PS3 OS to use more than one CPU core

Written by Tim Smalley

April 13, 2006 | 17:05

Tags: #3 #operating-system #os #ps3

Companies: #sony

A report coming from sources close to Sony has revealed more details on PlayStation 3's embedded operating system.

PlayStation 3's OS was unveiled in Sony's demonstrations at the Game Developer Conference in Santa Clara last month, where Sony stated that the OS would constantly use one of the seven cores inside the Cell processor.

However, PS3 Portal has revealed that this is only the tip of the iceberg.

The OS will not only reserve one of the SPEs inside Cell for the OS, and it will also be able to take another one of the SPEs at a moment's notice. This could be for the purposes of rendering the GUI, along with decoding the multiple video and audio streams from the OS's multi-user video and voice chat functionality.

The interface understood to be known as Blade internally, and it will be able to appear from the edge of the screen when the user wishes to do something outside of the game they're currently playing, rather like the OS on the Xbox 360.

Obviously, this shouldn't affect single player games, as they should be pause-able. However, online multiplayer games aren't likely to be pause-able, so PlayStation 3 game developers will have to overcome the headaches that the switchable SPE may bring.

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