Xbox 2 CPUs Handle Multi-Threaded Processing?

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While the Xbox 2 is still quite far away from now, there are more and more details emerge about the technology base for the console.

After the original Xbox many observers expected Microsoft to continue using hardware found in desktop PCs, but this time executing wiser to keep the costs of the next console down. However, it now transpires that the software giant clearly wants to adopt IBM's server technologies for its next-generation gaming console. It is now official that 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, TeamXbox web-site reports.

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, the source indicated. 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 claims over Mercury News.

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, TeamXbox notes.

News source: xbitlabs

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