What to expect of the Sony NGP Gaming Console - GPU & CPU

The Sony Next Generation Portable, otherwise known as a NGP, may be far more powerful than originally thought - especially based on the specifications announced last week.

The device is the first to come with four ARM Cortex A9 cores; we only know of four semiconductor companies that have released or have openly said that they plan to release quad core Cortex A9 chips; Renesas, Marvell Technology Group, Nvidia and Freescale.

We suspect that the cores would be would be clocked at 1GHz and will include the GPU, a PowerVR SGX543 (which therefore rules out Nvidia). Imagination Technology's website says that the SGX543 - which was launched in 2009 - comes with support for Open GL 2.0 and Pixel Shader Model 4.1.

In terms of performance, the NGP far outweighs the previous PSP which used a Sony CXD2962GG CPU based on a MIPS architecture (Sony has licenses for ARM9 and ARM7 architectures). Likewise the onboard media engine chip looks positively anemic compared to the raw firepower of the SGX543.

Each GPU core can deliver 35 million polygons per second and one Gpixels fill rate per second at 200MHz, assuming that the GPU scales linearly, a quad core solution running at 300MHz would push out 6 Gpixels and 210 million polygons per second.

Since many websites use polygons and triangles interchangeably, we may assume that a quad PowerVR SGX543 MP4+ may fall just short of the Playstation 3's 250MT/s. However, we cannot directly compare the PS3 to the PowerVR SGX543 MP4+ because of the lack of proper standard benchmarks.