Microsoft talks more about the Xbox One's processor

Microsoft officially announced the Xbox One in May, with a single chip hardware solution that was co-designed by AMD. Today, Microsoft offered some more details on the chip design as part of a presentation at a technology conference, including the fact that the chip contains 5 billion transistors.

According to VentureBeat, Microsoft's head chip architect John Sell said that the Xbox One processor is 363 square millimeters in size. That may sound small but in fact the dimensions make the processor quite large compared with others. As we have reported before, the chip, which has eight 64-bit cores, combines the CPU and GPU in one system. It also has 47 MB of storage and is made by a 28 nm manufacturing process via Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

Because it is such a large physical chip. there is a risk that flaws could occur in the manufacturing stage. Sell told the audience today that the Xbox One chip has been designed so that if one section goes down, it won't shut down the entire chip. Also, the processor has power islands and clock gating that helps with energy conservation.

The Xbox One's chip has 15 special processors inside for graphical and game physics features, according to Sell; the chip can transfer data bits at a rate of 200 GBs per second.

Source: VentureBeat | Image via VentureBeat

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PS4 probably needs huMA so the high latency of the GDDR 5 doesnt affect the CPU as much, MS's hardware is pretty much custom built from the ground up centering around the Tile Based rendering in 11.2 and cloud based rendering, AI and such stuff so the x1 is a focused piece of kit whereas the PS4, according to sony itself is basically off the shelf parts slapped together with a bit of tinkering to make it work at a decent level

MS calls a bunch of standard AMD GCN 2.0 features "custom" to make them sound better, but they are largely the same features as found in the PS4, with weaker hardware to back them up.

Tiled rendering is on PS4 with the same level of performance.

'The cloud' won't make up for weaker specs. There is no secret sauce.

Xbox One:
1.31 TFLOPS
40.9 GTex/s
13.6 GPix/s
68GB/s DDR3
109GB/s eSRAM

PS4:
1.84 TFLOPS (+40%)
57.6 GTex/s (+40%)
25.6 GPix/s (+90%)
176GB/s GDDR5

We also know that PS4 will be superior in GPGPU tasks since Sony integrated four times as much compute command processors than Microsoft. And we can expect that Xbox One will not have a hUMA due to ESRAM+DDR3 decoherence.

That guy looks like he`s been hitting the sunbeds a little too much, either that or he`s using some cheap knock off fake tan

"Sell told the audience today that the Xbox One chip has been designed so that if one section goes down, it won't shut down the entire chip." - but you still would need to have your APU replaced, so what's the point (unless you could continue to play and save the state of games, but what happens with future games that depend on the entire eight cores/CPU features to be present?).

I've never heard of a CPU/APU failing in games consoles - it just shouldn't exist. I would expect a console out of the factory to have been 100% tested and guaranteed to work for it's lifetime - as has been the case in the past (excluding Xbox 360 RRODs).

Edited by 68k, Aug 27 2013, 4:58am :

68k said,
"Sell told the audience today that the Xbox One chip has been designed so that if one section goes down, it won't shut down the entire chip." - but you still would need to have your APU replaced, so what's the point (unless you could continue to play and save the state of games, but what happens with future games that depend on the entire eight cores/CPU features to be present?).

I've never heard of a CPU/APU failing in games consoles - it just shouldn't exist. I would expect a console out of the factory to have been 100% tested and guaranteed to work for it's lifetime - as has been the case in the past (excluding Xbox 360 RRODs).

Or maybe it just means you'll notice a drop in performance but the system still runs for the most part? Instead of flat out dying until you can get it in for repair you could still use it for things that don't require 100% of the hardware to run smooth. Losing one CPU core would just mean a drop in frames per second now instead of a blank screen and a flashing RRoD, that's how it sounds to me.

AMD usually physically controls and checks every single chip leaving their factories. Why would this be different with their console counterparts, unless it is not done to save costs on MS/Sony's end....

Shadowzz said,
AMD usually physically controls and checks every single chip leaving their factories. Why would this be different with their console counterparts, unless it is not done to save costs on MS/Sony's end....

AMD doesn't manufacture these. They designed it but MS handles manufacturing. They choose who manufactures it and how much they test them

tomasarson said,
That's what I thought.

Cool one part fails but it still runs ... in a crippled mode? Seems weird to me, at least how he said it.

Better prepare for 30fps as the norm with crippled CPUs...

Zkal said,

AMD doesn't manufacture these. They designed it but MS handles manufacturing. They choose who manufactures it and how much they test them

Ah was under the impression AMD would do the manufacturing as its their tech mainly and they can probably do it cheaper then letting MS decide who makes it. Sony would be more understandable considering they have plenty of factories themselves. But MS doesn't

Neither AMD or MS have fab facilities for large scale production. TSMC will likely be the ones making the chips

don't worry,soon enough someone here will try to convince you that Microsoft is run by a bunch of drunk hillbillies that used up 5 billion transistors to make a chip that's slower than a 7970,close to like a 7770 instead of actually using a 7970,and it cost them more than a 7970.

maybe microsoft is fooling the public by faking it that xbox one is inferior to the PS4 but when the console come out every game is running above 60fps at native 1080p...while PS4 is running 60fps at native 720p or little bit higher like BF IV.

Master of Earth said,
maybe microsoft is fooling the public by faking it that xbox one is inferior to the PS4 but when the console come out every game is running above 60fps at native 1080p...while PS4 is running 60fps at native 720p or little bit higher like BF IV.

No one in their right mind would let the media run with the idea that your system isn't as powerful just to "surprise them" later on... you know, AFTER they've already made their decision buying or preordering something else.

the console war is a long term battle and the beginning shouldn't determine the fate of who is winning but they could always have a plan B strategy. This is where it get interesting. You shouldn't underestimate micrsoft or sony because both proven to be really competitive and whether or not the PS4 is more powerful is yet to be prove by the game in the future!

Master of Earth said,
maybe microsoft is fooling the public by faking it that xbox one is inferior to the PS4 but when the console come out every game is running above 60fps at native 1080p...while PS4 is running 60fps at native 720p or little bit higher like BF IV.

Like on the Xbox One demos running on a real PC??

NeoPogo said,

Like on the Xbox One demos running on a real PC??

give it up already. the only game that was running on pcs is lococyle,at the request of the developer. its been confirmed by eurogamer that the all the other games were running on real xbox one hardware.

vcfan said,

give it up already. the only game that was running on pcs is lococyle,at the request of the developer. its been confirmed by eurogamer that the all the other games were running on real xbox one hardware.

I am sorry the truth still hurts.

NeoPogo said,

I am sorry the truth still hurts.

thats ok Im sure you'll get over it eventually. Taking deep breaths helps.

vcfan said,

thats ok Im sure you'll get over it eventually. Taking deep breaths helps.

I have nothing to get over. Displacing your guilt won't make things better for you.

vcfan said,

thats ok Im sure you'll get over it eventually. Taking deep breaths helps.

Don't bother engaging with him mate. He's a troll full stop.

Except you forgot about the eSRAM running at 204GB/s that they mentioned.

The reality is that MS has offset the GDDR5 advantage on paper bandwidth wise. What it means in practice, we will see.

All this means is we just need to focus on the games coming out, not these specs.

babyHacker said,
One thing they forgot to mention is that it is severely handicapped by the slow system memory.

one thing you forgot to mention is that you have absolutely no idea what youre talking about. if you have been following amd, looked at the slides above,and listened to the build keynotes,you'd figure out that the x1 design is in fact implementing hardware tile rendering,which is a totally different way of doing things than the conventional way of loading of massive textures in ram and rendering and manipulating them. that is the function of the 32mb esram. it is not a cache like some speculated. not only does the main ram bandwidth doesnt matter as much anymore, but smaller faster memory is even more beneficial. take a look at videos of forza 5 for example,which is running at 1080p 60fps,and compare the quality and details to drive club,the crew,nfs rivals,(all running at 30fps) and you will see not only does it perform better,but it looks better too.

I'm very skeptical of Xbox beating the PS4's performance, but gotta hand it to you, for a pre play pitch, you win. If you can't dazzle em with brilliance, baffle em with BS.

Except you forgot that this 204GB/s is ONLY the Theoretical ""PEAK"" Performance and not a real-world one:

from Eurogamer:

"Microsoft techs have found that the hardware is capable of reading and writing simultaneously. Apparently, there are spare processing cycle "holes" that can be utilised for additional operations. Theoretical peak performance is one thing, but in real-life scenarios it's believed that 133GB/s throughput has been achieved with alpha transparency blending operations (FP16 x4)"

vcfan said,

one thing you forgot to mention is that you have absolutely no idea what youre talking about. if you have been following amd, looked at the slides above,and listened to the build keynotes,you'd figure out that the x1 design is in fact implementing hardware tile rendering,which is a totally different way of doing things than the conventional way of loading of massive textures in ram and rendering and manipulating them. that is the function of the 32mb esram. it is not a cache like some speculated. not only does the main ram bandwidth doesnt matter as much anymore, but smaller faster memory is even more beneficial. take a look at videos of forza 5 for example,which is running at 1080p 60fps,and compare the quality and details to drive club,the crew,nfs rivals,(all running at 30fps) and you will see not only does it perform better,but it looks better too.


But the PS4 can do tile rendering to, so your advantage point is moot.
You can try again though. Oh and Forza should be compared to GT. And the next GT won't be PS4 (well PS3 + PS4). You don't go compare simulation with arcade
And GT6 already looks like its from the next generation except that it runs on a PS3
So lets wait for GT7 and whatever Forza is released by then.

Shadowzz said,

But the PS4 can do tile rendering to, so your advantage point is moot.
You can try again though. .
yes it CAN do tile rendering, but that doesn't mean its necessarily good at it. 360 has tile rendering, but it wasn't utilized a whole lot because of hardware limitations. MS had built a machine specifically geared towards taking advantage of the new DX implementation. which, if you've seen the vids, are pretty amazing

babyHacker said,
One thing they forgot to mention is that it is severely handicapped by the slow system memory.

Really? The last time I checked, DDR3 was the best general computing memory in the consumer space.

GDDR is NOT general computing memory, its GRAPHICS memory.

babyHacker said,
One thing they forgot to mention is that it is severely handicapped by the slow system memory.

And one thing that you forget, GDDR5 also has latency issues was well. In addition, XBOX ONE will be cheaper to manufacture than PS4 because of their RAM implementation when these consoles goes through multiple iteration during its lifespan.

Shadowzz said,

But the PS4 can do tile rendering to, so your advantage point is moot.

any dx11 based video card,and there is also an opengl extension, that will do tiled resources, but this is emulation using the shaders. this is not the same as hardware based PRT. in fact,this tech is something AMD and nvidia are going to be implementing in future graphics card.

trooper11 said,

All this means is we just need to focus on the games coming out, not these specs.

Yea, games that would be much better on the PS4! But Windows fans like the cheaper tech instead of the best tech out there.

NeoPogo said,

Yea, games that would be much better on the PS4! But Windows fans like the cheaper tech instead of the best tech out there.

Please enlighten us with your definition of best tech out there. The last time I looked, just because something has the latest and greatest, it doesn't necessarily produce the best device or tech out there.

RommelS said,

Please enlighten us with your definition of best tech out there. The last time I looked, just because something has the latest and greatest, it doesn't necessarily produce the best device or tech out there.

I am glad you responded with your response. Instead of me saying the PC has the bets tech, let's address the real issue -

Why do most of the Xbox 360/One fans hate against the Nintendo Wii U saying the Wii U's hardware is crap because it is not as fast or best as the Xbox is??? Same argument, different hardware.

Double Standards for Xbox 360/One fans.

NeoPogo said,

I am glad you responded with your response. Instead of me saying the PC has the bets tech, let's address the real issue -

Why do most of the Xbox 360/One fans hate against the Nintendo Wii U saying the Wii U's hardware is crap because it is not as fast or best as the Xbox is??? Same argument, different hardware.

Double Standards for Xbox 360/One fans.

Even the producer of Tekken, Katsuhiro Harada, stated that Wii U is under powered compare to Xbox 360 and PS4, and this is probably because it is keeping the device as green as possible. He even said this, and I quote:

"“For example on PS3 it was kind of difficult at first, but if you made good use of the different cores, you could split up the processing tasks and you could achieve very good effects. But this is kind of a different issue than that.”

Which brings it back to my point, new technology doesn't mean that you have the best device or tech out there. Part of it becoming a great technology is how you implement it.

Games that would be much better on the PS4?

So far, the only hardware difference that jumps out at me as an advantage for the ps4 is the gpu. It can make a difference sure, but I've been around long enough to know that isn't the only piece of the puzzle to make good games.

I'll remind you that we have been through this song and dance of hardware arguments before. This gen it was the other way around, with the 360 having the better gpu and yet the PS3 was still able to produce great looking games.

I think you guys get too wrapped up in your own obsessions, too eager to attack others for the games they like, the hardware they choose, etc.

You obviously care a lot about the ps4 and prefer it, that's fine, just don't go around attacking others that don't agree with you. I happen to like both platforms and intend to own both, but I see why some would choose one or the other.

trooper11 said,
I think you guys get too wrapped up in your own obsessions, too eager to attack others for the games they like, the hardware they choose, etc.

I think you are right. It is the Windows fanbois attacking Mac owners, attacking PS4 owners, attaching Nintendo owners. I think it makes them feel better about themselves to put others down. Same thing for the Google fanbois too!

I am just here to point out the facts. I am so diverse with my tech purchases you could say I support them all.

NeoPogo said,

I think you are right. It is the Windows fanbois attacking Mac owners, attacking PS4 owners, attaching Nintendo owners. I think it makes them feel better about themselves to put others down. Same thing for the Google fanbois too!

I am just here to point out the facts. I am so diverse with my tech purchases you could say I support them all.


What facts? I don't see you make any facts, just random arguments about fanboys.

NeoPogo said,

I think you are right. It is the Windows fanbois attacking Mac owners, attacking PS4 owners, attaching Nintendo owners. I think it makes them feel better about themselves to put others down. Same thing for the Google fanbois too!

I am just here to point out the facts. I am so diverse with my tech purchases you could say I support them all.

Neo, none of your statements in this conversation could be considered a fact. The things that you said about Microsoft Fanbois can be said in reverse. Stating that "Windows fans like the cheaper tech instead of the best tech out there." is a NOT A FACT; that's an opinion that you have every right to, but don't expect brownie points. Saying that you have a diverse tech purchases and you support them all is saving face in my own opinion.

Unfortunately, your comments are as bad as those you claim to be against. If more people took their own advise, there would be less of the bs.

And yet more of the same. Failing to take your own advice. Can't take the high road can you? This is why sites like this and forums all over the place descend into silly arguments.

Tiled rendering is also possible on PS4. In any case, it's a minor tech feature.

ESRAM is present to make up for the low memory width of the DDR3 RAM. It caches the framebuffer similar to the 360.

Games like Driveclub have much higher IQ than Forza. Multiplatform titles will have higher IQ and/or framerates on PS4.

blerk said,
I wonder what those "special processors" are...

Just hardware implementations of things that will be slower to do in software, like how intel added hardware-AES to their CPUs to vastly speed up encryption, etc.

I'm not sure. What we do know is that Sony and MS made their own alterations to the amd cpus. Some of the stuff mentioned here seems to be in reference to the custom stuff that MS created to work with the amd cpu.

It'll be nothing like the PS4's. The only thing which'll bare any resemblance is the modified Jaguar architecture in the cores.