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AMD On Graphics: 360 and Wii GPU Guru Speaks

October 29, 2007 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 4 Next

Right now you'll see a number of companies doing different tools that are licensed for many incredibly different solutions -- but it all comes down to creating a game. What are you guys doing, essentially, in terms of that? You talk about doing some libraries...

BF: I'll say that what I see the future as is a combined CPU/GPU, where the delineations are not there anymore. You combine them into a chip; you have compute elements of both, and jobs get kind of -- threads get kind of put on the resources that are best suited for them. GPU-like resources, vector engines for problems that simulate the real world, graphics, and physics. And for sequential problems, about other parts of this, you know, you've got your typical sequential processor.

So, what I see us doing is math libraries, physics libraries, and collaborating with some of those middleware people we were talking about; to make sure that they have the low-level connections to us, so they don't have to figure things out every time. If we change the architecture, they don't have to redo everything -- we can just change some kind of layer.

So are you talking about right now on the 360? Or are you talking about down the road?

BF: Down the road. Down the road. I think now, the 360 model is that... and I'm talking about the model on the 360, is the developers know it really well. They get more and more familiar with it, and the ins and outs, and they do a better and better job. I think that we're going to have more complicated models in the next generation, and those, I think, might be good to share some of the burden of the really low-level programming, and abstraction of all the stuff that can come out of them.

So AMD already sees the next generation on the horizon.

BF: We do. Not that anybody -- you know, we're not doing it -- but, yeah, I think we're pointing some other, future architectures towards that. Because we do think, unlike the Intel gentleman, I think we see the console as a good place for getting this collaboration, and these applications running really well.

His point is currently being discussed by developers -- is the PC the largest market?

BF: I think it's a very interesting observation. Everything's going to be connected to net. It's going to be your handheld device, your phone, your game console, and your PC. I don't know what the distribution mechanism is going to be. And I don't know what we're going to distribute it on. But your PC is going to be a tough one for the living room -- I don't know if it's going to be your traditional game console, here. It could well be your cell phone.

I perceive it like this -- you alluded to the Wii expanding the market, right? So, we have the 360 gamer, and the Wii gamer... So, there's altogether potential that these things can exist in different, parallel markets.

BF: Exactly. Yeah. I mean, and it depends on where you live, and what you do, and all kinds of things that come into it. And, it's going to take -- what I can tell you is that nothing's going to stay the same in ten years. You know? It's going to take angles that we didn't expect. Now, I am always betting on more portable, rather than fixed. That's going to be...

Jon Carvill: I play the 360 when I'm by myself, but I actually play the Wii with my parents and my kids. If you would've told me that there'd be a console that we'd sit, for an evening, and play with my parents, and my eight-year-old, I would've told you that you were smoking something. I never would've seen that coming.


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