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P L A Y S T A T I O N   2
PlayStation 2 Info
Introduction
Sony has taken the wraps off the PlayStation 2 and immediately positioned the devices beyond its games console roots, promoting it as a home's gateway to digital content distributed via the Internet

The new PSX-2 will be downwards compatible with the current PSX games. This will be a very good reason to upgrade to a PSX-2 and holding on to your current collected game base!

The PlayStation 2 has been released in Japan on the 4th of March 2000 and it is set to ship in the US and Europe Q3 2000.

PSX-2 Performance & Hardware
People expecting the PSX-2 to be a faster console than the Dreamcast will be sorely disappointed. Sega has done a very good job developing a superior console. But this doesn't say much as the N64 also had superior hardware features!

Hardware:

The PSX-2 Chipset will comprises of:

  • DSP
    The custom high-performance DSP (Digital Signal Processor) will be running at 250 Mhz and will provide the floating-point calculations needed for 3D graphics. The DSP will also include hardware MPEG-2 Video decoding which should enable you to playback DVD movies on the PSX-2!
  • RISC
    The RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Processor) will also be running at 250 Mhz and it will be based on the MIPS technology. It will have 10+ millions transistors, 100+ multimedia extension instructions, 8K data cache, 16k command cache and 16k internal cache.
    The CPU reportably will be able to push about 4.5 million triangles, compared to the Dreamcast's 3.5 million.
  • 3D Graphics Chip
    There is for now no information which chipset will drive the 3D graphics. Sony will want to keep this under wraps because this will be the vital part for the capabilities of the PSX-2.

This chipset will evidently provide the immense math-crunching prowess required to compute, but not display, the system's reported 12 million NURB (Non-uniform Rationalized B-Spline) polygons per second.

Toshiba will be producing the DSP chip & RISC processor and they will introduce them at the International Solid State Circuit Conference in the US this February.

LSI Logic, manufacturer of the custom ASIC processors found in the PlayStation, will be providing "significant" silicon for the new system as well.

The PSX-2 will almost certainly be driven by a DVD drive, the advantage of this is that DVD can hold up to 4.7 Gb compared to the 650 Mb on a CD-ROM.

the PSX-2 laser information has been released by Sony, it will use two modified lasers (DVD's use two at present anyway.) Both will be modified so it can also read PSX-1 CD's.

Nikkei News in Japan released a picture of the Sony Playstation 2 PCB. Visible are the Emotion Engine and the Graphics Synthesizer.
Confirmed Hardware Overview:

CPU

Emotion
Engine

  • System Clock: 294.912 MHz
  • Bus Width: 128 bit
  • Cache: 16 kb
  • System Memory: 32 MB Direct Rambus
  • Memory Bus Bandwidth: 3.2 GB per second
  • Co-Processor: FPU (Floating Point Multiply Accumulator x 1, Floating Point Divider x 1)
  • Vector Units: VU0 and VU1 (Floating Point Multiply Accumulator x 9, Floating Point Divider x 1)
  • Floating Point Performance: 6.2 GFLOPS
  • 3D CG Geometric Transformation: 66 million Polygons Per Second
  • Compressed Image Decoder: MPEG2

GFX

  • Clock Frequency: 150MHz
  • DRAM Bus bandwidth: 48 GB Per Second
  • DRAM Bus width: 256 bits
  • Pixel Configuration: RGB:Alpha:Z Buffer (24:8:32)
  • Maximum Polygon Rate: 75 Million Polygons Per Second
  • Memory: 4 MB VRAM

Sound
SPU2+CPU

  • Number of voices: ADPCM: 48 channel on SPU2 plus definable by software
  • Sampling Frequency: 44.1 KHz or 48 KHz (selectable)
  • Memory: 2 MB

I/O
Processor

  • CPU Core: Current PlayStation CPU
  • Clock Frequency: 33.8688 MHz or 36.864 MHz (selectable)
  • Sub Bus: 32 Bit
  • Interface Types: FireWire/i-Link IEEE1394, Universal Serial Bus (USB)
  • Communication via PC-Card PCMCIA Type III

Drive

  • DVD-ROM 4x (24x CDROM)

Previous Information
psx2_small.jpg (9198 bytes) Previous Picture of the PSX-2 Design - 26-01-1999
Related Links

Magazines:

  • Total Control Issue 3 Jan '99
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