BW: Inside IBM's Xbox Chip

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by pipo, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. pipo

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    Etc. etc: http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/oct2005/tc20051025_898864.htm
     
  2. zRifle1z

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  3. Brimstone

    Brimstone B3D Shockwave Rider
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    So IBM's Fishkill and Chartered in Singapore are both fabbing the CPU's as of right now. Microsoft shouldn't have problems with having enough CPU's. The amount GPU's TSMC can churn out is what will limit the amount of consoles produced. How difficult of a process it is in combining the NEC eDRAM part and the TSMC fabbed Xenos together is an intresting question.

    For obvious geographic reasons I'm sure Microsoft would rather the bulk of the CPU's to come from Chartered. Kind of funny making a CPU at Fishkill to just end up shipping it to the other side of the world, which will just be shipped all the way back.
     
  4. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    If you think shipping CPUs arounf the world is crazy, you wanna hear about the new European Airbus! :shock:
     
  5. Guden Oden

    Guden Oden Senior Member
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    I've no idea what the failure rate is of attaching flipchips to OLGA substrates, but since this tech is the better part of a decade old it isn't going to be a BIG problem that's for sure.

    AMD manufactures their CPUs in Germany, then have them assembled/packaged in Singapore, or some other far-eastern place...
     
  6. Deepak

    Deepak B3D Yoddha
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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051025/ap_on_hi_te/xbox_processor

    The IBM-built chip features three customized PowerPC computing engines that can each handle two simultaneous tasks at clock speeds greater than 3 gigahertz. It was customized for Microsoft in less than 24 months from the original contract.

    But the Cell processor, which is expected to be deployed in devices beyond the PlayStation, is fundamentally different from the Xbox chip, said Ilan Spillinger, director of the IBM Design Center for Xbox 360.

    "We took a general purpose core ... and we implemented a few more instructions that were key for them to accomplish the performance (Microsoft) was looking for," he said.

    IBM also incorporated high-speed connection between the microprocessor and the Xbox's graphics processor developed by ATI Technologies Inc. The graphics hardware can read directly from what's stored on the primary processor's onboard memory.
    IBM will discuss the new custom chip Tuesday at the Fall Processor Forum, which is being held this week in San Jose.
     
  7. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    In all truth they're probably having chips fabbed at Fishkill (and Chartered, an IBM partner fab) because IBM had significant leverage in the initial contract in determining where Microsoft would fab the 360 chip. IBM indeed does not have the best reputation as a fab, and I can only imagine their prices are higher than a job at one of the Taiwanese fabs would have been, but IBM surely wanted more out of this deal than just a chip design contract.

    Anyway I'm looking forward to the presentation - hopefully we get some full reporting/coverage today.
     
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