Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wii U CPU = New Technology

There has been more talk recently that the Wii U CPU is a tad below Xbox 360/PS3 in clock speed. The question begs to be asked: Does that really matter? What we have to remember is that the Wii U CPU is actually a brand new chip and is not based on previous generation HD systems. Here is part of the press release from IBM a year ago on the Wii U CPU:

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it will provide the microprocessors that will serve as the heart of the new Wii U™ system from Nintendo.  Unveiled today at the E3 trade show, Nintendo plans for its new console to hit store shelves in 2012.
The all-new, Power-based microprocessor will pack some of IBM's most advanced technology into an energy-saving silicon package that will power Nintendo's brand new entertainment experience for consumers worldwide. IBM's unique embedded DRAM, for example, is capable of feeding the multi-core processor large chunks of data to make for a smooth entertainment experience.

(Wii U Power Microprocessor test chip)

Regarding Wii U's EDRAM:

IBM's embedded dynamic random access memory (test chip shown here) will help deliver a thrilling new game experience to Nintendo fans. The new memory technology, a key element of the new Power microprocessor that IBM is building for the Nintendo Wii U console, can triple the amount of memory contained on a single chip, making for extreme game play.

Whether or not the CPU is clocked less than the current HD systems is irrelevant since this is new technology and different architecture than either of those systems that are nearly 7 years old by now. Designing a CPU for a console in 2009-2011 is a lot different than designing one in 2004-2005. Not only that but seeing as the Wii U's GPU is being designed to handle duties normally done by the CPU, porting code from platforms that normally handle code through the CPU differently to the Wii U is going to lessen performance. Almost like having the Wii U run a game with the it's hand tied behind it's back and covering one eye; it could get the job done but it would do it slower. 

Developing a game on the Wii U with code that it's designed to handle will most likely show a significant graphical advantage over this current generation. However with porting on the Wii U thus far, the games are going to look exactly the same as Xbox 360/PS3 with maybe a better frame rate, less screen tearing and slightly better image quality. I guess when you think about it, that's pretty much what most people were expecting anyway. 


Anonymous said...

i dont even think its a TAD lower im guessing at 1.6ghz to 2.0ghz as thats the clock speed powerpc 32bit now runs at,,, and out of order vs inline = double, so if you had a out of order xenon at 1.6ghz it would effectively match a inline xenon at 3.2ghz GET IT

the wiiu cpu was described by ubisoft over a year ago as LIKE THE WII BUT NOW MULTICORE and the gx gs whatever its called nintendo api is now gx2 its the same code but now multi core !!!!!!

NEW TECH yes that's right,, there broadway cores with IBM EDRAM as level 2 catch, or even as iv been suspecting 2 cores with sram 512k and 1 core with 2mb edram or 3mb edram and there all using it !!!?

EDRAM has a bandwidth advantage vs sram so if in deed broadway 2 cores at 45nm then there now sporting a huge bandwidth boost in the catch memory

powerpc 32 bit is now at 45nm the exact size nintendo said there using but so is power7 theres talk of less THREADS than xenon and the vgleak CLEARLY STATES ????

WRITE GATHER PIPES PER CORE AND LOCKED LEVEL 1 CATCH THATS CLEARLY DESCRIBING BROADWAY / GEKKO spec broadway improves on gekko the cores in wiiu could again improve on broadway

at 45nm 3 cores with 3mb catch would take up the same physical area broadway cpu does in wii

and about the same heat and power consumption also

then ad to this the fact these cpus could very easily be added to a E class AMD embedded gpu PACKAGE

presto theres your wiiU

im gues 1.6ghz to 2.o ghz it could be higher but i think the cpu peaks at 800mhz bus so a 2to1 balance between gpu and cpu with gpu matching the bus = 800mhz gpu 800 bus and 1.6 ghz

if 3to1 like wii and gamecube 9was going to be 2to1) it would be gpu 800 bus 800 and cpu 2.4ghz

commonsense shows 3xcore broadway @ 1.6ghz plus a sound dsp and maybe a ARM co cpu would give us about 2.5 x xenon in x360 with a custom catch 3mb etc it could be more

3x broadway = 15 execution units xenon has 3 and thats pathetic

iv also heard that xenon level 2 catch runs at half cpu clock thats some 1970s shit right there

im still 90% its powerpc 32 bit nintendo-fied = broadway 2 and its using tech based around the powerpc 476fp TYPE DEAL

Gregory Weagle said...

If the recent spec rumors are true; then Wii U's CPU clock speed would be 200 MHz less than XBOX 360 and PS3 (both use 3.2 GHz).

My computer runs an AMD A8-3800 processor at 2.5 GHz which would be 500 MHz slower than Wii U. However; my computer has 8 GB of RAM therefore it would be a lot faster and much more powerful than Wii U.

Now granted; Wii U doesn't even need 8 GB of RAM (that's overkill on my part) to destroy the current generation (1 GB is all it needs); but my point is that clock speeds are pointless in this day and age when the other elements like RAM completely overcompensate any clock speed losses.

The funniest thing about this is that everyone focused on Namco-Bandai's clock speed being a tad low but missed the fact that this spoke person/developer (who does have a name; it just escapes me at the moment) didn't think the console was an issue; but though the two screen system of the gamepad was the issue; which is a valid point since we are not dealing with a handheld like controller like 3DS where the two screens are fixed in a certain side to side format. One of the screens is free; so trying to coordinate the television screen and the gamepad screen will be more difficult.

Anonymous said...

i dont recall anything said about a TAD slower iv read slower thats it!!!!!

and it was clckspeed talk nothing more a 1.6 ghz dual core intel kicks the xenon in to touch with ease what people fail to understand is that cpu was unbelievably bad

the iners of a intel atom cisc inline cpu are more advanced than a xenon core do not be surprised if wiiu cpu clock is half that of xenon

a example of this

gekko cpu and xbox celeron 1 instruction per clock

xenon and broadway 2 instructions per clock per core

if nintendo again went powerpc 32 bit there now at 5 instructions per clock efficiency

xenon 2 instructions 3200mhz = 6400 x 3 cores = 19200 inline instructions

3xcore broadway 2 (if it was a 45nm 32bit) 5 instructions x 1600 = 8000 x3 cores =24000 out of order instrutions

a basic look at a broadway tri core at 1.6ghz vs xenon then ad the sound processor and a possible ARM co cpu

its clear a low clock system can easy beat out x360 as the gpu would be a huge leap above x360

ROM said...

Booya! Your blog always provides great info to clear things up...It's funny because Nintendo will release an HD console capable of 1080p (powerful enough to render to two displays), new tech, new contollers, Wii compatibility, etc, and some people still insist on seeing the glass as half empty.
To note that Nintendo has not revealed everything yet - is smart -as we all know the "other guys" tend to keep a watchful eye on Nintendo. LOL.

Biohazard said...

News of this is already damaging some momentum for the console, but hopefully not in the long-term. I just took a look at the responses in most gaming sites, and it just makes me weep for the gaming community. They are already excusing the Wii U as being weaker than 360/PS3! I swear these people consume paint chips on a daily basis. Even if they have absolutely no clue how console hardware works (and they express it ever so obviously), how can they not notice major titles like Batman: Arkham City and Assassin's Creed III working on the console with little-to-no difficulty. The last two were shown on E3 and they were running as smooth as the 360/PS3 brethren! In fact, Harada, who broke the news, admitted that the Wii U version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 isn't that far behind. That isn't bad for a console that has slightly low clockspeeds compared to the 360/PS3.

Anonymous said...


only idiots get sucked into this and idiots dont buy nintendo anyway the buy sonys and ms's

the whole thing is clearly PROVEN WHEN LOOKING AT BOTH PS3 AND X360S CPU

its funny 3.2ghz was in pc marketing considered top end then sony said all this hype about one day consoles cpu clock will match pc WHEN SONY SAID THAT I NEW THEY WERE MARKETING TO DUMMYS a consoles cpu doesn't need to match a pc to rape it in performance thats commonsense

then both x360 and ps3 IRONICALLY HAD IDENTICAL CLOCK SPEEDS they were so obsessed with out doing each other in MEANINGLESS CLOCK SPEEDS they ended up at the exact same place

WHY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! because idiots the usual hardcore suspects think a clock speed is how powerful a cpu is and all cpus are the same DUMB MOTHER F**KERS

xbox 360 was called 360 for one reason to get a 3 next to xbox as ps was ps 3 the xbox with a 2 in marketing to DUMMYS would look inferior the 360 name was invented to get a 3 in there THIS IS SERIOUSLY DUMB LEVELS OF MARKETING AND REMEMBER MS IS DUMB AT HARDWARE SELLING!!!!!!

the powerPE core of xenon and cell is so out of date and backward and so inline many cpu experts have stated its like really old tech from pre pentium 1 era cpus the clock speed was so high so it could actually perform and also for marketing

OH LOOK THE CPUS 3.2GHZ the fact its iners was like total horse crap even vs a intel atom seems not to compute with the fanboys

a pentium 4 at 2.8ghz from years ago would kill a xenon there that bad and remember xenon is doing i/o os / sound and all general purpose cpu work

xenon is so weak even sound processing can take up a whole core THATS SAD SERIOUSLY SAD at minimum sound takes up half a core

a 1.6ghz dual core sandy bridge celeron out performs xenon at gaming WHILST RUNNING WINDOWS AND ALL THE PC GUFF AT THE SAME TIME THE XENON IS WEAK PROVE IT ISNT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

if we are indeed looking at a sub 2.0ghz tri core 45nm improved broadway it will kick the living zhit out of xenon at 3.2ghz then ad the gpu COMPUTE HARDWARE AND THE DSP AND THE LIKELY ARM CPU


i love how fan boys think cpu vs cpu when the very way the machine works is different the architecture!!!!! of the hardware

its not cell vs wiiu cpu cell was a gpu a cpu a sound dsp and ,many other things and the gpu was weak



LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oh one other way of looking at this if you can actually think for ones self

imagine the gpu find by metal dave was the wiiu gpu it has 480 shaders lets say a developer wanted to use 80 shaders as compute flouting point engines as a extra cpu boost

you would have 3 cores cpu then 80 gpu shader pipes as extra sims fpu number crunch power

so 3 out of order cpus each with dual 32 bit sims them 80 sims shader engines then the DSP and then the ARM lets call each one a thread

i count each core each fpu and each shader is a thread right i count 91 threads there

cell had what 8 ish x360 xenon had 6 STARTING TO SEE THE PICTURE

80 shaders at 600 to 800 mhz vs 6 spes on cell at 3.2gghz and remember each task costs a thread on cell sound o/s i/o graphics multipul cell threads cpu etc etc etc all on a unreliable hard to code very inline tiny catch memory cell

before we even look at the sound processor and the ARM and the compute shaders on wiiu we could be looking at 3x out of order cores 6 fpu threads


Gregory Weagle said...

By The way; the developer is Katsuhiro Harada from Namco-Bandai who is developing Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Super Smash Brothers Wii U and 3DS.

And again; read his words carefully: He said the clock speed of the CPU is a bit lower than PS3/XBOX 360 (and even rumor specs point to the clock speed being only 200 MHz slower than PS3/XBXO 360); but that wasn't the issue he had with Wii U.

The issue was that the Wii U's two screen system is different from the 3DS and it is since the screen is free forming and not fixed from top to bottom like the 3DS). This is something that makes Wii U not be a 3DS (besides the glasses free 3D not being present in Wii U.)

Michael Green said...

What if Nintendo left an expansion slot on the wiiu controller, which would add a mobile processor to it at a later date to take additional work off the CPU once costs drop. Would that increase CPU performance over 1tflop since the CPU wouldn't have to push content to the controller?

Mike G.

Anonymous said...

the dev guy has spoken again his bigging up the gpu as very powerful and this low clock cpu again

ITS A TRI CORE BROADWAY 45NM 3MB CATCH i tell you now im guessing again between 1.6ghz and 2.0ghz

with 45nmpowerpc having a 800mhz bus system on chip im going to put my money on a 800mhz gpu and a 1.6ghz cpu or there abouts