IBM assists Microsoft’s Xbox 360
Powered by IBM processor, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 finally revealed its secret that engineered its huge data-crunching processing speed. Earlier last Tuesday, attendees at the In-Stat Fall Processor Forum obtained a sneak preview of what made up next generation Microsoft Corporation’s Xbox 360 game console.
Where in today’s computing desktops, Intel and AMD are looking at dual core CPU. As for Xbox 360, the interior comprises of state-of-the-art THREE PowerPC cores 64-bit CPU, each running at 3.2GHz, the highest core speed achievable, claimed IBM’s chief engineer for Microsoft CPU Project, Jeff Brown. The triple core CPU has utmost capability to handle two threads simultaneously, and at the same time, designed to support high sustained bandwidth, required by the game console. A maximum bandwidth of 21.6Gbps is possible with the current design, especially so much processing power is needed for any intended intensive high-definition graphics games.
Equipped with a shared (split) 1MB L2 cache, the first component running at same frequency as CPU; and the second half of the CPU’s frequency, the chip is specially manufactured Singapore, at Chartered Semiconductors, and at IBM’s own manufacturing plant in New York. The design is based on the latest 90-nanometer Silicon on Insulator (SOI) technology. According to the source, the chip contained 165 million transistors, somewhat even more than some of the latest Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processors.
The Xbox is expected to be released by the end of 2005, aiming at a cost of US$299, with the high end version likely to be priced at US$399.
The change over the first Xbox, powered using Pentium III 733MHz processors, is a great improvement. Also, this is expected to let Microsoft challenge the giant game console makers in the market, i.e. Nintendo and Sony.
Keep an eye on its release, likely by November 2005. Users will be amazed to have an Xbox powered by three 3.2GHz cores CPU! What a cool product by IBM and Microsoft.