Sony Aims to Improve PS4 GPU Debugging and Profiling Tools and Shader Compiler for Developers

on March 24, 2015 4:01 PM

Improving and developing developer-facing applications and tools is always a key in the evolution of games on a platform. Sony is at work on doing just that, as revealed by two career opportunity ads published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and seeking a GPU Tools Engineer and a Shader Compiler Engineer.

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The Worldwide Studios Advanced Technology Group lives at the intersection of Sony Computer Entertainment’s game and platform development. Over the last decade, the group has turned into a main centre of GPU software expertise for SCE. This allows us to contribute to much of what makes PlayStation® games possible, from working directly on game titles to writing tools and libraries used by all PlayStation® developers.

We are currently looking for an experienced programmer to work on GPU Profiling and Debugging tools used by PlayStation®4 developers worldwide. This position offers the opportunity to work on all aspects of the GPU Tool as well as assisting game developers get the best GPU performance from their titles.

Responsibilities

  • Improving and implementing features of the PlayStation®4 graphics profiling and debugging tools.
  • Designing and implementing systems that will enable game development teams to profile and optimise their titles.
  • Support game development teams analysing the GPU performance of their titles.

Skills/Experience

  • Excellent written and verbal communicator who can work well with our team.
  • Experience and proficiency in C/C++, assembly language, graphics, shader and system-level programming.
  • Good working knowledge of C#.
  • Good low-level optimisation skills.
  • Comfortable designing features and implementing tool systems that span the PS4 console and Windows host.
  • Self-disciplined with the ability to plan schedules and work to deadlines.

Preferred but not essential

  • Experience working in or with game development teams.
  • UI/UX design skills.
  • Prior experience of PlayStation® platforms.

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The Worldwide Studios Advanced Technology Group lives at the intersection of Sony Computer Entertainment’s game and platform development. Over the last decade, the group has turned into a main centre of GPU software expertise for SCE. This allows us to contribute to much of what makes PlayStation® games possible, from working directly on game titles to writing tools and libraries used by all PlayStation® developers.

We are currently looking for a PlayStation®4 shader compiler engineer, to work on the technology that has underpinned all PlayStation® shader compilers since PS Vita®. This position offers the opportunity to work on all aspects of the shader compiler, be it front-end or back-end, shading language specification, or helping developers get the most out of their shaders.

While we would be more than happy if you already have extensive experience in low-level GPU wrangling and modern compilers, this is not a strict requirement. We appreciate that there are not a lot of places where you could have gotten this experience, so if you are a compiler engineer with an interest in GPUs or a GPU person with an interest in compilers, or just an obsessive-compulsive assembly-level optimiser, we would like to hear from you.

Requirements:

  • Very good knowledge of the C/C++ programming language
  • Good knowledge of compiler internals and/or modern GPU architectures

Desirable:

  • Knowledge of the python scripting language
  • Understanding of git and subversion version control systems
  • Experience with Linux usage
  • Experience with LLVM internals
  • Assembly level programming experience

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For those unfamiliar, shaders are the graphics code that determines how materials react to light, and a shader compiler is what turns such code into something that can be efficiently elaborated by the hardware. It’s an extremely important tool for development. The GPU Debugging and Profiling tools are, on the other hand, used to optimize games and squeeze every drop of juice out of the PS4’s video card.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of improvements the work of the Worldwide Studios Advanced Technology Group will indirectly bring to PS4 games, even if it probably will be a gradual evolution through the rest of the generation.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.
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