SCALABLE MULTIMEDIA COMPUTER SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE WITH QOS GUARANTEES
Versions of a multimedia computer system architecture are described which satisfy quality of service (QoS) guarantees for multimedia applications such as game applications while allowing platform resources, hardware resources in particular, to scale up or down over time. Computing resources of the computer system are partitioned into a platform partition and an application partition, each including its own central processing unit (CPU) and, optionally, graphics processing unit (GPU). To enhance scalability of resources up or down, the platform partition includes one or more hardware resources which are only accessible by the multimedia application via a software interface. Additionally, outside the partitions may be other resources shared by the partitions or which provide general purpose computing resources.
 A multimedia software application executing on a multimedia computer system often is provided certain quality of service (QoS) guarantees with respect to allocation of computing resources such as hardware, firmware or software components of the computer system. This is especially true for games. For example, there may be an assigned memory allocation size available to every game. A multimedia computer system may also guarantee that previous versions of an application such as a game will still run, so the QoS guarantees can exist for quite a number of years.
 A multimedia computer system, particularly a gaming console, now typically provides common functions as part of the services of its platform. Examples of platforms are XBOX.RTM., the Sony Playstation 3.RTM., or Nintendo Wii.RTM.. Common functions are services which many types of games or other applications use or with which they are compatible. Some examples of common platform functions are display plane blending, display output recording, audio codec encoding, user device music decode and mixing, automatic camera based player identification, etc. Additionally, platform services may include functions which are independent of, but which run concurrently with, the multimedia application. As many games and other multimedia applications are interactive over the Internet now, the platform services may process the Internet protocol messages, provide online chat, friend invites, e-mail and support for social networking services. Both the platform and the application may use common resources for performing their respective functions.
 As the forms of network connectivity supporting interactive gaming and other multimedia content keep evolving and certain processing aspects of applications become standard, the platforms provide more and more services over time for various applications while still being subject to the same QoS guarantees for these multimedia applications, thus increasing shared resource contention.
 The technology provides various embodiments of a multimedia computer system architecture satisfying quality of service (QoS) guarantees for multimedia applications while allowing platform services to scale over time. The scaling over time may permit new services or enhanced current services. Platform services may scale down over time as well.
 In an embodiment of a multimedia computer system for providing consistent performance for an executing multimedia application in accordance with one or more quality of service (QoS) guarantees, the system comprises a platform partition of computing resources, an application partition of computing resources, and at least one shared resource. The platform partition comprises computing resources including a platform central processing unit (CPU) and a platform graphics processing unit (GPU). The application partition comprises computing resources including an application CPU and an application GPU. In some embodiments, the application processing units perform processing exclusive of executing instructions of a platform service application.
 In some embodiments, the system further comprises a shared resource accessible by a platform partition resource and an application partition resource.
 In some embodiments of the multimedia computer system, to enhance scalability of resources up or down, the platform partition includes one or more resources which perform processing for one or more platform service applications and the multimedia application but which are only accessible by the multimedia application via a software interface.
 Additionally, one or more shared computing resources may comprise an additional CPU which may execute instructions for a platform service application or the multimedia software application to provide consistent performance for the multimedia application based on the one or more QoS guarantees for the multimedia application. In some embodiments, an additional CPU may execute a general purpose operating system.
 Embodiments of one or more computer readable storage media having encoded thereon software which when executed by a processor causes the processor to perform a method for allocating a computing resource between a multimedia application executing concurrently with one or more platform service applications to provide consistent performance of the multimedia application based on one or more QoS guarantees are also provided.
 This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.
This matches the leaked Xbox 720 Documents & most of what we have heard.
Credit to Sonic on Beyond3D http://forum.beyond3d.com/showpost.p...ostcount=13360
credit to phosphor112 for the images