Although long known as a software company, Microsoft is seriously looking at designing its own chips, according to a report in The New York Times. In fact, according to a key engineer at the company one of the reasons MS may go ahead with this is the design of the next Xbox.
Microsoft in particular has publicly revealed that it's already thinking about its next console. While the company has long been known as a software powerhouse, Microsoft may start making more and more of its own hardware, especially chips, according to a new report in The New York Times.
Microsoft has a long history of teaming up with leading chip maker Intel. In fact, the two have been so closely tied that their pairing (Windows + Intel processors) has been dubbed "Wintel." And when Microsoft decided to enter the video game console business in 2001, it came as no surprise that the company used an Intel processor in its original Xbox. For the current Xbox 360, Microsoft decided to use an IBM PowerPC-based design for the CPU.
Going forward, however, Microsoft is apparently considering making its own chips. The company has started a new project tentatively called the Computer Architecture Group. According to the NYT report, Microsoft's design effort will initially be split between research labs at the headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and its Silicon Valley campus. Charles P. Thacker, a veteran engineer who helped out on the Xbox 360 project when a key engineer became ill, will head the Silicon Valley group.