THE BUZZ: Another rumor about Microsoft’s next platform has surfaced-and this time, we’re give some very specific details.
EGM’s TAKE: This information comes from semiaccurate.com, a site I’m not totally familiar with—so I can neither vouch for their accuracy nor the accuracy of their name (which itself seems to question their accuracy).
Anyway, here’s what they have to say!
The chip for the next Xbox console—which they believe to be called Oban (the chip, not the console)—is now supposedly in initial production. According to “sources at a foundry with a blue logo” (IBM), the Oban wafers first started running in late 2011.
In connection to this, another source for the story says that Microsoft ordered 10,000 wafers for this new chip. The chip yield from those wafers should directly serve one purpose—the building of development kits.
SemiAccurate then makes a little speculation, given what source-based information has come out so far, combined with this new information:
So, time for a little speculation. Oban is being made by IBM primarily, so that almost definitively puts to bed the idea of an x86 CPU that has been floating. We said we were 99+% sure that the XBox Next/720 is a Power PC CPU plus an ATI GCN/HD7000/Southern Islands GPU, and with this last data point, we are now confident that it is 99.9+%. Why? Several licensing agreements that cover what can be made where will enrich a fleet of lawyers if Oban is x86, but do not preclude the possibility entirely, hence the last .1%.
All of this is rather technical, but gives us a look into what might be going into the building of the next Xbox platform. The article then also makes one other point: that sources are also stating that chip production for actual retail consoles won’t start until later this year—which, if true, means we shouldn’t be expecting the new console to hit until spring of next year.
Do you have any opinions on the ATI HD7000 series option, if that is indeed what will be powering the graphics for the next Xbox? Also, how about the early 2013 timeframe, if that ended up being true—is that when you’ll be ready to upgrade, or do you think the sooner, the better?