(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Sony Computer Executive Discusses New Entertainment Machines
March 4, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) and Toshiba
Corp. jointly developed a new microcontroller for use in next-generation
|The two companies released details of the new device at the International
Solid State Circuit Conference (ISSCC '99) held recently in San Francisco,
Ken Kutaragi, SCE's executive vice president and co-COO, spoke about
the objectives of developing the device in an interview with Nikkei
Electronics. Kutaragi took the lead in the commercialization of Sony's
popular PlayStation game machine.
Nikkei Electronics: Is the microcontroller that was jointly developed
with Toshiba for use in home video game machines?
Kutaragi: Game software will be just part of content for the machines
that incorporate the microcontroller. The new machines will perform
differently than the PlayStation. Thus, such new machines will not necessarily
replace the PlayStation.
Nikkei Electronics: How would you describe the new machines.
Kutaragi: The new machines will be capable of producing images
and music interactively. They can produce high-quality, 3D graphics
images equivalent to motion pictures, using conventional TV sets. The
PlayStation is sufficient in terms of sound quality, but its image quality
is not up to our level of satisfaction.
Nikkei Electronics: Why was Toshiba selected as your partner?
Kutaragi: Because Toshiba has engineers with whom we wanted to
collaborate. The development of the chip required 238 man-years of staff
work. I think that we have developed the best microcontroller in the
Nikkei Electronics: It has a chip area of 17mm x 14.1mm, and many
debugging functions. Is that because the chip is for evaluation purposes?
Kutaragi: The microchip is for evaluation purposes. However, the
mass-production version of the chip also will incorporate debugging
functions. The chip area will be reduced to about 13mm x 13mm using
improved production technologies. And the mass-production version may
operate at a faster frequency than 250MHz.
Nikkei Electronics: How is the rendering IC chip to be combined
with the microcontroller?
Kutaragi: Major makers of graphics IC chips must be surprised
by the combination. Its pixel engine, CPU core and DRAM are integrated
into a single chip. The prototype of the chip has been already completed.
It has a larger chip area than that of the microcontroller. We will
release something like it soon.
*This interview was conducted before the March 2 announcement of SCE's
next-generation game machine. For details of the new machine's specifications
and release schedule, please click here.
Sony, Toshiba Design Microchip for Home Game Machines
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