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PS4 lead designer details the console's custom 'supercharged' architecture

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PlayStation 4 will give developers a "supercharged" architecture that was custom designed based on developer feedback, the console's lead design architect Mark Cerny told Gamesutra.

Cerny's comments expanded on those he expressed at the February event where Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4, which he characterized at the time as having a "supercharged PC architecture."

"The 'supercharged' part, a lot of that comes from the use of the single unified pool of high-speed memory," Cerny told Gamasutra.

The PlayStation 4 will sport 8 GB of GDDR5 unified memory, a feature included because it was the "largest piece of feedback that we got" from developers. Cerny also said that unified architecture offers "a very straightforward benefit that you get even on your first day of coding with the system," due to the AMD-designed custom chip that houses both the PS4's GPU and CPU.

Cerny, whose work on the console dates back to 2007, said that the PlayStation 3's Cell processor is powerful but required developers to "study it and learn unique ways of using the hardware." A series of postmortems with developers about the PS3 informed how Sony would build its next-gen console.

"The hope with PlayStation 4 was to have a powerful architecture, but also an architecture that would be a very familiar architecture in many ways," he said.