it has one or two terabytes of capacity. It will be usable.

In short, adding to internal storage will be possible, and unlike the Microsoft console, you won’t need to use Sony’s proprietary drive for the required storage. But at least in the short term we have a simple recommendation: Do not buy any NVMe drive  without Sony’s approval if you intend to use it on the PlayStation 5. Also remember that  NVMe  drives with ultra-high-bandwidth  PCIe 4.0  at least for a while – will probably be very expensive. However, we are confronted with a modern technology that will clearly have a better prospect of next-generation development, and prices will go down with time.

Unique 3D sound with Tempest Engine

In a conversation with Mark Cerny, he regretted that in his regular visits with players and publishers, he had only been able to meet a very small number of sound engineers, and Sony had to resort to presenting its next-generation sound experience. Audio has been relatively poorly handled throughout the current generation, using only a fraction of the current processor core (called the Jaguar) to deliver 5.1 surround sound, far less than the sound experienced on the PS3 , where constant SPU cores were ideal for sound processing tasks. Cerny refers to the PSVR as the standard of a modern-day device for ambient sound because it has a dedicated audio unit capable of supporting up to two high-quality audio sources. New Tempset Engine In PlayStation 5, it supports hundreds of much higher quality audio sources.

All of this capability is shaped around the principles of “presence” and “position”. Cerny then presented an interesting definition of presence : Today, in games, the rain is a simple, singular sound. PlayStation 5 with the Tempset Engine is intended to simulate the actual feeling of being in the middle of a rainstorm ( hence the name simulation) by simulating the sound of raindrops hitting your ground. But in terms of the meaning of the situation, it is more about precisely identifying the location of objects. The knowledge that made this possible is so amazing that it takes into account the shape of your ears and even the size and shape of your head to fulfill that desire.

To accurately simulate the correct position, be sure that Sony table with so-called Head-Related Transfer Function (means the transfer of Translation head ) or for short HRTF for each person individually produce. How you perceive sound will be simulated by processing the surround sound based on that table, which is at least a heavy processing task. In fact Tempset Engine effectively redesign of a single processing unit or Compute Unit ( or briefly CU ) in the graphics chip AMD , from which cache memory is separated and relies solely on DMA transfers , and in this sense it is just like a PS3 processor. it works. As a result, the way to efficient use of the vector units of the CU cores opens.

Mark Cerny states during the introduction:

Where we come from is a bandwidth unit with SIMD capability (hiding from Single instruction, multiple data meaning running a single instruction on multiple processors) similar to the entire Jaguar kernel on the current PS4 console . If we wanted to use the same PSVR algorithms , that amount of power would be enough for about 2 audio sources, but of course we are going to use more sophisticated algorithms and we don’t need that much sound.

In short,  Tempset Engine way for a genuine revolution in sound. While there are challenges to the system in achieving its highest potential in the field of sound, purchasing high-end hardware to enjoy this experience is all you need to worry about. In short, the simplest way to use headphones is to have two ears and two speakers all you need and the Tempest Engine will do the rest. Sony is optimistic about getting the right results from the surround sound from TV speakers and headphones. Multiple sound systems and composite speakers will also be supported.

However, the targeting of the peripheral sound system is such that we may not be able to see its full potential for some time. Voice processing with the HRTF system presents challenges because each person’s ears and head are different. Sony has been modeling the HRTF system for about 3 people to get an idea of ​​the differences, and has finally prepared three default modes based on the console release time. There will be a setup tool to make sure you choose the best option. But of course, if we can introduce our own HRTF , we will have the best experience and reach this stage of current research.

Mark Cerney states:

You may send us a picture of your ears in the future and we will select the nearest HRTF model in our library using neural network processing . Maybe send a video to your ears and head and we’ll make a 3D model of them and extract the HRTF model from them. Or you will play a specific sound to adjust the HRFT and we will make the best HRTF with the highest score by making subtle changes during playback . This is the same trip we will be taking in the coming years. We are determined to enable anyone to experience the next level of realism.

What we saw from the introduction of Mark Cerney is a comprehensive plan that encompasses revolution and evolution. Clearly there is still much to be said. Unlike last week’s unveiling of Microsoft, Sony still hasn’t played many of its cards in the game. The only example we saw of actual SSD performance was the Spider-Man demo , but because of the nature of the Tempset EngineIt will be very challenging to showcase its capabilities without close scrutiny or listening. The issue of console size is still hidden, and Sony’s choice of inventing a variable frequency chip for choice and limiting power consumption may refer more to a traditional console design (similar to current consoles) than to the extreme strategy adopted by its competitor. But for now, these are in the guise of speculation. Now we know a lot more about the next-gen Sony console, but we still have a long way to go before the big unveiling.

Joel currently hold the spot as Founder/CEO of PlushNg. He likes spending his free time watching out for the latest movie releases. He is a Journalist, who loves to explore the world through his own eyes. He is a keen learner, WordPress Lover, and an SEO specialist. You could contact him at [email protected]

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