Sony patent uncovered: “Dynamic Content Switching Between Architecturally Distinct GPUs”

Sony has perfect plans for the PS4, if this new patent is to go by.

Consoles unlike desktop PCs have limitations. These include, size, power, heat and a variety of things that will reduce the performance threshold of what these consoles can achieve. However, there are some advantages too like coding to the metal which allows developers to extract as much juice out of the hardware as possible.

According to this new patent “Dynamic Content Switching Between Architecturally Distinct GPUs”, they can include two GPUs in the consoles one a high performance one and another a low performance one, and it doesn’t matter if they are architecturally different. The content can be dynamically switched between the two.

Now what I am thinking is that they are probably going for an APU+ GPU combination. APU has a CPU and GPU in a single die but the latter is low powered which cannot be useful for big budget AAA games. However, when complemented with a good desktop class GPU, it can prove to be really beneficial if developers can utlize them in the right way.

Graphics processing in a computer graphics apparatus having architecturally dissimilar first and second graphics processing units (GPU) is disclosed. Graphics input is produced in a format having an architecture-neutral display list. One or more instructions in the architecture neutral display list are translated into GPU instructions in an architecture specific format for an active GPU of the first and second GPU.

Read the above description again if you are confused because it is pretty straightforward. It means that these two GPUs can be of significantly different architecture but with the methods described in this patent, they could be used in harmony to provide efficient results.

We also covered the rumour earlier where it was mentioned that Sony could be going with a mobile GPU, AMD HD 8000 M, which is quite powerful by its own and significantly draws less power.

The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the first GPU is a high power GPU and the second GPU is a low power GPU having lower power consumption than the high power GPU and a maximum processing capacity that is less than a maximum processing capacity of the high power GPU.

It could be quite complicated to understand even though it makes sense with the example given above, but that’s what patents are really, they are written in a very technical language that is perfect or almost perfect.