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IBM Working On Custom Xbox Chip

IBM Corp. said that a custom processor designed for the Xbox 360 console is in production at the company's East Fishkill, New York, wafer fab and at a fab belonging to Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing in Singapore.
LONDON — IBM Corp. said that a custom processor designed for the Xbox 360 console is in production at the company's East Fishkill, New York, wafer fab and at a fab belonging to Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing in Singapore.

The chip includes three 64-bit PowerPC processor cores. Each can support two processing threads simultaneously and operate at clock frequencies of up to 3.2-GHz. The integrated circuit links together 165 million transistors and is being fabricated using IBM's 90 nanometer silicon-on-insulator (SOI) manufacturing process, the company said.

Xbox 360 is the latest games console set to come from Microsoft.

The chip, which does not appear to have a name, includes 1-Mbyte of shared secondary cache memory and an off-chip bus able to operate at 5.4-Gbits per second per pin which amounts to an aggregated bandwidth of 21-6-Gbytes per second.

“Microsoft's aggressive timetable required that IBM take the Xbox 360 chip design from concept to full execution in just 24 months,” said Ilan Spillinger, IBM Distinguished Engineer and director of the IBM Design Center for Xbox 360, in a statement.