Microsoft emerges as a CPU force with Xbox One and Kinect

Microsoft is not the first name that comes to mind when you think of revolutionary chip design, but that perception is likely to change once the Xbox One and Kinect hit the market. The chip design in the game console and motion detection sensor are unlike anything on the market, at least at that price point.

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AngelicIceDiamond1437d ago

"Among the 50 MCUs are 15 special processors that can handle things like graphics and physics processing. The result is a chip and system that are freakishly powerful and would make any PC gamer drool. The DRAM can access the CPU cache at a rate of 30GB/sec. and non-CPU cache at 68GB/sec. The embedded RAM can transfer data at a rate of 204GBs/sec to different parts of the chip."

That's pretty damn good. The X1 is no slouch in graphics processing.

4Sh0w1437d ago

Very interesting. I think people are really underestimating microsoft. When these things land in the wild its going to be crazy.

NewMonday1437d ago (Edited 1437d ago )

it's an AMD chip not MS

the article is ambiguous, can't make any sense out of it


the writer is mixing the Kinect chip with the AMD APU, proves he dosn't know what he is talking about.

christocolus1437d ago

been saying this for a long time....the xbox one games actually show that the console can handle graphics very well...

ma1asiah1437d ago (Edited 1437d ago )

@ newmonday come again -

"Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One gaming console will contain a custom chip the company designed in conjunction with Advanced Micro Devices with the aim of delivering maximum graphics performance"

Speaking at the Hot Chips engineering conference at Stanford University, Microsoft chip architect John Sell said the Xbox One’s main processor is a gargantuan beast, codesigned with Advanced Micro Devices and manufactured by contract chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

sorry I could list many more sources that say the same thing.....Its a co designed chip between MS and AMD not a tweaked AMD chip

black0o1437d ago

@ma1asiah same thing cloud be said about the ps4 as well, by the end of the day the core chip is based ON AMD tech.

ma1asiah1437d ago

@ Black0o

The difference is as is stated here

"The CPU and GPU are on a "very large single custom chip" created by AMD for Sony"

SONY did not design or co design the custom chip this was all AMD so no, spin it however you will the same can not be said of the PS4.

No_Limit1437d ago (Edited 1437d ago )

Good to hear. Nov 22 can't come fast enough! Forza 5 and Ryse already looking amazing so even if it is a tad bit less power than the PS4, it really doesn't make a difference at this point. It has the games I wanted to play and that is what that is matter at this point.

thechosenone1437d ago

Killer Instinct 720p/60fps(they can't even hit 1080/60 in a fighting game)

BF4 720p/60fps

Forza 5 less cars than Forza 4, no real time weather or day/night or global sad

Dead Rising 3 "We're targeting 30 frames a second," lol

ma1asiah1437d ago

AMEN @ No_Limit A FRIGGEN MEN couldn't have said it better myself.

black0o1437d ago (Edited 1437d ago )


''AMD's Vice President of Global Communications and Industry Marketing John Taylor recently "elaborated" on the APU that is packed in Sony's semi-announced PlayStation 4 console. He said the new gaming console is the first announced design win based on a semi-custom AMD APU which was >> jointly << developed in >>>coordination <<< with Sony''

so who's spinning things here ME or U ??

ma1asiah1437d ago (Edited 1437d ago )

@ Black0o


"jointly << developed in >>>coordination <<< with Sony''

WTF so SONY supervised, oversaw the development of the chip AMD MADE however you want to put it.

This is still not the same thing dude as co designed or working in conjunction with AMD they didn't physically assist with its creation they said yay or nay to different design schematics AMD would put forward and would put forward a few suggestions that is really the nuts and bolts of what " jointly developed in coordination with SONY" means.

I am not spinning nothing as I am not the one who is so quick to dismiss something just because I do not like the company or the platform it happens to be on.

Check my history 70% of the time I try to paint a balance of opinion between both consoles yet at the same time yes I have a preference and yes that is the X1 BUT still I don't right the PS4 off just because it happens to be SONY either. I think it is a very awesome console just not my first choice.

nukeitall1437d ago (Edited 1437d ago )

MS customized and re-engineered the Xbox One chip to become a monster. MS built into the chip the ability to instantly overlay video and apps for instant switching and side-by side viewing.

Even high end PC require separate hardware to do something similar, let alone a $500 console.

MS has a chip for just about anything from encoding/decoding video, audio and so on.

Xbox One is a beast, and that is why games like Ryse is the best looking game on any console!


DriveClub still 1080p at 30fps, aiming and prayig it might hit 60fps.

Forza 5 always been 1080p at 60fps!

Same genre, same type of game, and both launch titles except PS4 has supposed easier development and 50% more raw power. What does that tell you?

Somebody is lying and the proof is right there!

Redgehammer1437d ago

@Newmonday 2

This seems like a transition to me.

"Then came the Kinect group, and that was even more impressive."

Computersaysno1437d ago (Edited 1437d ago )

My phone can easily overlay video rofl at the guy who said PC can't do it with more hardware. It's not that difficult a thing to do. A cheap android box can do all that. Windows 95 pretty much had it down kid with everything since becoming more and more capable.

What do you think 'windows' means? Huge facepalm.

Microsoft's chip looks decently engineered for media like but not that impressive for games by 2013 PC standards. PS4 has the hardware advantage no question and it'll still have a vast amount of media capability to satisfy most people.

The beauty of having a much more powerful GPU optimised for modern compute standards with better queuing ability than Xbone means Sony can load up the GPU with extra general compute tasks.

ziggurcat1437d ago

@ nukeitall:

"Same genre, same type of game, and both launch titles except PS4 has supposed easier development and 50% more raw power. What does that tell you? "

as it's been pointed out time, and time again: everything's baked, there are less cars, smaller environments, etc... in forza. driveclub has dynamic lighting, more cars, and much larger environments. what does that tell you? because it tells everyone else that driveclub is doing much more to push the hardware than forza. you're going to look awfully foolish when driveclub achieves 60fps, *and* does all of the things froza doesn't.

ryse struggles to maintain 30fps, and DR3 is struggling to even hit 30fps. what does that tell you? killer instinct, a fighting game that is not exactly resource heavy, isn't even 1080p. what does that tell you?

and yes, there certainly has been a lot of lying... but none of it has even come from sony or the devs making their games.

Caffo011437d ago


Ryse best looking WHAT?!?

Put some glasses on, you need it LOL

FamilyGuy1437d ago (Edited 1437d ago )

Seriously guys, which picture looks better here?

The X1 definitely is no slouch, it's a powerful gaming consoles with many amazing features as well as a host of titles that fans are eager to play. There's no argument there. Where there is an argument is where people look at MSs games, then look at Sonys games and still consider MS to be on top. Seeing games from both and claiming you can't see a power difference. Or even worse that MS games look or play better.

I'm not blind and if you're reading this and playing video games then I'm fairly certain that you aren't blind either. In every comparison video of any game chosen we see far more "special effects", next-gen visuals, going on in the PS4 games.

I completely understand having a favorite game or a favorite console or even a favorite company but don't let that blind you.

We all agree Titanfall looks incredibly fun
We all agree The Division looks amazing
We all laughed at Call of Duty having a dog and "fish that move out of your way"

Why is it that we disagree on this???

Computersaysno1437d ago (Edited 1437d ago )

Sony spent their transistor budget on graphics hardware and then it seems added secondary off die ARM processors to deal with audio/video/OS concerns in the background.

Microsoft wasted a huge bunch of their transistor budget with on die memory and audio Co processors. A massive amount of that die is just eSRAM which Sony don't need and used for more GPU space. It's clever in the sense that it's all integrated onto one die but also stupid in that they are going to give away a lot of graphics performance to PS4. THEY JUST WILL!

Xbox one's single die is admirable engineering but at the end of it they will be killed on games performance. They will be. This discussion shouldn't even still be going on. For sure they will be. I'll guarantee it now.

Sony built the better games focused hardware and then added extra off die processing after and it's just better for the future. They can integrate all that on one die 18 months down the line anyway with the next die shrink to 20nm. That'll be ready this time next year actually.

By deciding to stuff everything on one chip Microsoft Have made sure the console is cheap to make and simpler but it'll never be as powerful as spreading other processes onto separate chips like ps4 does and using the main die budget for the most important games hardware.

DoubleM701436d ago

Yup! All this talk about being under powered is going right out the door when they hit the streets.

DoesUs1436d ago


FACT. MS Made a dependable machine based around a DD3 setup...chucked a load of custom silicon to aleviate the bandwidth issues. You spout about these "15 processors magic" Do you actually know what these are? If you did, you wouldn't be touting them as some secret sauce. And please for the love of god, STOP posting about the bandwidth figures, they are borked and you know they are. Only 32meg of data can be utilised in the EDRam, Sony has....well they have it all (minus overheads) running at its maximum. But please, carry on...Its hilarious seeing you squirm, like you have since E3.

Sony got lucky as larger GDDR5 modules became available, but also chucked a load of custom silicon inside to further enhance. All this before the vastly superior GPU is plonked in 8)

MS created the XB1 as best they could in the time available using the resources set aside.

Sony did exactly the same..only struck gold once the large modules became available.


See you in November.

P0werVR1436d ago (Edited 1436d ago )

The thing to me that stands out are the "15 special purpose processors" and eSRAM.

But oh boy, those special purpose processors seems very exotic. If they can offload CPU/GPU processes then the whole architectural design is a BEAST indeed.

I mean to the person that is so use to putting basic components together and relying on raw specs, compared to reading and looking at the pics it's just a beautiful symphony...IMO at least.

If the design can truly have strong sustainable numbers, then Xbox One is truly powerful along with it's feature...truly next gen.




32megs of eDRAM?!

Just stop it. You downplaying the 15 MCUs alone goes to show how much you don't know about them. And how you make the common assumption by most of you dimwitts claiming that just because the eSRAM has only 32mbs it ONLY HOLDS 32mbs at a time.

The eSRAM is more like a scratchpad memory where it "spits out" chunks (32mb) of data for rapid use, so GB/s (204GB/s peak) of data for use by the GPU. Then comes in the 15 MCUs where it then compress and scale textures and helps in offloading. Therefore leaving the GPU for graphics ONLY.

dantesparda1436d ago (Edited 1436d ago )

"Microsoft emerges as a CPU force with Xbox One and Kinect" No its not! Im sorry but you fanboys are pathetic, there is nothing imoressive about these system's low power tablet cpu's. And to hear some of you's talk like it so impressive, is just sad. Fanboys are pathetic!

+ Show (21) more repliesLast reply 1436d ago
Insomnia_841437d ago (Edited 1437d ago )

The thing is, they have nothing to back up what they say as always. They keep throwing numbers and big words like "SPECIAL PROCESSORS, FREAKISHLY POWERFUL, POWER OF THE CLOUD, INCREDIBLE POWER OF KINECT, POWER OF SKYPE (>__> not joking, they actually said that)" but have nothing to show, NOTHING! Go take a look at the comparison of Ryse and Deep Down and you will see, DD takes the crown and it's coming out next year and already looking better than Ryse that's coming out in two months.

The devs have spoken, one of them even said that us gamers will be blown away by the graphical difference between the two consoles in a year or two and....why would Microsoft be looking at ways to upgrade what they have already at the last minute? They recently made insignificant upgrades to the GPU speed, 6% to be more exact, and upgraded the graphics drivers that the developers have so that they can fine tune better their games. They know they have a disadvantage but they can't let the competiton get away with it so easily, so they will say whatever they can and try their best with the hardware they already have but it can only go so far, if they upgraded only 6% then that's the best thay can do.

Facts are facts, they will talk and talk, but nothing will change unless they change their hardware and it's too late for that.

The Playstation 4 is 30% to 50% more powerful.


maniacmayhem1437d ago

And yet the same can be said about the PS4.

20% more power and yet their games are graphically identical to the Xbox One.

There has been just as many devs who have gone on record to say that the differences will be miniscule at best.

I'm sure both consoles will produce abslute stunning effects in a year or two. But I doubt one will have a huge leap over the other.

Redgehammer1437d ago

The facts won't be out until after they are released, and benchmarking gets done by all the tech sites. Then you can return here In jubilation that your rumors were correct, or return dejected, after learning the X1 is not the underpowered piece of crap you believe it is, or sigh in acceptance when you find out that parity exists between the 2 consoles. I think they both will be powerful.

wtopez1437d ago

Always a fanboy waving the meager PS4 specs d*ck around an Xbox thread. Well a single discrete mid-range PC GPU is more than 30% to 50% more powerful than the whole PS4 system. And with AMD releasing it's new line GPUs before the actual console is out, the power difference will only get more embarrassing.

Mike134nl1437d ago (Edited 1437d ago )

Its hard to compare at the moment there is more info available on the custom chip design of the xb1 compared to the ps4. They will need to explain these things if both consoles are indeed comparable in specs.

Special processors: dedicated to audio for kinect use makes sense.
Freakisly powerful: Not really Sony already/also said they have the most powerful hardware
Power of cloud: Not really yes it is freely available to al devs because of low pricing. Though no services such as gaikai are yet beeing used as Microsoft deems this to expensive
Kinect: great piece of tech but remains to be seen if usefull for gaming
Skype: no 3d skype maybe on ps4

In the end the games will have to proof which console might or might not be better

t3rrorc3ll1437d ago

I'm also glad I can see the launch of ps4 in the US then the Xbox one then I will gtr my ps4 on the 29th November. To me it allows time for me to switch. If the ONE does have some secret sauce and is more powerful I will pick it up and be a sole Microsoft gamer again. But gotta admit deep down destroys all of that which has been shown on the ONE so far. But I am in no way stuck with my choice so far

NextGen24Gamer1437d ago (Edited 1437d ago )

Lets break down what we know from HotChips...Facts only...

"15 special processors that can handle things like graphics and physics processing."

You see, that's why the gpu, that can do 1.3 TFLOPS can compete with the gpu in the ps4 that does 1.8 TFLOPS. Those 15 special processors take an incredible load off of the GPU...It makes the xbox one more efficient. That's the part of the "ON PAPER" argument that fanboys don't understand, until developers for BOTH consoles get their hands on it and can talk about it. Which leads me to the fact that a developer already said he was surprised at ONE of the consoles power. Which only means that architecture in the xbox one surprised him because on paper the ps4 looked to be more powerful. If you use commons sense, it's easy to understand why the 15 special processors obviously make a HUGE difference in the performance of the system.

"The result is a chip and system that are freakishly powerful and would make any PC gamer drool. The DRAM can access the CPU cache at a rate of 30GB/sec. and non-CPU cache at 68GB/sec. The embedded RAM can transfer data at a rate of 204GBs/sec to different parts of the chip."

Once again, the custom architecture is showing that simple numbers mean very little. It's another aspect of their custom design that makes the xbox one freakishly powerful. Which would explain why Microsoft has stated that its capable of doing 4k games. Something that Sony has confirmed that the ps4 can't do! If you take off your fanboy glasses, it all makes sense. But that's something that ON PAPER stats won't show. It's complicated for MS to explain this to fanboys who only want to hear about TFLOPS from the GPU. LOL....There is much more to it. Developers are surprised....Why is that? LOL

"Microsoft used PC standards – an x86 CPU, a DirectX 11 GPU and DDR3 memory – but it threw out the traditional PC architecture to create a beast."

This is all from HOTCHIPS....MS has built a custom BEAST and the key word once again is architecture....Not raw simplistic numbers...They have architecture that takes the workloads that GPU's normally have to do, and put them in DPU's...15 special custom ones....That means the GPU operates more efficiently....

Very good read, super excited for the xbox one...super excited for when the NDA lifts and we get more specific details on the architecture that we have had a small peak of....Sure people thought there was a DGPU....I was one of them, but the inside information never said that, he only gave tidbits and people ran with it...What we do know to be a fact just based off of HOTCHIPS, is that the CPU/GPU is massive and incredibly customized...and MS reps have said over and over again, that the specs on paper that everyone is throwing around doesn't tell the entire story....September 30th, we should get more of the story!

Slobberknocker below me....

Its a fact that MS has stated on several occasions that the xbox one is fully capable of doing 4k games. Obviously the 15 custom DPU's have a lot to do with that. Just because you don't understand something...doesn't mean it's not capable...I know fanboys want to believe MS is lying, but HOTCHIPS proves their is much more than meets the eye and still some info in the gpu that is UNKNOWN as of now.