Predict: The Next Generation Console Tech

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Acert93, Jun 12, 2006.

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  1. lefizz

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    There is owning rights and owning rights

    Do Microsoft own ip on that specific CPU design and are able to engineer shrinks etc, probably. Could IBM sell the chip to someone else definitely not.

    Do they own rights to that architecture to develop there own designs or sell them to a third party, certainly not.
     
  2. bbot

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    i don't know if this has been discussed before, but does AMD have the right to license x86 IP to a third party, like Microsoft? Over on the Semiaccurate forum there's this fellow, DeatmeatGA, who contends that AMD has no right to license x86 IP to a third party and therefore, the CPU Microsoft is using is a Powerpc.
     
  3. 3dilettante

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    AMD doesn't have the right.
    That doesn't mean Microsoft isn't using AMD because we'd need confirmation that Microsoft was absolutely inflexible on IP ownership.
    I'm not sure they need to be, since AMD could be strongarmed into agreeing to some nice perks for Microsoft, such as obligations to perform X number of shrinks.
    The benefits for owning the IP in order to allow shrinks whenever Microsoft wanted them may be muted going forward because of the significantly extended node transition timelines and because so much of the physical implementation work for the 360 shrinks wound up being contracted back to IBM and AMD anyway. Shrinks are significantly harder now than they were when Microsoft regretted not owning the IP of the Xbox.
     
  4. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    AMD can most certainly provide x86 parts for OEM I'm certain they could work up an arrangement to provide MS with what they need without violating their x86 license. I doubt MS needs a complete transfer of IP to go forward.
     
  5. MrFox

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    Not a major problem, they would got to Intel and negociate the x86 licensing, and Intel has a major business incentive to close that deal, otherwise Sony and MS would go with IBM and Intel doesn't get a dime. That deal would also strengthen the x86 popularity.
     
  6. lefizz

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    AMD cannot sell x86 licenses. But they can design and sell a custom parts which is unique. Microsoft may have the rights to have this manufactured at other foundries. But they have not bought an x86 license, just a custom part design.

    Buying an x86 license allows you to design and sell chips. Ms won't be doing either of those. Come on it isn't that complicated.
     
  7. 3dilettante

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    I wasn't able to find a reason to believe AMD has that much leeway on this. If an x86 chip is going to made at a foundry, it was dictated that it be made solely to supply AMD. AMD is certainly free to sell it to a customer afterwards, but the customer can't go off on their own, at present.
     
  8. jonabbey

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    Strictly a hypothetical, but I wonder how hard it would be for AMD to get out from under that restriction by reworking the front-end to use a non-x86 compatible instruction set encoding for the console market?
     
  9. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    AMD could just act as an agent on behalf of MS or Sony. Obviously it would complicate the agreement language, but I don't think it's anything unworkable.
     
  10. lefizz

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    If both designs are strictly for closed boxes such as consoles I can't see there being any issues. It will expand x86 gaming which is a big win for Intel.
     
  11. 3dilettante

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    It's not clear why this needs to be complicated. AMD can just act like component a supplier, because that's what it would be.

    There's no restriction on AMD selling its chips.
    The assumption is that Microsoft would find it a dealbreaker, when the benefits to owning everything at this point are harder to come by.
     
  12. almighty

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    Why would they be using x86 instead of x64?
     
  13. 3dilettante

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    x86 is a catch-all term for an architecture that uses x86 as the base. This implies the 32-bit or 64-bit variant, and at this point generally means a chip that supports x86 with 64-bit extensions.
    It now has to be pointed out when a chip doesn't support 64-bit mode, since that is the hardware default.
     
  14. almighty

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    I know all that but people are raging about Intel having control over the x86 licence, doesn't AMD have control over the x64 stuff?

    Surely if these machines are going to be packing 4Gb+ of RAM then x64 would be a better option?
     
  15. 3dilettante

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    The 64-bit extension of x86 is meaningless on its own. Without x86, x86-64 is an extension to nothing.

    This isn't relevant to whether the IP can be licensed out.
     
  16. AlphaWolf

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    Presumably MS or Sony would want some control over die shrinks and cost reduction, this would probably need to be worked into the language.
     
  17. 3dilettante

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    They can contract AMD for the option of handling a couple shrinks--if/when they happen.
    The shrinks last gen were further apart than anticipated, and there are indicators it will be worse this time.
    When the shrinks were performed, they went back to the IP providers anyway.
     
  18. bbot

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    MS bought the design rather than the chips so than it could avoid the headache of Intel refusing to lower the price of the chips, right?
     
    #16518 bbot, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2012
  19. bbot

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    If MS buys the chips from AMD, couldn't AMD do to MS what Intel did to MS? That is, refuse to lower the price of the chips?
     
  20. ERP

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    Depends on the contract.
     
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