Secondary CPU Found in PlayStation 4 Teardown

The original PlayStation 3 included a second CPU, Sony’s Emotion Engine chip, to enable backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 2. Turns out Sony has included a second CPU in the PlayStation 4, too, but at this point it’s unclear precisely why it’s in there.

The folks over at NeoGaf were quick to discover something buried in the iFixit PlayStation 4 teardown: a “Secondary/Low Power Processor for Network Tasks.” The processor is labeled as SCEI (Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc.) and it even includes 256 MB of its own Samsung¬† DDR3 SDRAM. (In the picture above of the PS4 motherboard, the primary CPU is outlined in red, the second in yellow.)

The PlayStation 4′s primary CPU is an 8-core AMD Jaguar, so it’s interesting that Sony opted to throw “network tasks” to an entirely different CPU instead of relying on one of the primary CPU’s cores. The folks on NeoGaf are speculating this secondary chip is what enables the PS4 to cache 15 minutes of video recording. That’s significant when you consider the Xbox One is limited to five minutes of video capture.

It’s also possible this secondary chip is linked to Sony’s PS4 partnership with cloud streaming service Gaikai. While not available at launch, Gaikai will eventually provide instant game demos and PlayStation legacy titles on the PS4.

See what you can discover about Sony’s rather elegant looking system in iFixit’s PlayStation 4 teardown.

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1 Comment on Secondary CPU Found in PlayStation 4 Teardown

Zephyrtuvai

On November 15, 2013 at 9:10 am

They’ve explained this. I forget where, and it might have more purpose, but it was to allow very low standby power draw. The extra cpu ( and ram, gddr5 Is “relatively” power hungry) kicks on to enable standby network features. Manages and finishes downloads, network wake, etc, while maintaining a low standby power footprint. Its a step in the right direction for all devices that are designed to never completely turn off, IMO.