Xbox One system-on-chip packs more transistors than Tahiti GPU

By on August 28, 2013, 6:30 PM

Microsoft took the stage at the recent Hot Chips conference to dish out a little more dirt on the SoC that will power the Xbox One. While we’ve known for some time that the console will use a custom-designed AMD SoC with eight Jaguar CPU cores and integrated graphics, many of the fine details remained a mystery – until now.

As it turns out, the GPU inside the Xbox One is very similar to the Tahiti GPU that powers the Radeon HD 7970 in terms of sheer die size. Both components are built on a 28-nanometer process by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The Xbox One SoC is 363 mm² and contains five billion transistors while the Tahiti counterpart is 365 mm² in size and packs 4.3 billion transistors.

That information alone smashes some previous rumblings that the Xbox One’s SoC could be the largest chip ever produced. For reference, Nvidia’s GK110 GPU is loaded with 7.1 billion transistors and is 551 mm².  It won’t set any size records but it should still be rather impressive.

Microsoft also pointed out during the presentation that the chip will contain 47MB of internal storage. Elsewhere, the Xbox One will use DDR3 system memory instead of higher bandwidth GDDR5 that Sony is using in the PlayStation 4.

Microsoft will offset this decision by using some fast eSRAM on the SoC die, a move that isn’t uncommon for them as they essentially did the same thing with the Xbox 360. It’s also similar to what Intel did with Haswell by adding 128MB of eDRAM on the GT3e package as L4 cache. This helped them overcome bandwidth limitations of the CPU socket and provide some very impressive performance with regard to integrated graphics.




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1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

In before YeahButThePS4WillBeLikeWAYBetterBecauseISaidSo! arguments.

(sorry)

So do we know enough about the specs now to put together a list of materials to see if this thing is a decent value and/or being sold for less than buying the components individually?

2 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

In before YeahButThePCWillBeLikeWAYBetterBecauseISaidSo! arguments.
Fixed that for you, if you include my stand point. lol

MrAnderson said:

The value for both systems will come with the services. That is the new war for the graphics pushers.

Now that Nintendo has not set the tone for this generation loud enough that it would take either MS or Sony years to play catch-up... we now have to rely on the two gorilla's to do something interesting. It will be a battle of software services and digital downloads, and interfaces with our mobile devices.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Similar to an HD 7970...

I'm impressed.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

So that might explain why the Kaveri got pushed back.

JC713 JC713 said:

47MB of internal storage???

7 people like this | Guest said:

That article was worded in a quite misleading way ("the GPU inside the Xbox One is very similar to the Tahiti GPU"). The Xbox One APU will not get anywhere near Tahiti in graphics performance. The former is a chip with 768 stream processors and 48 TMUs, while Tahiti is a much larger GPU with up to 2048 stream processors and 128 TMUs. It means 166% higher floating-point performance over the Xbox One GPU at the same frequency (add to that the fact that the HD 7970 series run at higher frequencies).

It should be made clear that the die size is similar to Tahiti due to the CPU cores, integrated memory and other such structures (which Tahiti, a standalone GPU, doesn't have). That does NOT mean their graphics performance are similar.

Other than that, the article is great. I just think it's important to avoid confusion.

---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I agree 1000%, the article makes no mention of the transistor count the 8 CPU cores take up; as if they dont account for any transistors at all. Pretty lousy and one-angled from that perspective.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well Microsoft need to get some good advertising out, they obviously thought this was the way, disregarding the fact it was aimed at people like us who actually understand the specifications and know the transistor count isn't everything.

Since nothing has been mentioned, the PS4's graphics capability's are below:

32 ROPs

1152 Stream Processors

25.6 Gigapixel/sec

That's considerably higher and something at least first party game devs will take advantage of, I do fear multiplatform games won't take advantage of the higher spec though, I guess Ubisoft games will but I doubt EA games will.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Bah. These marketing chumps will jump on any advantage they see. It all means very little in reality but it helps impress & convince the lesser informed & not so tech types, they love big numbers and the bigger the better.

2 people like this | Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Burty

As far as I remember PS3 had much more horsepower under its hood, yet we know who ended up winning the last round of console wars. So, this time around, I do not see this changing by much anyway.

Secondly, I think the lower spec console is what generally developers will use as their template for their offerings, hence, reinforcing my first argument.

Lastly, it is all about services, and in this area Sony isn't going to be much of a threat to XO.

An interesting read just in case: [link]

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

With the PS4 and XB1 so close performance wise, I feel the war winner between the two is held within the hands of the game developer. I'd rather continue playing a few games from the 90's, than some of the titles that are put out today.

1 person liked this | amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

@Burty

As far as I remember PS3 had much more horsepower under its hood, yet we know who ended up winning the last round of console wars.

Who ended up winning the last round of console wars? The first xbox 360 was a piece of junk that forced consumers to buy a 2nd and sometimes 3rd console. It wasn't until a re-design that it became reliable.

As far as overall lifetime worldwide sales, the PS3 has sold more.

[link]

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

@Burty

As far as I remember PS3 had much more horsepower under its hood, yet we know who ended up winning the last round of console wars. So, this time around, I do not see this changing by much anyway.

Secondly, I think the lower spec console is what generally developers will use as their template for their offerings, hence, reinforcing my first argument.

Lastly, it is all about services, and in this area Sony isn't going to be much of a threat to XO.

An interesting read just in case: [link]

Aren't you the same guy who told me the Wii U is "on-par" spec wise with the next gen before they were even released?

Anyway comparing it to the PS3 is irrelevant, totally different architectures and this time round the PS4 has the easier architecture to code for. I would also like to draw your attention to the raft of Sony First Party games released that took advantage of the consoles power, The Last of Us and Killzone 2/3 were just graphical marvels for a console and pretty damn good games at that.

This time round however, the PS4 could seriously get decent third party support since it is going to be easier to code for.

Services will not be the deciding factor, plenty of people out there will go for the lower priced, better spec'ed and better first party games PS4 than the over priced, forced kinect and most features don't work without some kind of subscription & Geographically, a lot of stuff only works in the US.

As long as the PS4 does the normal, multiple streaming services and the like it is a perfectly awesome GAMES CONSOLE, the Xbox is a media machine in America and everywhere else its just a bad console.

I also don't want to even hear an argument about First Party games, It's completely opinion based, I owned an Xbox 360 since launch, last 2 years I've not really turned it on, only got myself a PS3 last week and so far the first party games are of better quality, or at least, personally I feel so.

Guest said:

Burty117, that isn't something that necessarily needs to be taken advantage of. Both consoles use the exact same GPU microarchitecture. If developers don't take advantage of the additional resources in the PS4 with higher graphics settings (that is, they use the same visual quality as the Xbox One), that will automatically result in higher framerates on the PS4.

cuerdc said:

Will there be ever a time when Xbox pc and PS will be able to play games chat share etc together. I'm probably aiming more to ps4 but be waiting a while 1st and would like to see who has best connectivity options to PC/mobile/nas/social etc.

MrAnderson said:

That article was worded in a quite misleading way ("the GPU inside the Xbox One is very similar to the Tahiti GPU" . The Xbox One APU will not get anywhere near Tahiti in graphics performance... It should be made clear that the die size is similar to Tahiti due to the CPU cores, integrated memory and other such structures (which Tahiti, a standalone GPU, doesn't have). That does NOT mean their graphics performance are similar.

Other than that, the article is great. I just think it's important to avoid confusion.

Perhaps they meant architecturally... but you make a great point, could mislead a lot of people. We should take much of what we read with a grain of salt anyhow.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

How would a console using GDDR5 for system memory be easier to code for over a console using DDR3?

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

How would a console using GDDR5 for system memory be easier to code for over a console using DDR3?

Xbox One has EDRAM to make-up for the bandwidth loss, but this would need to be accounted for and managed effectively code wise to make efficient use of it.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Xbox One has EDRAM to make-up for the bandwidth loss, but this would need to be accounted for and managed effectively code wise to make efficient use of it.

Developers have experience with coding for eDRAM on the 360 already. GDDR5 is totally new. And why would a console need that much system bandwidth before the PC? I think it may make things simpler, but at the same time, I think they are compensating for something by using it (on the PS4).

m4a4 m4a4 said:

@Burty

As far as I remember PS3 had much more horsepower under its hood, yet we know who ended up winning the last round of console wars.

Who ended up winning the last round of console wars? The first xbox 360 was a piece of junk that forced consumers to buy a 2nd and sometimes 3rd console. It wasn't until a re-design that is became reliable.

As far as overall liftime worldwide sales, the PS3 has sold more.

[link]

The consumers used warranty a couple times, yeah. But the PS3 also had it's bad apples. I personally am still on my first 360..

As for who won the last round of the console wars? It was as Burty said, the 360. Compare the marketshare from the original Xbox and the PS2 to the 360 and the PS3. They stole most of that in 1 generation. It was expected that the PS3 would come out on top (it kinda has in the long run), but it got dominated otherwise...

RenGood08 RenGood08 said:

Man. I'd rather have a 360.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

M4a4, Absolutely, Xbox 360 won this Generation regardless of console sales because PlayStation only just caught up this year and cross-platform games generally suffered majorly on the PS3 for the first few years.

But now that game devs are getting good at coding for the PS3 and it has a really good line up of first party games the PS3 is starting to shine, just a shame its too late! But still, for the price of the console now it's worth a purchase.

I don't think Sony was expecting Microsoft to come out like it did this Gen though, this time round Sony are sticking to their guns and making a fantastic gaming console and spent years talking to devs to make the PS4 easy to develop for and they've concentrated on the architecture in particular, Microsoft seem to have concentrated on Kinect and adding more features.

I wouldn't and I don't think a lot of people would mind this if the price was lower than the PS4's considering it's core architecture is considerably cheaper than the PS4's but it's not, it's kinda doing what the PS3 did when it launched, adding some new tech at a high price point, difference is, the Xbox doesn't have a performance advantage waiting to be unlocked over the PS4 and the Kinect is seen by 75% of people as useless, I came up with 75% based on how many Kinect's sold last gen, 24 million, compared to the Xbox 360's sales figures, which stands at nearly 80 million.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

The consumers used warranty a couple times, yeah. But the PS3 also had it's bad apples. ...

There were so many faulty first gen 360's I think that console went down as one of the worst built systems of all time, if not the worst.

Comparing the PS3 to the Xbox from a reliability standpoint makes the 360 look really really bad, so stop trying to make this a legit comparison.

As for who won the last round of the console wars? It was as Burty said, the 360.It was expected that the PS3 would come out on top (it kinda has in the long run), but it got dominated otherwise...

Your making constrasting statements.

Microsoft expended a lot of time and money fixing consoles. In cheesy fingers America xbox kiddies wanted thier Halo so for that reason alone the 360 sold very well, not to mention the original xbox was a huge hit so this carried over a large part of the market. Even so the PS3 has been by no means dominated by anything and is the leading selling console world wide. The PS3 had crappy launch titles, a huge launch price tag, a tacky interface compared to the 360's "console for dummies/kids" approach, and tougher to program-for hardware and it still did ok.

Personally I have no allegience with either since I own both, and from a core gaming/following standpoint in America the 360 is top dog, but there are many more factors to consider as well is all I am saying.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

There were so many faulty first gen 360's I think that console went down as one of the worst built systems of all time, if not the worst.

Comparing the PS3 to the Xbox from a reliability standpoint makes the 360 look really really bad, so stop trying to make this a legit comparison.

Huh? I never said that it wasn't poorly built. I merely made 2 statements since you made it seem like the consumers didn't use that warranty for a free 360 (or just a fix) and that the PS3 had a perfect launch -_-

Your making constrasting statements.

Microsoft expended a lot of time and money fixing consoles. In cheesy fingers America xbox kiddies wanted thier Halo so for that reason alone the 360 sold very well, not to mention the original xbox was a huge hit so this carried over a large part of the market. Even so the PS3 has been by no means dominated by anything and is the leading selling console world wide. The PS3 had crappy launch titles, a huge launch price tag, a tacky interface compared to the 360's "console for dummies/kids" approach, and tougher to program-for hardware and it still did ok.

Personally I have no allegience with either since I own both, and from a core gaming/following standpoint in America the 360 is top dog, but there are many more factors to consider as well is all I am saying.

How did I make contrasting statements? I said that the PS3 didn't win the last round because their marketshare lead got cut down too much (dominated) to consider it a "winner", even though it's slightly selling more than the 360. Again, (because you cut it out of you quoting me) compare the marketshare from the original Xbox and the PS2 to the 360 and the PS3 and you'll understand what I mean. It's too big of a jump...

Personally I have no allegience with either since I own both, and from a core gaming/following standpoint in America the 360 is top dog, but there are many more factors to consider as well is all I am saying.

And all I'm saying is that the PS3 didn't do as well as people would like to believe, considering all the factors. I don't like much bias any way you look at these things...

gingerbill said:

Amstech you really coming a cross as a Sony fan boy , calm down. No one can argue against the fact that the xbox360 won the last console war , it's market share was massively higher than anyone expected , compare xbox to PS2 market share , was a massive turn around. Plus the games were better on the xbox for a long time due to the hassle of devs having to learn the PS3. Not saying xbox360 was a better machine but Microsoft definitely won that battle.

Now the latest Ps3 games are great , they showing what it can do. thankfully Sony have learned from this and seem to be doing a great job on the Ps4. It's good to have a choice and fierce competition for us consumers.

1 person liked this | PC nerd PC nerd said:

PC master race.

Guest said:

Architecturally. The actual 7970 GPU completely outclasses the 1.2 Tflop GPU on the Xbone.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Amstech you really coming a cross as a Sony fan boy , calm down.

lol.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That Radeon HD 7970 is a nice looking chip. Nice capabilities, good power consumption, nice thermal results. I'm sure that it'll look fantastic in 1080P on a set at home. I also like the way the software runs in the XO. But, by it being so close to a PC counterpart, I can't help but thing that a PC built to run Steam's Big Picture would be more future proof with cheaper game titles.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Thanks for correcting me amstech, though, it appears it only overtook just couple of months ago, hence, my mistake.

Burty, I can't remember I made any such comment on Wii. Any reference would be much appreciated.

On price, I think Sony has been undercutting MS by stripping off features etc. e.g. just to slash price of PS4, Sony went ahead with fracturing its platform by selling play station camera separately. And I think in the quoted article in my first post, the writer is pretty much spot on that this gives MS an advantage (provided the developers take advantage of it, which I suspect, most will). Don't forget HDMI pass-through functionality as well. Overall, or as a whole, XO seems to be a better package, it only lacks in performance department and that too not by too much.

No matter what both companies pitch to get customers, a console which will provide best value / experience to customers will obviously get more business.

1 person liked this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

On price, I think Sony has been undercutting MS by stripping off features etc. e.g. just to slash price of PS4, Sony went ahead with fracturing its platform by selling play station camera separately.

Alternatively you can see that as Sony not forcing peripherals people don't want on them and save some $$$.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Burty, I can't remember I made any such comment on Wii. Any reference would be much appreciated.

Sorry my bad, it was Sunny87 who was arguing with me that the Wii U was definitely going to be on par with PS4 and Xbox One, How wrong he was xD.

I think in the quoted article in my first post, the writer is pretty much spot on that this gives MS an advantage (provided the developers take advantage of it, which I suspect, most will). Don't forget HDMI pass-through functionality as well. Overall, or as a whole, XO seems to be a better package, it only lacks in performance department and that too not by too much.

No matter what both companies pitch to get customers, a console which will provide best value / experience to customers will obviously get more business.

And I am damn well ready to place a bet from the off that the PS4 will be the bigger seller this time round. Sure, in America, it may be a great hit because all the "features" work and is cheaper than its global counter parts.

While the rest of the world will pay more for Xbox Live and lose features which they are paying for via Xbox Live subscription. If 75% of people didn't buy a Kinect the first time round, forcing them to buy it as part of the package isn't going to convince them more.While the PS4 will have prettier graphics at a lower price point and if the PS3 is anything to go by will have an extremely good First Party selection of games in a year or two.

If your into dance or party games you can still get a camera, sure it's tracking won't be as accurate but they're god damn party games, how accurate does it need to be?

Guest said:

Man I love this topic.

Reminds me of when my kids were both in their pre teen years.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Here we go.

[link]

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Alternatively you can see that as Sony not forcing peripherals people don't want on them and save some $$$.

How so? Both require new peripherals do they not? (Controllers, charge stands, cameras, motion sensors, etc...)

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

How so? Both require new peripherals do they not? (Controllers, charge stands, cameras, motion sensors, etc...)

You pay for the Kinect whether you want it or not for example. The Kinect is not required for everything.

photonboy said:

@Burty

As far as I remember PS3 had much more horsepower under its hood, yet we know who ended up winning the last round of console wars. So, this time around, I do not see this changing by much anyway.

Secondly, I think the lower spec console is what generally developers will use as their template for their offerings, hence, reinforcing my first argument.

Lastly, it is all about services, and in this area Sony isn't going to be much of a threat to XO.

An interesting read just in case: [link]

The PS3 had a unique architecture which was rarely utilized fully as it was hard to code for. The PS4 and XBOX ONE use nearly identical architectures based on the well understood PC components. The PS4 will perform better. The problem then is does the XBOX ONE run the same game at 60FPS with reduced quality, or worse run at the same quality but lower frame rate (probably 60FPS with reduced quality).

There are Pros and Cons to both consoles so it's not clear cut. I actually was set on buying the XBONE before the specs were released; I will definitely wait as I'm in no rush, but if it turns out the PS4 is significantly better (by possibly 30% or so) it's my choice as I don't care about Kinect features or Cable/Satellite connectivity.

I am however used to the XBOX 360 controller on PC so this is all a little disappointing. Perhaps I'll stay on PC exclusively, get the new XBONE controller in 2014 and upgrade my graphics card to a GTX980 4GB in two years.

1 person liked this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

the Kinect is seen by 75% of people as useless, I came up with 75% based on how many Kinect's sold last gen, 24 million, compared to the Xbox 360's sales figures, which stands at nearly 80 million.

Mmm I'm thinking intuitively it would be more people than 75% - I wonder how many people bought it and think it is useless? Or don't use it at all in which case it may as well be considered useless.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

And yet its still not as powerful as the PS4 and thus does not command my attention. Actually nothing about xbox does, they might have reversed their DRM decisions and their hardware isn't bad in terms of how inferior a console is to a PC but PS4 has everything and more I'd need from a console.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Mmm I'm thinking intuitively it would be more people than 75% - I wonder how many people bought it and think it is useless? Or don't use it at all in which case it may as well be considered useless.

Absolutely, I agree, however I was giving the Xbox fans here some core hard facts that you can stand up for the Kinect all you want but fact remains it wasn't bought all that much and yeah, I do know people who bought one and think it's useless, my brother is one of them for example. But an Xbox fan will argue it sold well, I was just putting it into perspective for them. Plus the sales figures quoted were also PC version sales combined with Xbox versions so it's in fact considerably less than 75%.

God I hope Xbox One falls flat on its face after the initial launch just so they wise up and sell a version without the blasted thing, it would lower the price below PS4 and make all the dashboard changes and DRM changes worth it.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I posted all the sales numbers and facts of every console ever made on my last post with a link to the best console infographic I have ever seen.

At the bottom are some cool facts about the first console ever made, as well as the quickest to sell 1 million in the US(Wii I believe).

The PS3 and 360 have very similar sales numbers (even though the PS3 was WWAAAYYY more reliable), which was the only point I was trying to make.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Yeah it was a good Infographic, The sales figures have changed since it was created and the PS3 does have a slight lead now over the 360 now though.

Anyway I found this very interesting, vgchartz has got hold of the number of pre-orders on a per-game bases for the US, not only is the PS4 out-selling the Xbox One by almost double, what was even more staggering is that "Titanfall" the only game any Xbox Fanboy goes on about as its "great exclusive" is the lowest pre-ordered in the chart with only 27 thousand odd.

[link]

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