Revolution chipset: 'Broadway' and 'Hollywood' (IBM and ATI)
From: MS Will Destroy Sony Computer Entertainment (msdestroysony_at_sonysucks.com)
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 21:54:30 -0600
(this will be posted several times, with corrections & additions as I
can do them)
the following was written by myself, and *not* a c&p. feel free to
post it anywhere you like :)
note that Nintendo's Gamecube console has a 'Gekko' and 'Flipper'
chipset from IBM (Gekko CPU) and ATI-NEC (Flipper GPU)........
Although the Flipper was *not* really made by ATI, a company that
splintered off of SGI did, called ArtX. The Flipper and other ArtX-SGI
technologies were purchased when ATI acquired ArtX, almost 5 years ago.
being that the Gamecube was developed, for the most part, in the late
1990s, the technology is 5-7 years old, now. ...Dispite the fact that
Cube has only been on the market for about 3 and half years.
okay moving to the present day (or at least the last 3-4 years in R&D )
as far as Nintendo console architecture:
'Broadway' and 'Hollywood' replace 'Gekko' and 'Flipper'.
or rather, Broadway and Hollywood are the sucessors to Gekko and
'Broadway' is the IBM CPU (multi core? or single core?) for Nintendo's
'Revolution', the next-generation Nintendo console, or system of some
sort, which is the sucessor to Gamecube.
'Hollywood' is the ATI graphics processor for Revolution. no details on
it that I've seen. (obviously fully ATI-developed this time, unlike
with Gamecube's ArtX Flipper)
The Nintendo Revolution is going to be backwards compatible with
Now, this *had* already been announced early last year in the form of
'N5' and 'GC Next' being said officially by Nintendo, to be backwards
compatabile with Gamecube.
However, in recent months, the BC feature went into serious doubt with
'Revolution' there were even reports that Revolution would not be BC
with Gamecube games....but now, thankfully, BC has been re-confirmed,
in the form of, Revolution will be backwards compatable with Gamecube.
Finally, that issue seems to have been put to rest.
Just don't backtread on that Nintendo, like you did with the
Super Famicom / SNES, when you said it would play 8bit Famicom/NES
games, but ripped out-of-the-box compatability out before release.
the ATI 'Hollywood' GPU for N.Revolution probably has a long heritage.
I could try to guess it, but I would probably end up being somewhat
wrong, since I don't know the *exact* & *complete* history of
developements, the techologies, of Nintendo and its 3D-graphics
partners (SGI, ArtX, ATI). I only know of a few small tidbits of
info/fact, that made its away into magazines and onto the internet.
see, Nintendo's relationship with ATI goes all the way back to
Nintendo's relationship with Silicon Graphics in 1993 for Project
Reality and its 'Reality Immersion Technology' which became the 'Ultra
64' and ultimately, the Nintendo64. (and no, even super-expensive SGI
workstations & supercomputers could *not* render T2 or Jurassic Park in
realtime, much less the N64)
Most of, if not all of, the people that worked on N64's Reality
Co-Processor (aka RCP) GPU, left Silicon Graphics in 1997 to from a
company with the specific goal of capturing Nintendo's buisness--to get
the graphics chip contract for N64's sucessor, N2000. That company was
Art-X or ArtX.
ArtX suceeded in beating out other rivals (3Dfx, 3DO Systems, and who
knows who else) for the Nintendo console deal. In 1998 (iirc) Nintendo
announced that it would be working with ArtX on the new console. ArtX
would obviously be doing the graphics, but also, helping Nintendo to
select a CPU-partner, which was in flux at the time. Nintendo was about
to end its relationship MIPS/SGI CPUs.
The new console which had been known as N2000, was later announced as
'Project Dolphin' at E3 1999. ArtX was making a GPU, with help from
NTD, NEC, MoSys and S3, which would actually be the main LSI of the
system and contain the I/O circuitry, the audio processor, north
bridge, among other things. It was called 'Flipper'.
ArtX had been instrumental in getting Nintendo to partner with IBM for
the CPU. The IBM CPU was thus announced (iirc) at E3 1999 as 'Gekko'.
It was a billion dollar deal between IBM and Nintendo and would use
IBM's then-new copper interconnect circuity and other advances in
chip-design. The relationship between Nintendo and IBM today still
seems very strong, hence, the 'Broadway' CPU for Revulution. Broadway
is supposed to be multi-core, but I've seen no actual confirmation if
the Revolution CPU is going to have more than one processing core. I'll
bet it probably will have at least 2 cores, though. maybe 4 cores?
(heh, to top MS's Xenon, next-gen Xbox, which IS confirmed to have a
multi-core CPU (see the news) and is probably tri-core.
After some undisclosed changes to the Dolphin specifications and
hardware configuration, between 1999 and mid 2000, the Dolphin was
revealed as GAMECUBE in August 2000 at Spaceworld in Japan. The
Gamecube itself, with its already weaker specs compared to Dolphin,
went through a few *more* changes to *its* new specifications, before
finally being released in fall 2001. The clockspeed of the IBM Gekko
CPU was boosted from 405 MHz to 485 MHz. however, the Flipper GPU was
downgraded somewhat, from 202.5 MHz to 162 MHz.
Not only that, but the various bandwidths of the entire Gamecube
architecture (main memory, embedded memory) was also lowered in
accordance to the Flipper clock decrease. The memory latency of the
main memory & embedded memory (both 1T-SRAM) also went up slightly,
which means it got *slightly* slower. check the Gamecube spec-changes
from August 2000 to E3 2001 if you do not believe me.
....The Gamecube was an awesomely efficient and nicely powerful
Nintendo console architecture. but, the continueous spec downgrades
(some well known some not so well known) from what was originally
planned for Dolphin, and speculated on for Dolphin, meant that a
potential Xbox-killer became a console that could just 'hold its own'
against Xbox. The Xbox spec was cut back significantly also, to be
and now, a 'Hollywood and Broadway' powered 'Revolution' is opon us.
whatever those other IBM and ATI teams have been cooking up for
Revolution over the last 4 to 5 years (or so) since Revolution entered
R&D, I am sure that it will at least rival Microsoft's Xenon: next-gen
Xbox, if not surpass it.
Revolution and Playstation3 should be great rivals. After the
hardware is done, it is all about the games. look how cool the new
Zelda Gamecube game is. now imagine Zelda Revolution!
linkage to many articles, showing that Broadway & Hollywood are indeed
the names or codenames for the CPU & GPU of Nintendo's Revolution
(again, what is written above is *not* an article, but MY OWN notes)
there are more links, believe me. that's enough though, no? ;)