PSP Programming/Hardware Description

The MonsterEdit

Building The MonsterEdit

The mad scientists at SONY have done it again. They have created a whole new niche within the economy. A new breed of educated professional consumer--the Prosumer--has been invented. Prosumers are Tech Savy and know what bells and whistles they need and want on their personal hardware. They also work hard and play hard. They are on the go most of the time, and so they need a personal entertainment device which can go with them. Hence the invention of the PSP.

Giving The Monster A FaceEdit

PSP is the shorthand for SONY PSP which is the shortened version of the registered, trademarked, copyrighted, and licensed SONY product known as the PlayStation Portable. The PlayStation Portable is a cool little handheld personal entertainment device. With a PSP, the user can enjoy movies, music, games, slide shows, and even web browsing and live chat experiences. At around $200.00 per unit, the PSP is a fairly affordable piece of personal hardware. The device currently comes in three flavors, Glossy Black, Bright White and Barbie Pink. The first two flavors are equally attractive to users, and the third is on 'special offer'.

Giving The Monster A BodyEdit

The PlayStation Portable uses UMD formatted Micro DVD storage media. It also has a Memory Stick Slot that accepts Memory Stick DUO storage media. The PSP has a USB interface and a WLAN node. The PSP has an integrated LCD viewscreen. The viewscreen is 4.3" in size and has a 480X272 pixel resolution. It also has two small speakers and a stereo headphone jack. The stereo headphone jack which comes with a PSP is specially designed to interface as a remote control for audio and video playback on the unit.

The PlayStation Portable uses an optical media disk with a 60 mm diameter. This UMD is capable of storing up to 1.8 GB of data or 80 to 140 minutes of audiovideo.

The Sony Memory Stick DUO and SanDisk Memory Stick Media currently range in storage capacity from 32 MB to 32.0 GB. There will probably be large increases in the mass storage capacity of these little sticks in the near future.

Giving The Monster A HeartEdit

The PlayStation Portable uses a MIPS R4000 Core which consists of an integrated CPU and FPU and Coprocessing Vector Unit. The Coprocessor assists with complex vector and matrix math operations. The entire core unit is called by the name of Allegrex CPU. The CPU clock can be throttled from 1 MHz to 333 MHz, but 222 MHz is the SONY Mandated limit for software flow, to ensure smooth running of programs created by Developers. This 222 MHz limit also ensures expanded battery pack life which means longer lasting user experience per single battery pack charge up.

The PSP also contains a dedicated MPU chip. The Media Processing Unit is capable of decoding MP3, ATRAC3, and h.264 signal files, allowing robust hardware side audio stereo pseudo surround sound capability. The PSP uses a dedicated GPU chip to produce lighting, skinning, subdivision, pixel operations, and additional graphic display functions.

There are 2 MB of Video RAM on board the PlayStation Portable. The PlayStation Portable comes equipped with 32 MB of general RAM as well. The 32 MB RAM is divided up into 8 MB of KERNEL Space, and 24 MB of Application Space.

Giving The Monster A MindEdit

Game, Video, Emulator, or Application programs may be loaded into the 24 MB Application Space RAM. Special OS Calls and KERNEL Configuration information may be loaded into the KERNEL Space at start up of a particular game, video, emulator, or application program, but in general this is a discouraged behavior. Manipulating KERNEL Space has accounted for many pieces of hardware becoming big boat anchors. Why take a chance with your own hardware? Leave the KERNEL Space alone as much as possible.

Training The MonsterEdit

Based on the information provided in this module, you have learned that the PlayStation Portable is one of SONY Corporation's jewels. It shines as a very useable little toy which has some serious workplace potential. All we have to do is tame this beast and it will begin to do what we want it to do. That is the whole idea behind the PSP Development Culture.

I am glad that you have joined me in working toward making the PSP the best darned little toy tool video game console DVD player 'THINGIE' in the world.

Have a tremendous amount of fun!