Sony's new NGP (next-gen portable) specifications have been released, mentioning the names of the processor and the the graphics processor that will be found in the device. The main bit of information has however been left out, the speeds and specifications of these processors. Whilst we may not be able to say exactly what the specifications of these components will be exactly, we can know what to expect. Here's what we know.
The ARM Cortex-A9 processor in the NGP has 4 cores and can handle up to 2GHz maximum according to the processor specifications. The processor specifications state that it uses a 32-bit architecture, which is used in 90% of mobile devices today. We can probably expect a processor speed of around 1.5GHz per core when the handheld is released, but with that said, it is important to note that the PSP's processor was based on the the R4000, and Sony managed to squeeze out more power from it than expected.
The graphics processor, SGX543MP4+ or PowerVR SGX543MP4+, is also a quad-core processing unit. The processor family, SGX543MP, has the several benefits over other processors and other features, a few listed below:
* Maintains the highest performance per mW of any embedded graphics core, a key benefit of POWERVR SGX (better battery life).
* No additional work for software developers; using one driver stack for all SGX cores means applications see a common SGX architecture via the standard APIs regardless of number of cores used (easy to develop for).
* Scalable GP-GPU compute power, which can be fully utilised through all Khronos APIs including OpenGL ES 2.x, OpenVG™ 1.x and OpenCL™.
* No additional CPU load when using multiple cores or loss of performance.
The speed at which the GPU is clocked will depend on Sony, the higher the frequency, the better the GPU. PowerVR give the following example "At 200MHz core frequency an SGX543MP4 (four cores) will deliver 133 million polygons per second and fill rates in excess of 4Gpixels/sec." That would make it only slightly better than the Xbox 1's GPU, but over 4x the power of the current PSP's, but we don't know what clock speed Sony will choose. Remember, this processor doesn't need to render to a big TV screen, so the lower clock speeds can still mean great graphics.
Also, the GPU is named SGX543MP4+, nobody knows what the "+" means, but it's very likely that the GPU will be heavily modified to make it unique to the NGPs architecture.