Sony is working on LLVM compiler improvements for AMD’s Zen Architecture

Sony is working on LLVM compiler improvements for AMD's Zen Architecture

Sony is working on LLVM compiler improvements for AMD’s Zen Architecture

Sony’s PS4 console makes use of an LLVM/Clang compiler, with the developers of the console working with the LLVM community to optimise the compiler over time of offer developers the best experience when working with their console. 

Today it looks like Sony plans to use a similar compiler for their future consoles, with Phoronix uncovering that Sony’s principal programmer, Simon Pilgrim, working on optimisations within the LLVM compiler stack for AMD’s “zenver1” architecture, a clear sign that Sony plans to leverage AMD once again for their next-generation console. 

Sony’s PS4 and PS4 Pro consoles currently use AMD’s Jaguar x86 processors, CPUs that are designed for mobile/low-power applications with each console offering eight processing cores with clock speeds of 1.6 and 2.1GHz respectively. These processing cores provide lower clock speeds and performance per clock levels than AMD’s Ryzen/Zen series processors, making a move to Zen hugely significant for a future console. 

Sony is working on LLVM compiler improvements for AMD's Zen Architecture  (Sony’s PS4 Pro console)

Sony’s work on LLVM with Zen is a clear sign that the company plans to leverage AMD’s latest CPU architecture for a future product, as it is the only answer to the question “why work on optimising software for hardware that you don’t currently use/ship?”. Right now nobody can offer anything similar to AMD in the console market, at least when it comes to static hardware like the PS4 and Xbox One, Sony won’t move away from x86 anytime soon, so right now AMD seems like the only viable option for Sony’s next-generation hardware. 

You can join the discussion on Sony’s work on LLVM compiler improvements for AMD’s Zen architecture on the OC3D Forums.