TeamXbox says, the Xbox 2 will use three 64-bit processors. They’ll be PowerPC processors, based on the PowerPC 976, the first dual-core 97x chip based on IBM’s 64-bit POWER5 architecture, which will also be the first PowerPC built on a 65nm manufacturing process.
Each processor is capable of processing two threads, thus meaning the whole system can process six threads simultaneously.
The Xbox 2 is a multiprocessor-enabled, 64-bit platform. It is a proven server architecture that, in the case of Xbox, won’t take advantage of the greater than 4-GB physical memory space benefit of 64-bit computing but will make use of its other benefit: wider data paths and registers, something extremely useful in the execution and process of both integer and floating-point calculations.
The graphic chip will be based on the the R500. This VPU has been in design at ATI’s Marlborough, Mass. office. It’ll be fully compatible with DirectX 9’s PS and VS 3.0 and the next version of DirectX: DX10, the same suite of APIs that will be used in Longhorn. The graphic chip will contain not only a graphics rendering core but up embedded DRAM acting as a frame buffer that is big enough to handle an image that is 480i and can be 4 times over sampled and double buffered. This solution will finally make possible HDTV visuals with full screen Anti-Aliasing on.
The technology also supports up to 512 MB of external memory on a 256-bit bus. However, current specs plan to use 256 MB RAM, big enough for next-generation visuals which are all about computational power rather than large storage.
In contrast with the current Xbox, the next one will have no hard disk drive — unless Sony puts one in the PlayStation 3. Instead, the console will rely on flash memory to store saved games and permanent data, much like the current PlayStation 2.
TeamXbox says they’ll update throughout the day.
Microsoft launched its Xbox console 20 months after the PlayStation 2 debut. By the time Microsoft sold 1.5 million consoles, Sony had sold more than 20 million PlayStations. To date, Microsoft has sold 13.7 million Xboxes, while Sony has sold more than 70 million. In the United States alone, console sales amounted to $3 billion in sales last year.
Sony will invest $1.13 billion into the fabrication of 65nanometer microchips. These chips will be using 300mm wafers and are going to be the core of the “Cell” technology, which will power the Playstation 3.
The “Cell” microprocessor is being joint developed by IBM, Tohsiba and Sony; but meanwhile IBM is developing the PowerPC- based CPU to be used in the guts of the Xbox 2. Both platforms are aiming to use 65 nanometer chips when the units are released, late in 2005 or 2006.