A new report states Sony is currently working with AMD’s Ryzen CPU tech, leading to speculation the project is related to PlayStation 5.
According to the report, a PlayStation programmer is currently working on “improving Ryzen support on a key developer tool,” one that none of Sony’s current products support. Here’s where the PlayStation 5 speculation comes into play.
Information on the project comes from Linux-specialist site Phoronix which found a Linked-In resume posted by one of Sony’s compiler experts who has worked at the company for over a decade.
Per the information posted, the compiler is working on AMD Ryzen microarchitecture support “within the LLVM compiler stack.”
For those of us who are less tech savvy, LLVM is a CPU compiler which is used currently in the PS4 development kit. Sony going with AMD next time out shouldn’t be a surprise, considering PS4 uses a AMD Jaguar eight-core CPU, and a AMD Radeon GPU.
Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter explains the CPU tech project could indicate Ryzen will “form a key component” of PS5.
“Taken at face value, the fact that the platform holder is improving a key part of the developer toolchain for a new processor line that none of its products currently support is compelling evidence that Ryzen will indeed form a key component of a new console,” states Leadbetter.
“It is certainly the most logical choice for a new CPU architecture for both Sony and Microsoft as pre-production work on next-gen hardware continues behind the scenes.”
Thing is, team members of Sony’s R&D tend to also “work on various projects unrelated to hardware design,” a source familiar with Sony R&D told Leadbetter.
“For example, they can work closely with game developers, or even with other companies associated with Sony but not necessarily working on PlayStation products,” said Leadbetter. “The news adds further weight to the assumption that PS5 will continue to use AMD technology, but isn’t quite a smoking gun that confirms the spec.”
Of course console manufacturers build the machines with technologies available in a set time-frame to allow R&D teams to customize the tech. Microsoft said as much before when it came to Xbox development. The next version of Ryzen will surely be available by the time PS5 releases in either 2019 or 2020, but at present AMD is focused on Ryzen desktop and server tech.
In short: PlayStation 5 could make use of a customized version AMD’s Ryzen CPU tech, or it could not. Speculation is speculation, but by all accounts, this appears to be the case for the time being.
Maybe someone with a PS5 dev kit in hand will spill the beans and confirm or deny this sooner or later.
Digital Foundry goes into more techy detail if you want to give the full thing a read.
Meanwhile, here’s everything we know or suspect regarding PlayStation 5.