Rumour and speculation has been rampant for the Orbis in the last year or so, and the latest patent titled “Dynamic Context Switching Between architecturally Distinct GPUs“, filed by SCEA gives us a glimpse of what the PS4’s architecture may consist of.
The patent indicates Sony’s next gen system could be using an “APU + GPU” combination. An APU is a processor that combines CPU and GPU elements into one architecture, so this being paired with a separate, dedicated GPU essentially creates a dual GPU system.
The patent also implies the 2 GPUs will differ greatly in power, this can have two major applications. The first being power saving, as the more powerful, dedicated GPU will only need to be used when extra processing power is needed. The second being the less powerful GPU could be dedicated to the OS and functionalities other than gaming, freeing up resources so that the dedicated GPU can focus solely on gaming. This could result in streamlined, quick multi-tasking capablilities (think in-game browser, PS Store and cross game chat with ease).
This patent is in-line with other PS4 rumours of APUs and streamlined in-game OSs, so we think it will likely come to fruition to some extent.