Microsoft might be working on a more efficient Xbox Series X chip
This new chip would consume less power and run cooler, but don't expect any performance gainsBy Joao Silva 8 comments
In brief: Despite being a capable system, the Xbox Series X could be better with a few adjustments. One way to do it would be improving the console SoC's efficiency, something that a recent report claims Microsoft is already doing.
Since Microsoft finalized the Xbox Series X design, which probably happened about a year or more before the console actually shipped, semiconductor technology has improved. What was new back then isn't up-to-date now. That's just how technology works.
Microsoft is certainly aware of this, hence why it's probably developing new chip revisions for the Xbox Series consoles as we speak. Sometimes, these revisions only result in cost optimizations for the company, but there are cases where users can directly benefit from them.
Brad Sams, a journalist known for his work around Microsoft products, stated Microsoft has been working on the latter type. Unfortunately, we won't likely see any performance improvements or new features. However, the journalist believes this new chip revision will improve efficiency and run cooler.
To improve the chip's efficiency, the first thing that comes to mind would be migrating SoC production from TSMC's N7 node to N6. As TSMC had previously stated, migrating a product between these two nodes is relatively easy as they are both based on the same IP and development ecosystem.
Also Read: Xbox Series S vs Series X spec-by-spec comparison
Compared to N7, the N6 node offers an 18 percent increase in transistor density while shrinking the die up to 15 percent. In loose terms, Microsoft could reduce the size of the die and maintain its performance and power requirements, maintain the size and reduce power consumption, or something in between.
A new chip revision could also mean we will get a new design. Considering the new chip revision would run cooler, Microsoft could redesign the console to be smaller, similar to what it did with the Xbox 360 variants that came after the original and Xbox One S.
As the Series consoles are about to celebrate their second anniversary, we don't expect to see new models of the Xbox Series consoles anytime soon. However, by their third or fourth anniversary, there should be more than enough reason for Microsoft to revamp its console lineup.
Masthead credit: Billy Freeman