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I have visited various Nintendo patents recently, most of them thanks to all our friends I have talked about in my introduction of the blog.But it seems they haven´t seen them in detail, haven´t noticed them, maybe they have but they haven´t talk about it or just I haven´t seen news where they talk about it.
In the next diagram we can see another block representation of a better detail of the graphics pipeline from "Revolution"The patent says that the red block is a "Text Memory" (TMEM), I suppose it functions like a cache for textures and texture operation data.The patent don´t say anything about megs or about the mysterious second DRAM, curiously it describes all the blocks in the diagram but not the second ghostly DRAM. maybe the system was designed for been optimized for the original memory arquitecture and releasing an upgrade can´t make substancially better games, or just a time issue. Leaving the possibility for upgrading the memory for Revolution (if time and the game developers need it).N64 had an expansion pack, Gamecube had the posibility as we can see in the next diagram The blue blocks (1 and 2) are the total memory Gamecube had (96 Mbits 'main' 96 Mbits 'main' 128 Mbits 'secondary' = 320 Mbits = 40 Mbytes) and the red one represent the possible memory upgrade Gamecube can have (256 Mbits = 32 Mbytes) more. Why nintendo haven´t launch a Gamecube expansion pack? Gamecube seems to be ok without an expansion pack, maybe Nintendo has made a clever move...Master and take Revolution hardware to the maximum could take time and resources, so when needed the possibility exists, maybe upgrade to the double of the original memory quantity, and meanwhile make a cheaper system.Maybe wasn´t the best answer, if you release an upgrade product you can divide the Revolution market and start putting restrictions for playing software, and this is one of the principles consoles try to avoid and diferenciate from their PC platform brothers.The first one, DRAM "main memory", will be used for general purpose of the multiple parts of the system.
The SRAM for audio purpose but the most interesting one is middle memory. Matt and his team ( have said that sources close to Nintendo have unveiled the memory quantity they have in initial kits, and we all have known that is not 512 megas.
It is delimited with dots like describing as it could be removible. It could be around 100 - 150 megs to keep it cheap.
Memory is a costly feature in computers and with Nintendo philosophy that all games don´t need to be photorealistic they could be thinking in having an option of upgrading the memory in a future (type N64 expansion pack).
so mantaining frames close to the pipeline is a smart way to avoid read times from the main memory.
Remember that textures (high definition ones) use a lot of RAM when been stored in memory.
In paper it could have very little memory compared with competition, but in real world numbers the difference could seem smaller, how much?