Xbox 720 rumored to have processor yield issues

Several months ago, rumors started up that production had begun on the processor for Microsoft's next Xbox console. Now the same website that posted those rumors is reporting that the quality of the manufacturing yields for these chips is "painfully low" at this stage.

SemiAccurate states, via unnamed sources, that the processor for the next Xbox was actually designed by AMD and has the code name Oban. As far as the production of these chips, the story claims:

One of the things Microsoft seems to be trying is dual or triple sourcing the parts, hoping the elves at one foundry will fix things ahead of the rest. Even if none do, three chances of a breakthrough are better than one.

The article claims that Microsoft has put in some lead time for these kinds of problems. It says that if the next Xbox processor is supposed to start entering its full production run this year, the final date that a foundry can create a test wafer for the chip is November 1. If the founder goes over that time period, the launch date for the next Xbox could be delayed beyond what the article says is the planned launch of September 2013.

Source: SemiAccurate

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33 Comments

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hotdog963al said,
Makes me rage seeing it called the 720 everywhere, gah!

Doesn't help that MS use that naming in their internal documents.

CatweazƖe said,
I wish it would hurry up and be released or at least get a name so people will stop calling it 720.

Microsoft Xbox 420 .....................

i hope they delay further the release of the new xbox, we dont need another rrod issues, no need to rush the thing

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
Strange thing is that GloFo and TMSC both are on track with AMD's parts (Trinity, Vishera) but can't produce the Xbox CPU? Who's the third anyway?

Putting the fact his is all rumor and speculation so far with no official info out I'd say the CPU in the Xbox 720 is probably going to be as custom as it can get unlike the typical generic x86-64 chips GloFo and TSMC are used to making for AMD all these years. Who knows what MS has come up with for this thing.

It's because structures are so small (22nm?), variation in the physical material itself plays a large role in the electrical properties of the transistors, i.e., two transistors made on the same wafer may have vastly different electrical properties. This is causing the low yield. They should use an older technology such as 45nm for lower costs and higher yield.

spy beef said,
It's because structures are so small (22nm?), variation in the physical material itself plays a large role in the electrical properties of the transistors, i.e., two transistors made on the same wafer may have vastly different electrical properties. This is causing the low yield. They should use an older technology such as 45nm for lower costs and higher yield.

It's either going to be 32nm SOI or 28nm Bulk, surely not 22nm, AMD is not even ready for 22nm process yet (well it's foundries aren't, at least that's what they are saying but as it's an custom cpu then who knows)

Aren't they doing some fancy CPU and GPU combined set up which is new stuff so you would expect some issues.

gohatters said,
Oh good. AMD's are notorious for running hot and the 360 had an overheating issue. No problem at all

All 3 console manufactures appear to be using AMD so if it is a problem it could effect all of them.

Melfster said,

All 3 console manufactures appear to be using AMD so if it is a problem it could effect all of them.

they all use amd gpu's this article states it will be an amd cpu which means x86 instead of powerpc.

Melfster said,

All 3 console manufactures appear to be using AMD so if it is a problem it could effect all of them.

That's because you can get a CPU from AMD for 1/2 the price of an Intel one, and in a box where the GPU is king, no one cares if the CPU is .0001mhz slower.

gohatters said,
Oh good. AMD's are notorious for running hot and the 360 had an overheating issue. No problem at all

You must be new but AMD Cpu's run cooler then Intel CPU's. Also RROD wasnt processor, it was mainly poor cooling of both chips and bad boards. n00b.

greenwizard88 said,
That's because you can get a CPU from AMD for 1/2 the price of an Intel one, and in a box where the GPU is king, no one cares if the CPU is .0001mhz slower.

So 100hz?!?! I thought the point of the SI system was to get rid of long trails of zeros.

Sikh said,

You must be new but AMD Cpu's run cooler then Intel CPU's. Also RROD wasnt processor, it was mainly poor cooling of both chips and bad boards. n00b.

They run cooler but generally have a much much lower temperature threshold as well so effectively they actually run proportionally hotter than Intel chips.

Sikh said,

You must be new but AMD Cpu's run cooler then Intel CPU's..

i love this stand up comedy guys, they really make me laugh hard and loud