Warhawk devs talk about PS3 Hardware Capabilities
This is a really interesting thing ive found in PS3land forums. They are video translated so there is no actual written source.
"The interesting thing with the cell is that its running a bunch of executables at the same time, so some software engineers are writing software rendering, some engineers are writing AI routine, physics routines or collision routines and all of these programs are running on separate processers all at the same time. Then all of that data gets sent to the main processor and co-ordinated for the next frame for rendering.
With the amount of things we needed to put in the world like rocks, trees etc. it was not possible to have a Modeler to place all the stuff was unfeasible. We were actually able to devise a method of using the cell processor to place the stuff to a very good result and not have to worry about that (process) which was nice.
Whats really interesting is groups of programmers can compartmentalize and work on the different areas, working on their on highly evolved highly adapted little programs that sit on all the various SPE's. And they just all run incredible fast.
There is actually some overlap in the processing of the RSX's vertex programmes and what you can achieve on an SPE. So its kind of up to us to decide where to skin my geometry should I put it on the vertex program or should i put it on an SPE. So dependant on the situation we can decide where to put these things.
The team and I are trying to take the time to really do the PS3 justice. to use the Cell, use the RSX, use the architecture to really make the machine sing. So when people play warhawk they say its a fun game and I have played a next gen title. "
This proves what many of us on this forum (JordanL, Udontkneed2know, Lefein and myself that the Cell can interactively assist or take over jobs for the RSX. The Cell is not just a CPU or even a PPU but a GPU as well. This is the big advantage of having multiple SPE's on the Cell processor.
Here then is an extract based on the interview regarding programing for the RSX:
"PS3 is a huge step forward from the PS2, the RSX is capable of incredible graphics its capable of vertex programs, pixel programs so when the Cell processer is done simulating all these complex particle systems then the RSX takes over and does complicated frame buffer effects and takes complicated vertex shaders and complicated pixel shaders then essentially paints all that geometry with real next gen graphics. So once the Cells done with the geometry throws it over the wall to the RSX, the RSX then makes it really pretty.
We feed it command lists full of programs to execute what to execute them on all the geometry that they apply to and fed to the RSX to the vertex programs, where the vertex programs run then create polygons . Those polygons are then dropped down to the pixel level where it executes another program, where it kind of pulls in the other programmes like textures and per pixel detail.
Because Warhawk is a next gen experience we use the RSX to render high quality pixels but not only high quality pixels allot of high quality pixels. The display is bigger and in addition to being a bigger display we do 4xAA over the entire screen so when you see this huge armada battle in beautiful high def, and four times AA its an incredibly compelling experience to the surface materials, the fog, the dynamic shadows all of which your not going to see on any other console. "
They also mention Blue Ray and saying "we got all this space on the disk but we can't get the guy to work 48 hours straight."
Seems like the guys at Incognito are trying to get the max out of warhawk by using the Cell, RSX and Blue Ray.
I also quite like the way in which the teams are split up to work on their own programs on the SPE's. Must make things easier to manage in some ways.
And what is so so exiting is the confirmation of how closely the CPU and the GPU are interacting. This will give an unprecedented level of flexibility to the developers. To be honest its quite amazing how tight the two processors are. This is new territory because we have never ever had a CPU that can do these types of things and assist in graphics loads in this fashion before. Exiting times and Impressive!!!