Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Race for a New Game Machine

The linked book review describes the untold story of Sony's partnership with IBM and Toshiba to design the cell processor chips that made the Playstation 3. It's an eye-opener of a tale.

In 2002, Microsoft approached IBM looking for a unique processor to power the xBox 360.  In short order, IBM was simultaneously working on two designs for the cell processor.  And Microsoft, which lined up additional silicon fab capacity, actually got their version out first to market.  With other launch problems, Sony was a year late out of the gate.  So much for partnerships.

The Race for a New Game Machine looks like a fascinating winter read for technologists.

1 comment:

  1. Bonnie Bennett5:54 AM

    Exciting Race by heroes on the cutting edge of innovation

    From my first understanding of the concept of the "impossible" goal I couldn't stop reading this story of how a widely diverse group of people came together to accomplish the impossible. As the leadership gathered the team, I was amazed at the respect and accomplishments of each member. Creating something new that takes the game world to another level didn't come easy. It took innovation, risks, complex ideas and some of the greatest minds in the world working together to meet huge demands all in the space of a little processor chip. The project faced a time schedule that put the team into a vortex of deadlines, reports, updates and meetings, as the list of all that this new chip needed to do grew longer and longer. The coordination of speed, space, power, graphics, heat and design was enough to tax any engineer, but when the pressure really came on was when both super powers commissioned them to produce similar products on the same timeline. The people in the book are so real that I feel that I have been through long hours into the night with them, slaving to get it right, eating on the run, figuring out how to make it reach all of their goals. My favorite part of the book is the way the leaders keep everybody going with positive feedback, encouragement, dedication, focus, persistence, imagination and a firm belief in the team. They faced controversy, obstacles and "bugs" as they continued to forge ahead, determined to succeed. I don't play the games, design chips, manage projects or do I.T. but I learned a lot along the way as I followed this race. I highly recommend it!

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