AMD is “working with both Sony and Microsoft on consoles” and their “secret sauce”

AMD is

AMD is “working with both Sony and Microsoft on consoles” and their “secret sauce”

 In a recent interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, AMD’s CEO, Dr Lisa Su, stated that the company is “working with both Sony and Microsoft on consoles” and their “secret sauce”, seemingly confirming that they are working on both Sony’s PS5 console and Microsoft’s Xbox Project Scarlet.  

Su’s wording suggests that AMD’s work with both console manufacturers is ongoing, making it likely that next-generation consoles from both Microsoft and Sony will be powered by AMD hardware. 

The use of the term “secret sauce” also implies that both next-generation consoles will contain more bespoke hardware customisations than their predecessors, making their hardware differences larger than they have ever been before. Comparing the relative power of next-generation consoles may be more than a simple TFLOPS-TFLOPS comparison. Could this custom silicon/”Secret Sauce” be related to next-generation checkerboarding/upscaling techniques, or perhaps a move into hybrid ray-tracing like Nvidia’s latest RTX GPU offerings? 

Rumour has it that AMD’s Navi graphics architecture was heavily influenced by Sony’s planned PS5 console, with AMD’s Zen CPU architecture being the hardware platform that is likely to drive both next-generation console offerings, assuming that both Sony and Microsoft plan to continue using the x86 instruction set architecture. AMD’s Zen processors will offer a transformative performance improvement over the Jaguar cores used in today’s consoles, as Jaguar was initially designed with low power consumption levels in mind, not cutting-edge performance. 

AMD believes that there can be two winners within the graphics market, with AMD securing a tight hold onto the console market thanks to the combination of high-end CPU and graphics IP, as well as their ability to create bespoke silicon for the specific needs of their clients. Right now AMD powers both the PS4/PS4 Pro, Xbox One/Xbox One X and Zhongshan Subor’s custom Ryzen+Vega console/PC hybrid system, which is exclusive to the Chinese market. 
  

AMD is  

When compared to other companies, AMD currently sits in a unique position, with Intel lacking the graphics hardware to attract console makers while Nvidia lacks strong CPUs outside their ARM offerings. It is also worth noting that Nvidia seems less flexible than AMD with regards to custom silicon, with Nintendo’s Switch console using Nvidia’s existing Tegra X1 chip, which was previously used in the company’s Shield Android TV system, instead of a bespoke chi design using Nvidia’s latest graphics architecture. 

AMD’s Semi-Custom division appears to have a strong future in the console market, though at this time it remains unclear whether or not these console developments will ultimately benefit AMD in the PC market. 

You can join the discussion on AMD “working with both Sony and Microsoft on consoles” and their “secret sauce” on the OC3D Forums.