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Report: MS Could Make its Own CPU for Next Xbox

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.

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CG3958d ago

With microsoft being the software giants they are i can see them developing the perfect combination of hardware and software which would spell disaster for the competition.

peksi3958d ago (Edited 3958d ago )

Sounds like somebody's stealing ideas :)

edit: the CPU will probably include DMA support for a 3-key keyboard: ctrl-alt-del :D ..ok that was a bad one...

CAPS LOCK3958d ago

are they giving up hope already on the 360? it has been out only for a year now and they plan on releasing another one? we now know who lost the console war.

pbo2m33958d ago

How have they lost the console war? The 360 has been out for almost a year now and they are thinking about the next system. That is normal. Do you think they start looking at developing new systems 3 or 4 years after a system has been out. It takes a while to get a new system developed. Also Sony has made a few comments about the PS4 about not even using disks and the PS3 is not even out yet. So I guess they lost the war by what you're saying

TheMART3958d ago

So after a developing team has released the final product (already a year ago) what should they do Capsunderlock in your view

TAKE A 5 YEAR LONG HOLIDAY AND THEN START AGAIN?

I knew you weren't the smartest around, but this statement has put you in a whole other category. Constant research is nescessary to get and stay on top.

*sarcasm mode on*
I hope Sony starts thinking of consoles at the day they cut support for their current one. Like it seems with the badly taken together PS3 Cell scientific but not for games optimal, no spec's RSX standard card because Cell failed to do the GPU tasks also and a non standard own product raising money BR player (in mind all their formats Betamax, Minidisc, UMD failed).

Sounds to me like real next gen *sarcasm mode off*

ronscrote3958d ago (Edited 3958d ago )

How long do you think it takes to design a CPU?
Companies like Intel and AMD wouldn't sell R&D to a fearsome competitor like Microsoft for a trillion dollars; they have to start from scratch as all the CPU manufacturers did. My guess is, we won't see the next Xbox until christmas 2010 at the earliest. It's just sensible business practice to start planning now. I'm sure Sony are already thinking about Playstation 4, and the hardware that the next Nintendo console will use probably already exists!

Microsoft already have a year on Sony with this generation. If they can release their next console 2-years ahead of Sony, that will be a long time for Playstation fans to go on playing current gen games when the next generation is already available.

kewlkat0073958d ago

Your smarter than that right? Have you ever heard of Research and development, and how they play a big role in an organizations future products and services.

Anyhow MS is getting it's nose it many markets righ tnow. I guess you can afford to do that with the deep pockets they have.

Deceased3957d ago

Sony has been talking about the next Playstation and they haven't even released this one. When designing hardware it is a long process and I am sure they probably started design the next xbox before the 360 was even out. That is the nature of the business.

Mikey_Gee3957d ago

As many other folks said .... the NEXT MS console was probably in Dev before the 360 launch.

"ALL COMPANIES DO THIS"

- Cars
- TV
- PC
etc, etc, etc

As way said ..... do you think they sit around with a finger in their azz till two weeks before and say , "Hmm, maybe we should get moving on this"

THINK FIRST ......... POST SECOND

nambo3957d ago

And I bet you're buying Sony's claim that the PS3 will have a life span of 10 years. From the reports available, the PS3's GPU is already a generation behind. I'm sure you know the average life span of a console is 4-6 years and this gen will be no different. If Sony doesn't want to another year to MS then you can bet they're already working on the PS4.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3957d ago
kingboy3958d ago

yea yea yea..do what u do best.Go work on your own cell chips too

ronscrote3958d ago

Surely your not suggesting that Sony invented the concept of parallel processing. Besides, Sony didn't invent the Cell.. IBM did.

Watapata3957d ago

the Cell was "invented" through a collaboration between Toshiba, Sony, and IBM...