A visitor of a Chinese BBS revealed information that, he thinks, mirrors some architecture peculiarities of the Microsoft’s Xbox 2 console in addition to the date when the world’s largest software maker is expected to release the official details of the console.
Microsoft is expected to formally announce the Xbox 2 (the “Xenon”) on
Microsoft will use IBM’s POWER 64-bit processors in the Xbox 2. The 65nm chips were reportedly taped-out recently and are now evaluated by engineers at Microsoft and IBM, though, the architecture of those microprocessors still remains to be investigated.
As everybody knows, there is a lot going on with multi-core, multi-threaded designs at IBM. Apparently, Microsoft also wants to jump on that bandwagon, some sources indicate. The Redmond, Washington-based firm wants to incorporate IBM’s POWER 976 architecture into the CPUs for Xbox 2 console to allow truly high-performance processing. POWER 976 is expected to be a dual-core processor able to handle two threads at once. What may seem a pretty hard to believe is that Microsoft wants more than 1 such chip to power its forthcoming console, according to the scheme published there are three of such chips.
The whole Xbox 2 CPU system will be capable of processing a number of threads simultaneously; because of its RISC nature, the new architecture is a big-endian system, a term that describes the order in which a sequence of bytes are stored in computer memory. Traditional x86 architectures use the little-endian approach, it was initially noted.
The graphics processor of the Xbox 2 is to be developed by ATI Technologies, the I/O controller is to be developed by Silicon Integration Systems Corporation.