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October 25, 2005
2 Min Read
Officials from IBM have discussed details of its CPU for the Xbox 360 at the Fall Processor Forum in San Jose, California, revealing that chips for the Xbox 360 are now in full production at both the company’s East Fishkill factory in New York state and at Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing in Singapore. Much of the information on the chip, which features a customized version of IBM's 64-bit PowerPC core, is already known - however, the company noted that the chip was designed and developed by IBM and Microsoft specifically for the Xbox 360, and was delivered in less than 24 months from the original contract signing in the autumn of 2003, being developed at multiple IBM locations including Rochester, Minnesota; Austin, Texas; and Raleigh, North Carolina. The chip includes three 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 21.6 GB/s Front Side Bus (FSB) architecture was customized to meet the throughput and latency requirements of the Xbox 360 software. "Microsoft's aggressive timetable required that IBM take the Xbox 360 chip design from concept to full execution in just 24 months," said Ilan Spillinger, IBM Distinguished Engineer and director of the IBM Design Center for Xbox 360. "IBM's success in delivering the chip to meet Microsoft's worldwide launch illustrates our commitment to innovative processor design that builds on IBM's wealth of intellectual property." IBM chairman and CEO Samuel J. Palmisano recently singled out the console market as an important area of expansion for the company, which has recently divested its retail PC business. As well as the Xbox 360 CPU, IBM has also been involved with the creation of the PlayStation 3 Cell chip and the CPU, codenamed Broadway, for the Nintendo Revolution.
About the Author(s)
David Jenkins ([email protected]) is a freelance writer and journalist working in the UK. As well as being a regular news contributor to Gamasutra.com, he also writes for newsstand magazines Cube, Games TM and Edge, in addition to working for companies including BBC Worldwide, Disney, Amazon and Telewest.
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