A rumour linking graphics chipset manufacturer NVIDIA with the PlayStation 3 has been described as "ridiculous" by a senior source, who claims that the company will design its own GPU for the console.
The rumour was reported widely last week by a number of online news sites, based on a single article on CNN which quoted American Technology Research analyst Erach Desai as saying that NVIDIA "is in discussions with Sony for the PS3".
However, a senior source close to Sony Computer Entertainment told gi.biz that it was a "ridiculous suggestion" that Sony would look elsewhere for a designer and manufacturer for the graphics processor (GPU) for the future console. "Sony has its own chip design teams and manufacturing facilities with massive experience in this sort of thing," he commented. "Lashing NVIDIA's technology onto the PS3 architecture would simply make no sense either technologically or commercially."
Although NVIDIA is recognised as one of the market leaders in PC graphics technology, along with ATI, the company's chipsets are very different to the type of graphics unit required by the PS3 architecture, he claimed. This matches up with comments from other development sources who claim that the PS3 will feature a graphics chip not dissimilar to the Graphics Synthesizer in the PS2 - "effectively GS Mark Two", one told us - which Sony's internal teams are far better placed to create than NVIDIA's.
Sony is noted for taking a homegrown approach with the components in its console; the PS3 is expected to feature the Cell microprocessor, which Sony created in partnership with IBM and Toshiba, while the PS2 and PSP both feature custom graphics chipsets designed by Sony's labs. This approach allows the company to enjoy significant economies over the lifespan of a console, as its engineers can continue to work on integrating components into single chips or reducing the cost of the manufacturing process by other means.
News source: Gamesindustry.biz