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 PSP Hardware Information

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PostSubject: PSP Hardware Information   Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:14 pm

Technical specifications
The PlayStation Portable was designed by Shin'ichi Ogasawara (小笠原伸一) for the Sony Computer Entertainment subsidiary of Sony Corporation. Early models were made in Japan but in order to cut costs, Sony has farmed out PlayStation Portable production to non-Japanese manufacturers, mainly in China.

The unit measures 170 mm (6.7 inches) in length, 74 mm (2.9 inches) in width, and 23 mm (0.9 inches) in depth, and has a mass of 280 grams (a weight of 0.62 lb) including the battery. The Samsung (previously Sharp) branded TFT LCD screen measures 110 mm (4.3 in) diagonal with a 16:9 ratio and a 480272 pixel resolution capable of 16.77 million colors. It has four possible brightness settings, the brightest of which is disabled in the older firmware versions unless on A/C power.

The PlayStation Portable's main microprocessor is a multifunction device that includes a MIPS R4000-based CPU, hardware for multimedia decoding (such as H.264), as well as a vector unit dubbed "Virtual Mobile Engine". The MIPS CPU core is globally clocked between 1 and 333 MHz. During the 2005 GDC, Sony revealed that it had capped the PlayStation Portable's CPU clock speed at 222 MHz for licensed software. Its reasons for doing so are unknown, but are the subject of some speculation. Various homebrew tools enable users to operate at 333 MHz, generally leading to a higher frame rate at the expense of battery life. On June 22, 2007, Sony Computer Entertainment confirmed that the latest firmware release, 3.50, does in fact remove this restriction and allows future games to run at the full 333 MHz speed. It does not affect already-released games.

The system has 32 MiB main RAM and 4 MiB embedded DRAM. There is no memory management unit for the CPU. No evidence of a TLB has been found. The co processor that normally manages the TLB-based MMU seems to be a custom effort by Sony and has no integrated memory.

The 166 MHz graphics chip has 2 MiB embedded memory and through its 512 bit interface provides hardware polygon and NURBS rendering, hardware directional lighting, clipping, environment projection and texture mapping, texture compression and tessellation, fogging, alpha blending, depth and stencil tests, vertex blending for morphing effects, and dithering, all in 16 or 24 bit color. The graphics chip also handles image output. Specifications state that the PlayStation Portable is capable of rendering 33 million flat-shaded polygons per second, with a 664 million pixel per second fill rate.


Optical drive
See also: Universal Media Disc
The PlayStation Portable uses a drive compatible with Sony's proprietary Universal Media Disc format. Use of the drive increases battery drain by approximately 10% and the system has been criticized for having very slow data transfer speeds, translating into load times of more than 2 minutes in total for some games. However this will be corrected with the redesigned PSP as it will have longer battery life and faster loading times.[citation needed]


Controls
Despite its movie and music playback capabilities, the PlayStation Portable has primarily gaming-oriented controls (as opposed to the controls typical to television remotes or MP3 players): two shoulder buttons, the PlayStation face buttons (, , , ), start and select buttons, a digital 4-directional pad, and an analog nub. There is also a row of secondary controls along the underside of the screen, for controlling volume, music settings (either switching the audio off and on in games or selecting different equalizer presets), screen brightness, and a "Home" button for accessing the system's main menu.


Battery life
PlayStation Portable's default battery life varies widely depending on application from less than 3 hours while accessing a wireless network and having screen brightness on its highest setting to more than 11 hours during MP3 playback with the screen turned off. An extended-life 2200 mAh battery will increase this by approximately 20%. A sleep mode is also available that uses minimal battery power to keep the system's RAM active, allowing for "instant on" functionality. A system in sleep mode (with a fully-charged battery) has been shown to lose an average of only 1% battery life per 24-hour period.

At E3 2007, new information about the "SLIM PSP" was released, including news that the new PSP will have improved battery life. This new PSP will use a thinner battery, its standard having a capacity of 1200 mAh vs 1800 of the original PSP. Original batteries will be compatible with this new PSP, however, the battery cover will not be able to fit over the battery but Sony is reportedly working on a workaround.


Interface
The PlayStation Portable's main menu interface is the "XrossMediaBar" (XMB) used by recent Sony TVs, the PSX (DVR) hardware, and the PlayStation 3. It consists of a horizontal sequence of icons, in this case Settings, Photo, Music, Video, Games, and Network, which show a vertical sequence of sub-icons when highlighted.

The main menu system allows the user to, amongst other things, adjust settings such as date, time, and the PlayStation Portable's nickname for wireless networking, play video or audio files from the memory stick, load games or movie UMDs, check on estimated battery life, and set the PlayStation Portable into a "link mode" which makes the inserted memory stick available to a PC via USB. The XMB may be accessed at any time in a game by pressing the "Home" button on the console, unfortunately the game will be terminated.

The PlayStation Portable's default background color changes depending on the current month of the year. The user may also manually pick a specific color theme or specify a background from any stored image on the PlayStation Portable Memory Stick using firmware version 2.00 or newer, or specific homebrew.


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