SAN JOSE, Calif. — Marvell supplied a comms ASIC and the Wi-Fi controller in the Sony PS4, according to a teardown by Chipworks. Two of the companies chips in the new game console were among the few surprising finds of the teardown.
The Sony PS4 can download content while in standby mode and most subsystems are turned off. "The PS4's dedicated network processor appears to be a custom ASIC by Marvell, judging from the package markings," Chipworks said in its teardown.
Separately, the PS4 also uses a rarely seen Marvell mobile WiFi controller, the Avastar 88W8797. The chip supports 82.11n with MIMO, Bluetooth 4.0, an FM tuner, and power-management functions.
"To date Chipworks has only ever observed this Marvell device inside one other product -- the Microsoft Surface Tablet back in October of 2012," the teardown specialist said, speculating Sony got a good deal on the part.
Main processor in Sony PS4.
In addition, Chipworks found the custom AMD CPU/GPU processor driving the PS4 uses 16 512Mbit DRAMs, eight on each side of its motherboard. Previously it was thought the board used eight Gbit DRAMs on one side of the board, again indicating a choice that may have shaved costs for Sony.
The custom AMD CPU/GPU processor in Sony PS4.
Chipworks described the AMD custom processor as "a huge monolithic die of 20 x 20mm."
— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times