New 360 SDK Library To Make Multithreading Easy

Kotaku writes:

"Actually, I don't think anything could make multithreading less difficulty for a developer, short of ancient Aztec magic. You know, because the Aztecs were just awesome with the whole concept of hardware threads and "Tony" units.

Unable to tap into whatever the Aztecs knew, Microsoft has come up with its own solution. Well, for the Xbox 360 anyway. Included in the August 2007 SDK for the console was a new library, called XMCore.

Microsoft's Pete Isensee detailed the features of the new library at Game Connect last weekend. To put it simply, XMCore will make "lock-free programming" easier for game developers.

So what the hell is lock-free programming?

While there's multiple ways to approach multithreading, one method Microsoft recommends is called "message-based concurrency". Using message-based concurrency, each thread owns its own data, and instead of threads accessing common pools of data, they send chunks of information between themselves."

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BADBOYEK43918d ago

This is great news for the 360 since there are no Games that uses all 3 of the 360 CPU Cores. I would love to see CRYSIS running on the 360 Using all 3 CPU Cores.

PS360PCROCKS3918d ago (Edited 3918d ago )

Uh-oh, disagree central is coming your way from PS fans. I will agree because you're correct in a sense, no game for any console, besides maybe the Wii Wii is using the entire potential of the system. But this is really great news because everything they do will now be done more efficiently, apparently by locking down certain chunks of data for one core, and so on and so on. Great news, wonder how big of an effect it will have on the games.

Edit:: Just wanted to add that this also is good because this will help free up resources to make reaching stable framerates etc. that much easier.

mighty_douche3918d ago (Edited 3918d ago )

all your missing now, is a much much better GPU and another 3.5gig of Ram. and maybe you'll see crysis running at 200p.

EDIT: disagrees? yeah your probably right, you'll need a better CPU to.
oh and by the way, all that ^^ includes the PS3.

drewdrakes3918d ago (Edited 3918d ago )

mighty_douche - maybe your getting disagrees because youre being, well, a douche. Why would you need another 3.5GB of ram? Windows Vista never goes above using 1GB. When I played Crysis on my computer, it still didnt. If you would like proof of this, here is someone with 4GB of ram where Crysis is only using about 850MB:

Also, in the 360 and PS3, if developers use them in the most efficient way then they can be made to do this. But Crysis was developed in a PC way, not a 360 and PS3 (they have separate ways but bare with me) and both have Crysis competitors coming. Whether it be Warhound or Killzone 2.

zapass3918d ago

the difference between xbox and ps3 programmers is that the former need someone else to do their job for them, even a half ass job otherwise whine whine whine. This is so embarrassing, but hey, w/o m$, a lot of 'programmers' could not survive this industry. Being a loyal 'Billy' is
essential for them to maintain the illusion of talent.

drewdrakes3918d ago

zapass - You're right. Everyone who doesn't do programming fully themselves is in fact lazy and whiny. So to all are no longer allowed to use Unreal Engine 3.0, Visual Studio, or any other game engines. You must code your entire game in assembler or else you are...lazy. (I hope you see the sarcasm in this)

Visual Studio is the best software I have ever used in my development background, does the fact that it does things fast and easily make me lazy? The fact that I don't want to go in an reprogram something millions have already done, does that make me lazy?

PS3 developers are using development and optimization tools too you know, which brings me to the conclusion that you're stupid :)

jaja14343918d ago

Does that mean hes lazy for using a car instead of walking? Going to the store to buy food instead of hunting it himself? Because pretty much everything we do now a days is lazy, through the use of tools, when compared to what humans did in the past to survive...

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3918d ago
segasage3918d ago

making the development environment more friendly for programmers is always welcomed. If anyone tha tunderstands programming, maybe they can share some of the head-aches this new method of multi-threaded function might help aleviate.

MS has way better tools and support for developers in the industry.

Hopefully this continues unto the next Box.

ThisIsWaiting3918d ago

I think ease of programming has been and Xbox brand advantage since the original Xbox ... I would imagine that will always be a strong point to developing games for MS.

Bladestar3918d ago

Threading is a lightweight process. With the help of threads we can increase the response time of the game.
I've writen some simply multithreaded and is a pain in the @$$... which is why most developers avoid it like the plaque.

Here is a good article that explain the benefit and why is so difficult.


Damn.. I know the .NET Compact Framework (included in the xbox 360) have a few namespaces that allows for this... but this API will make life a lot easier...

bootsielon3918d ago

Both PS3 and 360 when they've maxed out.

TheMART3918d ago (Edited 3918d ago )

It could be. But what does it give you now? One can put a Ferrari Engine in a Lada, it won't drive as fast.

Thus: no use for a gamer right here, right now. I think MS is taking huge steps in their already great development environment. I am curious what this will do for gaming and games on the 360 in 2008, compared to the PS3.

@ Douche (below)

Well you don't know as much about cars as you think probably. I bet the engine will tear the chassis apart, thus slowing down in the end pretty much.

Not being able to brake or turn is also a bad way. More bottlenecks there!

You get my point though.

mighty_douche3918d ago

ummm i think you'll find it will! it might not turn or stop but it'll certainly go faster.

you obviously know less about cars than tech so just stick to the tech huh.

nirwanda3918d ago

I think you will find it would run into a bit of a bottleneck when the power hits the gearbox.

mighty_douche3918d ago

lol, very true, but now your talking specifics, if thats the case then 1, the engine/gearbox wouldnt even meet up let alone trying to squeeze a 500bhp monster into a lada'a engine bay.

but more important than all of that, if you could afford a ferrari engine why the hell would you own a Lada?

PS360PCROCKS3918d ago

American here. Whats a lada?

mighty_douche3918d ago

imagine the cheapest piece of crap you can!

the picture ive added is of a VERY nice example if you can believe that...

PS360PCROCKS3918d ago

lol so like a yugo? haha.

TheMART3918d ago

but more important than all of that, if you could afford a ferrari engine why the hell would you own a Lada?"

Now that's essential Douche. The Cell isn't optimal for games. It's optimal for folding @ home, calculating the light years to Mars, streaming video. It's powerfull, but not as usefull for games. Certainly not the combination of hardware and how it should work. Bottlenecks all around, created by the hardware and it's setup

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 3918d ago
BIoodmask3918d ago (Edited 3918d ago )

Good news for gamers also in a way because we will probably start seeing some truly "next-gen" type things now. I have to give Microsoft credit for continuing to give developers a great work environment by offering easy to use development tools.

The only game that I am aware of that is going to use all three cores so far on the 360 is Alan Wake, bc of all of the physics involved.

I think all of the BS thrown around on this website is funny about consoles being maxed out. Usually even when new hardware arrives developers are still finding out new ways to do things on the older hardware. It is the natural progression of programming, 100% this year = 70% next year.

Question: What is it with the childish disagreeing without even stating why?

PS360PCROCKS3918d ago

Pretty lame huh? Everything you said was spot on. Microsoft does a great job with tools. and no console is maxed right now. Yep that's alot to disagree with, it's disagreeing to disagree I presume.

fjtorres3918d ago

1- You log into the 360 forum
2- You scan the headlines
3- if any posts reflect well on the 360 you go in and disagree with everything positive in them.

Hint: count the "disagree";'s; its always the same amount across the board.

Most likely its the same IDs disagreeing with everything, possibly all belonging to the same kid. :-)

candystop3918d ago

Actually the 1st game to utilize all 3 cores is a future xboxlive game called Schizoid. I believe that alan uses all three but in a different manner by using cores for specfic tasks in the game where as you have Schizoid and other future titles that will use all of the 3 to 6 dual threaded cores pulling from one pool rather than dividing them up. What I find interesting is that they are finally getting a hold on the 3 cores but then they will get a hold even later in the 360's lifecycle to run them in dual to where there using six!

Liquid Ocelot3918d ago

Its most likely the fanboys that click disagree it happens alot in the PS3 section.

If someone says something positive about the PS3 they get a disagree or worse attacked because they prefer that console same for someone saying something positive about the 360.

if i were to click disagree on someones comment i would tell them why i disagree with a full explanation.

StupidTeenagersMust-3918d ago

Hate to break this to you, but even Project Gotham 3 and Kameo used all 6 CPU threads on the 360. The approach though, as I'm getting this from Microsoft's information, is that they were sharing all data in the L2 cache. Now they're taking the PS3 approach and dividing all that information between cores.

candystop3918d ago

Please provide a link were it states that they were using all 6? PGR3 and Kameo did not use all six and if they did I think I remember reading they used all 3 for completely different tasks rather then one big pool! MS isn't taking a cell approach for crying out loud so quit already! If anyone needs to take notes and follow anyone it's Sony and you will see as time flys how this news will have a significant impact on the quality of games to be released on the 360 killing all belief that the PS3 is a more powerful system lol!

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3918d ago
THAMMER13918d ago (Edited 3918d ago )

I am expecting to see some great games for the 360 2008 - 2009. MASS EFFECT 2, and Gears 2, Huxly MMO, Alan Wake, any body. NICE!!!

Oh yeah is any one else addicted to Mass Effect. I'm at work planning upgrades and mission plots. OMG I'm a RPG freak now. I'm going o go wash my hands.

PS360PCROCKS3918d ago (Edited 3918d ago )

Lol yes. I am about to go to work at Abercrombie and Fitch, dammit being a store manager, pays the bills though, haha anyways I won't go as far as planning anything, but I will for sure rather be playing ME than managing 18 yr old boys/girls and dealing with spoiled kids and their rich parents.

edit:: god I sound old. I'm talking about 18 yr olds as if I am a old person, lol I am only 22, maybe I am old, damn, this sucks :)

jaja14343918d ago

Makes you feel any better I refer to anyone who is younger than 22 as kds. And I'm only 24, but I do this for a reason. That reason being as soon as most people turn 21, they go out on a yearly "I can buy drinks all I want" free for all. And they should, its fun...for about 1 year. Then it just gets old and costly. Of course their are the ones who don't stop but thats a whole other issue.

*Note I don't mean stop drinking all together, but stopping the frequency and amount.

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