A few Geek triangles

Posted on Tue 09 January 2007 by alex in geek

I was asked which of the next gen consoles I was most likely to get. Currently there is a strong chance Nintendo's Wii will join my collection. However I do want to actually have a play with one before I make the purchase.

Despite it being a Sony product I am a bit of a PlayStation fan. It's always had a more unconventional architecture which, despite it's reputation for being hard to programme, appeals to me. However to do any sort of hacking on the PS2 involved getting a bunch of upgrades which was too much of a pain. The PS3 however runs Linux out of the box. I remember discussing with John how much of the hardware would be locked down behind the virtulisation. Sony have stated that Linux won't have access to the "accelerated graphics" however according to IBM you do get access to the SPE units of the CBE. Assuming the memory bandwidth between the Cell and the frame buffer is fast enough for a few full screens worth of data per frame I think there is plenty of scope for some cool homebrew hacks. It should certainly be capable of acting as a network video/media player.

In other geek news the Open Graphics Project has released pictures of their first prototype boards. Even though I'm not interested in developing VHDL for the FPGA's I'm tempted to buy the OGD1 development board instead of waiting for the ASIC version. One thing I learnt in my time at Braddahead is how useful it is to have the flexibility of FPGA's on your hardware. It would also be a good way to show support for one of the more important open hardware projects out there.