Posted 14 October 2010 - 03:24 AM
Posted 22 October 2010 - 10:42 AM
The Xbox 360 takes a new approach to hardware compared to its predecessor. The XCPU, named Xenon at Microsoft and "Waternoose" at IBM, is a custom triple-core 64-bit PowerPC-based design by IBM. The CPU emphasizes high floating point performance through multiple FPU and SIMD vector processing units in each core. It has a theoretical peak performance of 96.0 gigaflops and is capable of 9.6 billion dot products per second. Each core of the CPU is simultaneous multithreading capable and clocked at 3.2GHz. However, to reduce CPU die size, complexity, cost, and power demands, the processor uses in-order execution in contrast to the Intel Coppermine128-based Pentium III used in Xbox which used more advanced out-of-order execution. The original chip used a 90 nanometer process, although a newer 65 nanometer process SOI revision is currently in the market. A 21.6 GB/s front side bus, aggregated 10.8 GB/s upstream and downstream, connected Xenon with the graphics processor/northbridge. Xenon was equipped with a 1 MB Level 2 cache on-die running at half CPU clock speed. This cache is shared amongst the three CPU cores. The CPU also contains ROM storing Microsoft private encrypted keys, used to decrypt game data. The heat sink implemented to cool the CPU is composed of aluminum fins with copper base heat pipes. The heat sink is cooled by two 70 millimeter fans at the back of the console. There are several types of fan used in the 360 from manufacturers Nidec, Sunon and Delta Electronics.
It has some advantages over x86, x64 etc that make it more suitable for gaming.
In other words, the PowerPC chip is still capable, has effective floating point capabilities and no dependancy on Intel or AMD, this means no licensing fees (that i know of).
The only reason Apple switched was because going to intel at that time would allow native windows. It also provided better speed boost because the PPC tech was becoming bottlenecked and limited.
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