Tuesday, October 25, 2005

IBM's xBox 360 Details

From IBM's press release:
The chip features a customized version of IBM's industry leading 64-bit PowerPC core. The chip includes three of these cores, each with two simultaneous threads and clock speeds greater than 3 GHz. It features 165 million transistors and is fabricated using IBM's 90 nanometer Silicon on Insulator (SOI) technology to reduce heat and improve performance. The chip's innovative 21.6 GB/s Front Side Bus (FSB) Architecture was customized to meet the demanding throughput and latency requirements of the Xbox 360 gaming platform software.
Other Xbox 360 chip features include:
-- 3 identical multi-threaded PowerPC-based CPU cores operating at 3.2 GHz enhanced with specialized function VMX acceleration for gaming applications and a high speed 128-bit vector unit
-- 1 MByte Shared L2 Cache with custom logic for high-speed data streaming for graphics and system applications
-- 5.4 Gb/s per-pin Front Side Bus (with an aggregated bandwidth of 21.6 GBs)
-- Highly configurable and programmable utilizing eFUSE technology

The aggregate FSB bandwidth at 21.6 GB/second is an eye-opener. That ought to allow for near-photo realism in games and 2x HD video (2160i).

CNET news story on the chip here.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's plans for a simultaneous global launch guarantee shortages. Want the hot, unobtainable Christmas product you can sell on eBay? Better order in advance of the November 22nd launch. Then again, the shortage story may be part of a brilliant PR campaign to focus media attention on the xBox 360. You decide...

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