Microsoft's ARM deal fuels hope of a chilled-out [Next-Gen] Xbox

Microsoft has licensed ARM's architecture, but while an ARM might be found in every mobile phone it seems Redmond is more interested in putting some ARM goodness into the Xbox.

Nintendo uses ARM chips in its mobile consoles, but it's hard to imagine Microsoft making a play in that space given how hard Xbox Live is being pushed as a feature of Windows Phone 7.

The Xbox line, however, is in serious need of a new architecture. Microsoft's approach to gaming consoles (and computers) has always been to have a whopping great chip in the middle doing most of the work. The Xbox 360 still suffers from the concentration of heat that this approach creates, depending on a heatsink that expands and contracts until it eventually touches one of the chip's contacts, shorting out the system.

Increasing the processing power for the next incarnation of the Xbox will need a different approach, which is the most likely reason for Redmond to want access to ARM's innermost secrets.

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Bigpappy3005d ago (Edited 3005d ago )

Guessing is not news. Just reportthat they bought the license and be done with it. Arms in next xbox is far fetch at best. How many Pachters are they?

Conloles3005d ago (Edited 3005d ago )

This will go into Window Phone 7, no point using new processors in Xbox when the competition in processors is far superior in both quality and experience.

heroprotagonist3005d ago

I agree with you Bigpappy, it is far fetched. It is either for a new Zune or something like that, or the author is wrong and Microsoft really are working on a handheld system.

Rush3005d ago

It's clearly for use in making there own Windows 7 mobiles, Sure they maybe hoping to possibly run xbox live games via the phone which I still find unlikely.

But at the very least am sure they will give Xbox Live it's own mobile download space for people to use there Windows 7 phones.

It could also potentially to used for a mobile console but I seriously don't see Microsoft entering that market. As for the power of the chip in general I heard Samsungs humming bird chip kicks it's ass when it comes to 3D gaming.

But the ARM chip could be much cheaper to produce I wouldn't know about the costs.

kneon3005d ago

There is no way it's for a console. There is no ARM processor with sufficient power for the next generation of consoles and likely won't ever be. That's not their target market. It's a handheld, mobile or tablet device.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3005d ago
JsonHenry3005d ago

There is no way anyone at MS is dumb enough to think anything that ARM makes will be powerful enough to run a next gen console...

Nihilism3005d ago

Sounds good, the arm processors and crazy powerful for their size and power use, I imagine if they used a few of them in parallel it would get the cpu job done. I still don't know why they don't use unified architecture. If the console's had even gone dual core + a better GPU the there might have been more 720p/60frame games of 1080p/30frame games.

Nihilism3005d ago

"the arm processors IS"

"720p/60frame games OR"

Fixed + facepalm

"have you ever spelled a word so wrong spellcheck doesn't even know what to do, it starts throwing out random words like "dinosaur". You've got a million dollars of software staring back at you like "you've got me buddy, and that's pretty amazing because I have all the words" - Bill Burr

Nihilism3005d ago

You are an idiot...I know that. I said if they had gone with a lesser CPU and a better GPU games would look and run much better. That is a universal truth. On PC too, if you have a dual core and a good video card it will run games twice as good as having the fastest CPU money can buy ( i7-980x ) + a gtx260...

kneon3005d ago

That fact that you think you know I'm an idiot because of one statement in which I misinterpreted your intent shows who is more likely to be the idiot.

But back to the discussion, you are clearly thinking like a PC gamer. Sure my 12Gb, I7 with a 5850 based graphics card will run rings around my PS3. But I spent more on the graphics card than on the entire PS3. A better GPU would significantly add to the power, thermal and cost budgets of the consoles, so they did the best they could. I work on embedded systems for a living, everything is a tradeoff, you can never get everything you want or need. Probably the most cost effective upgrade they could have done would have been to add more memory.

kneon3005d ago

The Xbox has 3 cores already and the PS3 has 7 (1 PPU + 6 SPU).

Cueil3005d ago

calling an SPU a core on the same level as the PPU is stretching it a bit. It's not that simple especially with it be asynchronous architecture

kneon3005d ago

Well they are not general purpose CPUs, and could arguably be considered more a port of the GPU, but they contribute a huge part of the processing power of the PS3 so they certainly can't be ignored.

SOAD3005d ago

kneon, in no way is an SPU the same as a core. An SPU is a DSP.

LostDjinn3005d ago (Edited 3005d ago )

While I see where you're going. I think the most it would be is an ARM based replacement/upgrade from the 360's NEC based setup. (More RAM would be a given.) It's RISC based so you want it sorting streams of data rather than large blocks. It sort of fits the role. At this point though, who knows?
MS could be getting into another market.
Let's hope they don't spread themselves too thin. ;)

Edit: kneon, you're usually pretty good with facts. I'm not ripping on you when I say this as you most likely forgot.
"The Xbox has 3 cores already and the PS3 has 7 (1 PPU + 6 SPU)." The one running the OS on the PS3 still counts. So that's 8 (1 PPE + 7 SPEs).

Nihilism3005d ago (Edited 3005d ago )

Good day good sir.

N4G always pulls me back for the same ol' B.S. I'm a sucker for punishment.

Getting my gtx480 tomorrow finally :D

It's been a long time between drinks of the transistor kind.

It might be hot and loud but it sure is fast, I'm going straight from 700/1400/924 to 850/1700/1000.


Haha cheers, yeah OpenCL is the way, I could use my gtx280 as a physx card, but seeing how I'm yet to find a single example of physx that looks better than the CPU physx in games like crysis and BFBC2... it's not worth it. Fingers crossed OpenCL based physics is better.

LostDjinn3005d ago (Edited 3005d ago )

It's good to know that hidden deep within N4G a small flicker of sanity remains.

Good to see you my friend.

Edit: With that kind of upgrade I'd be able to see you're smile space I think. Just wait till you run OpenCL based goodness for the first time. You may need to tell your girl you need a minute of "alone time" when that happens. CONGRATULATION!!

Edit: With OpenCL is a simple case of more FLops to run the physx with. Now you get to join the "patient" as we wait for a dev to make "full use" of it.
*shakes fist*
Hurry the #&%@ up you damn lazy dev's!

See. Patient. ;)

Alos883005d ago (Edited 3005d ago )

Looks like Microsoft are giving it everything they've got to win the console arms race.

Projekt7tuning3005d ago

@ Alos88 ^^
Nice Pun. I give it a 7.5. + A bubble. Good job, we need more puns.LOL

3005d ago