X-bit Labs reports new rumors indicate that both the Xbox Next and the PlayStation 4 "Orbis" consoles may be powered by an eight-core AMD Jaguar SoC. This chip has a relatively simple design, it should run cool and one of the benefits for Microsoft and Sony is that Jaguar should be relatively easy to manufactur at different foundries, as well as to shrink it to a smaller process node. Details about the graphic chip inside the next-gen consoles are still a mystery, but Sony's console will reportedly have a more powerful graphics engine than Microsoft's next Xbox. Further details about both consoles are expected later this year.
According to Eurogamer.net’s Digital Foundry, both Microsoft Xbox “Durango” and Sony PlayStation 4 “Orbis” are going to be based on highly-integrated system-on-chips featuring AMD Jaguar x86 64-bit cores. The SoCs are projected to be conservatively clocked at around 1.6GHz, which should ensure maximum possible yields as well as low temperature of multi-core solutions. Keeping in mind that video game consoles are designed to last for many years, it is possible that SoCs inside future PlayStation and Xbox will feature certain tweaks, optimizations and innovations that will not be available on personal computers for a while.
The idea to use AMD’s low-power/low-cost cores instead of high-performance x86 cores has both pros and cons. On the one hand, AMD’s Jaguar looks very promising on paper and has a number of advantages that may be especially valuable for game consoles, including 128-bit floating point unit (FPU) with enhancements and double-pumping to support 256-bit AVX instructions as well as an innovative integer unit with new hardware divider, larger schedulers and more out-of-order resources. On the other hand, AMD’s Jaguar is substantially behind the company’s high-end x86 cores when it comes to general-purpose performance and therefore some of the operations may take a long time to complete, unless there are not special-purpose accelerators integrated or the consoles will heavily rely on GPGPU [general-purpose computing using GPUs] technologies.