Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

AMD Confirms it Co-Designed Xbox One APU

By - Source: Wired | B 54 comments

It's another custom APU, this time co-designed by AMD and Microsoft.

Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed the long-awaited sequel to the current console leader, Xbox 360. The next-generation Xbox One device is slated to arrive later this year, creating one central entrainment station just as Microsoft envisioned long before the launch of the original Xbox. It will merge social, gaming, and TV, glued together by the new Kinect 2.0.

Both Wired and PC Magazine report that the console will be based on an APU co-designed by AMD and Microsoft containing eight x86 CPU cores, a DirectX 11.1 GPU similar to the Radeon 7790, and 32 MB of high bandwidth embedded ESRAM memory. The chip will also contain the controller logic and the audio processors, and the GPU and CPU cores will have direct access to the console's 8 GB of DDR3 RAM. The chip connects directly to the heat sink via a phase-change interface material.

However the actual size of the chip is unclear. Wired says that it's 28 nanometers, thus it's presumed to utilize AMD's forthcoming Jaguar CPU architecture like the PlayStation 4's custom APU. But ExtremeTech points out that other exclusive reports claim the chip is based on the 40 nanometer process instead. It's possible AMD somehow backported its 28 nm parts to 40 nm, the site speculates, but that would be a very costly and time consuming task.

"AMD is very excited to be working with Microsoft on their next-generation Xbox One. The Microsoft Xbox One leverages a single-chip, semi-custom AMD APU, with custom components co-developed with Microsoft designed to enable unique attributes of the system Microsoft is bringing to market," Saeid Moshkelani, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD's Semi-Custom Business Unit, said in a statement.

"There are similarities about the [PS4 and XB1] APUs you can find based on data that's public from Sony and Microsoft," said AMD spokesman Travis Williams who said he was not in the position to disclose additional hardware specs. "However, I can say each APU was customized and tailor-made for Microsoft and Sony and their respective console and experience design points."

Of course, this is where the backwards compatibility argument comes in. Because the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 use an x86-based CPU architecture, PS3 and Xbox 360 games won't work on the new hardware. Cloud gaming anyone?

"We designed Xbox One to play an entirely new generation of games—games that are architected to take full advantage of state-of-the-art processors and the infinite power of the cloud," Microsoft said. "We care very much about the investment you have made in Xbox 360 and will continue to support it with a pipeline of new games and new apps well into the future."

In addition to the AMD APU, the Xbox One will also feature three Wireless N radios so that the console can connect to gamepads (WiFi Direct), mobile devices and the home network without added latency. It will also feature a custom Blu-ray drive, USB 3.0 ports, HDMI In and Out, and a 500 GB HDD. The console reportedly delivers 8 times the graphic performance of the Xbox 360, and consists of 5 billion transistors compared to the 500 million used in the Xbox 360.

Display 54 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    06yfz450ridr , May 23, 2013 11:21 AM
    pretty nice to see amd working on both xbox and ps4
  • 11 Hide
    Solandri , May 23, 2013 11:55 AM
    Quote:
    Is it just me or the Xbox one look like a freakin VCR?

    Bear in mind that the primary target age group probably has no idea what a VCR looks like.
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    xerxces , May 23, 2013 10:03 AM
    Bravo for AMD to secure both companies.
  • 0 Hide
    anxiousinfusion , May 23, 2013 10:07 AM
    I can't wait to not buy one.
  • 1 Hide
    zooted , May 23, 2013 10:13 AM
    Looks like the gpu will be memory bottlenecked.
  • 0 Hide
    thasan1 , May 23, 2013 10:15 AM
    i wonder why i never see intel making a CPU for a console.. maybe i might in the future...
  • 0 Hide
    bak0n , May 23, 2013 10:19 AM
    "Radeon 7790, and 32 MB of high bandwidth embedded ESRAM memory"
    Confused here. Are you saying the gpu has 32mb of memory or the CPU has 32MB of cache and is designed like a 7790?
  • 0 Hide
    Dupontrocks11 , May 23, 2013 10:21 AM
    Nvidia fanboys can say that Nvidia beats AMD all they want, but AMD is really gunna pull in some cash with the new consoles.
  • 0 Hide
    thasan1 , May 23, 2013 10:21 AM
    Quote:
    "Radeon 7790, and 32 MB of high bandwidth embedded ESRAM memory"
    Confused here. Are you saying the gpu has 32mb of memory or the CPU has 32MB of cache and is designed like a 7790?


    maybe it has 32mb cache memory for the GPU or maybe the whole system.but why would a GPU need cache memory?
  • 0 Hide
    kettu , May 23, 2013 10:31 AM
    "We designed Xbox One to play an entirely new generation of games—games that are architected to take full advantage of state-of-the-art processors and the infinite power of the cloud,"
    So it's basically going to be an always online requirement afterall. Or how else you're going to acces the cloud? Sure, it's not necessary to make games with cloud computations but I bet they claim it is. Like EA with SimCity.
  • 0 Hide
    FinneousPJ , May 23, 2013 10:31 AM
    Very nice, AMD.
  • 1 Hide
    dark_lord69 , May 23, 2013 10:31 AM
    So if this thing is the xBox One... then I'm guessing everyone will have to refer to the original xbox as "the original xbox" cause xbox one would be confusing while playstation one makes sense.
  • 0 Hide
    kettu , May 23, 2013 10:39 AM
    Quote:
    "Radeon 7790, and 32 MB of high bandwidth embedded ESRAM memory"
    Confused here. Are you saying the gpu has 32mb of memory or the CPU has 32MB of cache and is designed like a 7790?


    The GPU is going to have 32MB of high bandwidth eSRAM cache which can directly acces DDR3-2133 (in dual channel mode) main memory. That will have a ~34GB/s bandwidth. Source: http://semiaccurate.com/2013/05/22/microsoft-subtly-admits-losing-with-xbox-one/
  • 0 Hide
    guru_urug , May 23, 2013 10:42 AM
    This was no doubt that AMD had co-designed the APU for the xbox one. Good for AMD, scored with the Xbox and the PS4. Hope this is pivotal in turning their fortunes around, Im rooting for them
  • 1 Hide
    vmem , May 23, 2013 10:48 AM
    I know they'll never say it, but I wish someone from AMD would "leak" which architecture is better, Xbox One or PS4. or just say that they're exactly the same
  • 0 Hide
    makaveli316 , May 23, 2013 11:10 AM
    .....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ekOtn7L1N0.....
  • 14 Hide
    06yfz450ridr , May 23, 2013 11:21 AM
    pretty nice to see amd working on both xbox and ps4
  • 0 Hide
    dirtyferret , May 23, 2013 11:22 AM
    i was under the impression the xbox one APU was co-designed by intel & sony...who knew
  • 0 Hide
    gekko668 , May 23, 2013 11:22 AM
    Is it just me or the Xbox one look like a freakin VCR?
  • -3 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , May 23, 2013 11:30 AM
    Didn't Toms already do a review of this GPU?
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/768-shader-pitcairn-review,3196.html
    This exact card existed a year ago- they just didn't know what they had at the time.
  • 11 Hide
    Solandri , May 23, 2013 11:55 AM
    Quote:
    Is it just me or the Xbox one look like a freakin VCR?

    Bear in mind that the primary target age group probably has no idea what a VCR looks like.
  • 6 Hide
    hotroderx , May 23, 2013 12:11 PM
    This is great new's for AMD hopefully this ends up being a major boost financially. That way they can start developing better desktop processors. I know personally I miss the K6's, Barton Cores, and the 939's from there past. All where great processors and keep Intel on there toes.
Display more comments