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Mark Cerny

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Original author: 
Peter Bright

AMD

AMD wants to talk about HSA, Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA), its vision for the future of system architectures. To that end, it held a press conference last week to discuss what it's calling "heterogeneous Uniform Memory Access" (hUMA). The company outlined what it was doing, and why, both confirming and reaffirming the things it has been saying for the last couple of years.

The central HSA concept is that systems will have multiple different kinds of processors, connected together and operating as peers. The two main kinds of processors are conventional: versatile CPUs and the more specialized GPUs.

Modern GPUs have enormous parallel arithmetic power, especially floating point arithmetic, but are poorly-suited to single-threaded code with lots of branches. Modern CPUs are well-suited to single-threaded code with lots of branches, but less well-suited to massively parallel number crunching. Splitting workloads between a CPU and a GPU, using each for the workloads it's good at, has driven the development of general purpose GPU (GPGPU) software and development.

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Original author: 
Sam Byford

Lb_0365_large

When Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 two months ago, many were impressed to see Mark Cerny fronting the presentation as lead system architect; the industry veteran first made his name by designing the classic Marble Madness at the age of 18, and has since been described as "the closest we have come to a modern-day da Vinci." Cerny hasn't spoken much about the PS4 since, but now a lengthy, in-depth interview with Gamasutra does a lot to explain the thinking behind the system's design.

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In this interview with Dark Souls producer Kei Hirono, he reflects on the development of the game and what director Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team at developer From Software have achieved with the eagerly anticipated, famously challenging, and innovative title.

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