Xenon - Xbox360 getting embedded DRAM confirmed. NEC will manufacture the eDRAM graphics chip


A

a link to the past

Xbox2 - Xenon - Xbox Next - Xbox360 is CONFIRMED to be getting eDRAM -
embedded DRAM memory for graphics. not embedded into the main ATI R5XX GPU,
but on a seperate framebuffer+anti-aliasing eDRAM graphics chip.

the main ATI V/GPU (R500 or R5xx) is still going to be manufactured by TSMC
in all likelyhood.



now about the seperate eDRAM + framebuffer chip:

http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=161600192

____________________________________________________
" NEC Electronics to deploy its DRAM in Microsoft's next XBox

Yoshiko Hara EE Times
(04/26/2005 9:11 AM EDT)
TOKYO - NEC Electronics Corp. announced that Microsoft Corp. has adopted its
embedded DRAM for the next generation XBox, the U.S. company's game console,
to be announced at E3 in Los Angeles next month.

The embedded DRAM will be used as a key piece of the graphics subsystem of
the game console. The device will be fabricated on NEC's most advanced
process, according to a company spokeswoman. She declined to detail the
device.

The production of the eDRAM graphics chip has started at NEC Electronics'
300-mm wafer fabrication facility, which is equipped with 90-nm process
technologies named UX6."

________________________________________


http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/8126/Xbox-360-Embedded-DRAM-Spec-Confirmed/

http://forum.teamxbox.com/showthread.php?p=5165335#post5165335

http://www.ga-forum.com/showthread.php?t=44845

http://www.ga-forum.com/showthread.php?t=44781&highlight=embedded

http://www.physorg.com/news3877.html

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/04-26-2005/0003486516&EDATE=

http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22348

http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22260
 
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A

a link to the past

NEC is also working with ATI to embedded some type of memory into the ATI
'Hollywood' graphics processor for Nintendo's 'Revolution' system
 
D

Doug

I still don't understand how the hell MS is going to implement all this in
the Xbox and still charge under $300.00. Unless MS is willing take a huge
loss on every sale of the Xbox it doesn't seem possible to me that the Xbox2
is going to sell for less than $500.00.
 
W

Walter Mitty

Doug said:
I still don't understand how the hell MS is going to implement all this in
the Xbox and still charge under $300.00. Unless MS is willing take a huge
loss on every sale of the Xbox it doesn't seem possible to me that the Xbox2
is going to sell for less than $500.00.
erm, like they did with the original XBox?
 
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R

Rob Stow

Walter said:
erm, like they did with the original XBox?

Short story version: "Economies of Scale".

Long version ...

Parts are a lot cheaper when you contract for millions of them.
I was once part of a group that bought 1400 hard drives - and my
per unit cost was 30% less than if I had only bought the 160 that
I needed. Imagine the deals you can swing when you are placing
an order for millions.

And then the manufacturing process will be a lot simpler for
making millions of identical XBoxes. No need to worry about
customizing each box according to the customer's desires as the
PC industry often has to do. Every XBox will have the same
motherboard, the same CPU, the same RAM, the same ..., - and they
will all be assembled the same way. Assembly lines will be
shorter and simpler and have more opportunities for automation.

There are similar savings to be had in the software installation,
testing, and packaging when there are millions of identical units.

As well, unlike a PC, the original XBox was not designed to be
easily and frequently opened up and upgraded and I doubt the new
XBox will be any different. There a significant savings to be
had from designing and manufacturing something that is intended
to be assembled and then closed up forever except for rare
occasions where servicing is necessary.



And after all that you still have to wonder if they need to make
a profit on the XBoxes. Selling at cost or even at a loss may be
acceptable to them if the games are where the expect to make
their profits. Bought an inkjet printer recently ?
 
D

Doug

Dell contracts for "millions of parts" and they don't have any PC's for less
than $500.00 so how is MS going to sell a MUCH more powerful system for
less?
 
A

abc

Doug said:
Dell contracts for "millions of parts" and they don't have any PC's for
less than $500.00 so how is MS going to sell a MUCH more powerful system
for less?
--


Well if x-box comes out before PS3 it will probably sell for more.
Remember that before x-box came out PS2s were dearer, then as soon as x-box
hit they matched prices.

Also these console make money from the games people buy for them not from
the hardware themselves.
 
D

Del Cecchi

Doug said:
Dell contracts for "millions of parts" and they don't have any PC's for
less than $500.00 so how is MS going to sell a MUCH more powerful system
for less?
--
BZZZZT, thanks for playing. Dell has of late been advertising a PC for USD
299, for example on the back cover of the supplement magazines that come in
the newspaper. I recently bought a 512MB, 3GHz/HT, 80GB SATA machine with a
19 inch LCD flat panel from Dell for USD 580 plus tax with free shipping.

I don't see how they do it.

del
 
J

john graesser

Doug said:
Dell contracts for "millions of parts" and they don't have any PC's for less
than $500.00 so how is MS going to sell a MUCH more powerful system for
less?

My link to dell/tv shows a pc for $298 (the offer they have on tv for $299).
If you expect to make the money back on software sales and licensing fees
for 3rd party software you can just about give the boxes away.

Perhaps they expect to make their money back by forcing all software to use
xboxlive. That way you are in effect renting the system.

AOL tried the same thing, I think it was last year, or perhaps the year
before. Give away PC's if you sign up for 3 years of AOL.
 
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H

Hans-Bernhard Broeker

[F'up2 reduced to one of 20 groups.]

In comp.arch.embedded Doug said:
Dell contracts for "millions of parts" and they don't have any PC's for less
than $500.00 so how is MS going to sell a MUCH more powerful system for
less?

By not making it a PC, for starters. And by cross-finanincing,
meaning they don't really care if they cut a loss on the sale of the
box --- the big money is in the licences for games, anyway, and every
Xbox sold means a bigger market to sell games to, and thus more profit
in the long run.
 
C

chrisv

Del said:
Dell has of late been advertising a PC for USD
299, for example on the back cover of the supplement magazines that come in
the newspaper. I recently bought a 512MB, 3GHz/HT, 80GB SATA machine with a
19 inch LCD flat panel from Dell for USD 580 plus tax with free shipping.

And once you wipe it clean of all the pre-installed crap, it may
actually be a decent machine. 8)
 
G

Grant Schoep

And once you wipe it clean of all the pre-installed crap, it may
actually be a decent machine. 8)

Two things here first this part of the thread. Building boxes this cheap
isn't that hard, especialy for someone who can buy in bulk like Dell.
Looking at these machines they are using lots of integration graphics and
the like. Stuff just ends up being pretty cheap. They throw in a flat panel
to make it look a bit better. Dell has a good corner in on flat panel sales
right now so they probably get great deals. These boxes aren't great, but
there nice for the the parent that want's to get their kid off their
computer.

Oh, and one thing Dell is actually fairly good about, they don't preinstall
much crap. Sure, they got the MSN/Dellnet crap on the boxes. There's a few
other stupid things like screen savers and that but not really stuff that
affects much. hey, It is always easier to just reinstall windows anyways!
when you first get the box.
 
W

Walter Mitty

Rob Stow wrote:
And after all that you still have to wonder if they need to make a
profit on the XBoxes. Selling at cost or even at a loss may be
acceptable to them if the games are where the expect to make their
profits. Bought an inkjet printer recently ?

This is not relevant : the fact is that they did sell the XBOX at a loss
in order to secure market etc. Yes, the inkjet analogy is a good one -
even if I didn't actually doubt it.
 
H

Herzog RTS

Doug said:
I still don't understand how the hell MS is going to implement all this in
the Xbox and still charge under $300.00. Unless MS is willing take a huge
loss on every sale of the Xbox it doesn't seem possible to me that the Xbox2
is going to sell for less than $500.00.


IMHO,
It is not hard to understand--what MS is putting into Xbox360 is
really not that outrageous for a next-gen console that will cost $250
to $300 (that's the reported price-point for the basic model). It's
getting a relatively simple multi-core PowerPC CPU (only 2 or 3
cores). an ATI R500 graphics chip, an EDRAM module, standard GDDR3
memory, NO harddrive in basic model (saves alot of $$$$)

what *SONY* is having implemented in the *PS3* , now *that* is pretty
damn outrageous. the completely new, unproven CELL processor with *9*
cores (1 PowerPC + 8 auxillary processors). the brand new Rambus
Yellowstone / XDR memory. new expensive Blu-Ray disc drive. totally
new Nvidia GPU based on an architecture we've never seen (well to be
fair, Xbox360's ATI R500 is a similarly new architecture though)


what MS is doing with Xbox360 is pretty standard fair, and basicly
in-line with then-new consoles of the past, like Gamecube, Dreamcast,
Nintendo64, Playstation1, etc. All of which had technology that
seemed too expensive to be put into a console before they came out.
 
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A

Andreas Eder

Grant Schoep said:
Oh, and one thing Dell is actually fairly good about, they don't preinstall
much crap. Sure, they got the MSN/Dellnet crap on the boxes. There's a few
other stupid things like screen savers and that but not really stuff that
affects much. hey, It is always easier to just reinstall windows anyways!
when you first get the box.

It would be better atill to install a real operating system instead of
reinstalling windows! :)

'Andreas
 
K

keith

IMHO,
It is not hard to understand--what MS is putting into Xbox360 is
really not that outrageous for a next-gen console that will cost $250
to $300 (that's the reported price-point for the basic model). It's
getting a relatively simple multi-core PowerPC CPU (only 2 or 3
cores).

Oh, my. Two or three cores is "relatively simple"? I think you should
tell AMD and Intel this. IITC, the price=sheet for AMD's dual core chip
showed something north of $1500.

an ATI R500 graphics chip,

No difference.
an EDRAM module, standard GDDR3 memory,

<yawn> DRAM is DRAM.

NO harddrive in basic model (saves alot of $$$$)

$40, tops. Good grief!

<snip>
 
P

Paul Keinanen

Oh, my. Two or three cores is "relatively simple"? I think you should
tell AMD and Intel this. IITC, the price=sheet for AMD's dual core chip
showed something north of $1500.

That is the list price, which can be quite arbitrary, but the price
paid by a very large customer reflects much more accurately the
production costs. The number of defect chips on a wafer is directly
proportional to the chip area (complexity).

Assuming that the dual core chip would be twice as large as a single
core chip, the number of dual core chips obtained from a wafer would
be one half of single core chips, thus the price would have to be
twice to cover the wafer costs. Further assuming that the yield for
the single core chips would be as low as 50 %, then the twice as big
dual core yield would only be 25 % and the dual core chip price would
again have to be doubled or be 4 times the single chip price to cover
the wafer costs.

However, the dual core chips have some circuitry in common, so the
area would not be twice as large for a double core chip and assuming a
higher yield for a single core chips (say 90 %), the yield for a twice
as large chips would still be quite acceptable (81 % in this case).
Thus, the manufacturing costs would only be about twice as high as a
single core chip.

From yield point of view, it makes much more sense to make multiple
simple cores on chips than a extremely complex single core with the
same chip area as the multicore chip. If there is a single defect in
the complex chip, the whole chip is lost. However, if a single core in
a multicore chip is defect, the defect chip is disabled and sold as a
single core chip. I would be very surprised, if any semiconductor
maker would design 3 core chips, but most likely these are originally
4 core chips, with one failed core, which are sold as 3 core chips
usually to some big customers at a greatly reduced price.

In the days of the first 16 kbit DRAMs, Intel apparently had problems
with making perfectly good 16 kbit chips, since they themselves made
large 1 Mbyte core memory rack replacement modules (with ECC) using
more than a thousand "8 kbit" chips, which in fact were failed 16 kbit
chips.

Also remember the 386SX/387 issue, in which at least with some early
mask versions of the 386SX it was in fact a 386DX mask with the
floating point processor disabled, apparently due to defects in the
FPP area, although later 386SX versions were made without the FPP in
the mask for the low cost market.

I have no idea, if AMD is using a similar strategy for these multicore
chips, but at least it would be logical to do so.

Paul
 
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K

Keith R. Williams

That is the list price, which can be quite arbitrary, but the price
paid by a very large customer reflects much more accurately the
production costs.

Baloney. No one sells silicon, particularly something with as much IP
in it as a processor, for anything close to "production costs", to
*ANYONE*. Selling at close to cost isn't a good way to pay the note on
a multi-billion dollar fab, a hundred million in engineers salaries,
while leaving enough to keep the stock holders happy.
The number of defect chips on a wafer is directly
proportional to the chip area (complexity).

Maybe, sorta. Good enough for a first swag, anyway. Large caches give
opportunities to change these simple rules somewhat. But that has
nothing to do with the issue at hand.

From yield point of view, it makes much more sense to make multiple
simple cores on chips than a extremely complex single core with the
same chip area as the multicore chip. If there is a single defect in
the complex chip, the whole chip is lost. However, if a single core in
a multicore chip is defect, the defect chip is disabled and sold as a
single core chip. I would be very surprised, if any semiconductor
maker would design 3 core chips, but most likely these are originally
4 core chips, with one failed core, which are sold as 3 core chips
usually to some big customers at a greatly reduced price.

Oh, so now they're going to increase the chip size yet again to add a
fourth core (and all the interconnect) knowing that they're going to
throw it away? Yikes! The cores we're talking about aren't a sq. mm.
In the days of the first 16 kbit DRAMs, Intel apparently had problems
with making perfectly good 16 kbit chips, since they themselves made
large 1 Mbyte core memory rack replacement modules (with ECC) using
more than a thousand "8 kbit" chips, which in fact were failed 16 kbit
chips.

Sure, partial-good strategies have been used for memories for a *long*
time, but memory <> processors. BTW, memory makers now use row/column
redundancy with fuses blown during test to replace defective
rows/columns.
Also remember the 386SX/387 issue, in which at least with some early
mask versions of the 386SX it was in fact a 386DX mask with the
floating point processor disabled, apparently due to defects in the
FPP area, although later 386SX versions were made without the FPP in
the mask for the low cost market.

I have no idea, if AMD is using a similar strategy for these multicore
chips, but at least it would be logical to do so.

Could be, but it's irrelevant to the issue at hand.
 

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