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AMD's Feldstein: Future Game Hardware To Combine CPU, GPU

As part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview with AMD VP Bob Feldstein, the company behind the Xbox 360 and the Wii's GPUs has suggested a future for game consoles
Both the Xbox 360 and the Wii have graphics processing units designed by AMD, and speaking in a Gamasutra-exclusive interview, the company's VP of strategic development, Bob Feldstein, provided some insight on the future of console gaming chips, speculating that GPUs and CPUs may someday be a single entity: "I'll say that what I see the future as is a combined CPU/GPU, where the delineations are not there anymore. You combine them into a chip; you have compute elements of both, and jobs get kind of -- threads get kind of put on the resources that are best suited for them. GPU-like resources, vector engines for problems that simulate the real world, graphics, and physics. And for sequential problems, about other parts of this, you know, you've got your typical sequential processor." Feldstein went on to discuss ways that the architecture can be evolved to make things easier for game developers: "So, what I see us doing is math libraries, physics libraries, and collaborating with some of those middleware people we were talking about; to make sure that they have the low-level connections to us, so they don't have to figure things out every time. If we change the architecture, they don't have to redo everything -- we can just change some kind of layer." Feldstein tactfully declined to express favoritism for either one of AMD's heavy-hitting clients, but in the full feature, he shares his perceptions of both Wii and 360, as well as the philosophy behind console GPU development and other thoughts on the future of the game industry from the chip maker's crucial perspective.

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