Details surrounding the next PlayStation, codenamed Orbis, have reportedly leaked. The technically minded and reputable Digital Foundry claims that the "PS4" will have an eight-core AMD CPU, running at 1.6GHz, and a custom Radeon GPU, with 18 compute units at 800MHz. This matches with earlier rumors that Sony was partnering with AMD for its next-gen system, thereby losing backwards-compatibility with PS3.
According to the report, the processor architecture is based on new "Jaguar" technology that's primarily designed for low power consumption. Jaguar products for PC are set to ship later this year with 4 cores, but Orbis will double that count at launch.
The GPU is likely to be based on yet another mobile product from AMD, with the Radeon 7970M providing a "strong basis" for what to expect in terms of power consumption. Theoretically, the GPU will offer 1.84 teraflops of power, a figure that Digital Foundry hasn't been able to confirm for itself. And before opening up your PC rig to do a comparison, be mindful that an apples-to-apples comparison isn't entirely effective. "Freed from Windows and incorporated into a fixed console design, this GPU will really have room to show us what it's truly capable of," Digital Foundry notes.
In addition to the CPU and GPU, Orbis supposedly has other hardware that should give it a boost in performance. "Paired up with the eight AMD cores, we find a bespoke GPU-like 'Compute' module, designed to ease the burden on certain operations." This could be similar to dedicated PPUs found in many gaming rigs.
Orbis will only sport 4GB of RAM, however it will be GDDR5, an "ultra-fast" RAM that will undoubtedly best the DDR3 RAM rumored to be used by Durango (the next Xbox). According to Digital Foundry, the next Xbox will have 8GB of RAM, but could have up to 3GB reserved for the OS. Orbis, on the other hand, will have less RAM, but a smaller OS footprint as well--only 512MB.
While these specs are unconfirmed (Sony has not formerly announced its next-gen plans), they are certainly impressive--albeit in not the same way that PS3 was when it was first introduced. "Orbis has a singular focus on delivering high-end performance without breaking the bank--our take on the specs is that this is a machine built to last with a huge amount of potential," Digital Foundry says. The report also adds that the new PlayStation "may power past the new Xbox simply because it focuses its resources on out-and-out games power."