Xbox 720 chip tapes out

Microsoft logoMicrosoft has reportedly taped out a next-gen chip for its upcoming Xbox 720 console.

According to SemiAccurate, the processor - which has apparently been dubbed Oban - is powered by PowerPC architecture.

However, MSNerd claims the mystery chip is based on ARM architecture, while HardOCP believes Oban may feature an AMD x86 core.

"Yes, the chip itself is a little bit grey in areas," tech guru Charlie Demerjian acknowledged on SemiAccurate.

"Yet, it is definitely an ATI GPU which lends itself towards the backwards compatible option. IBM is also involved, so eDRAM is very likely, something our sources are all confirming." 


Demerjian - who estimated the next-gen console would likely launch in late spring or early summer of 2013 - also noted that Microsoft was being "quite mum" on its plans for the 720 at this point.

"Normally, a game takes ~2 years to write from scratch, so you get devs in the loop early, especially on new hardware... [So either] the launch is later than Q2/2013, or the developer's job will be different this time.

"By that, I mean backwards compatibility, so you write for the XBox 360 and add features for the Next, or that you are forced to write generalized Metro stuff to a black box."



Demerjian, an Atari veteran, noted that with luck, it would be a 100% superset of XBox 360 features, which would make life much easier for devs.

"If Microsoft decides to try and leverage the failed Wince/Windows Phone Whateveritisthisweek by making the XBox Next run the same VM/middleware, I can see a developer revolt and slews of lowest common denominator software packing the virtual shelves.

"Fortunately, at this point in time, the software ecosystem seems like it is going to be much more interesting than the hardware," he added.

Source: TG Daily

Tags: game consoles, Microsoft, Xbox 360

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