A new report claims that AMD has developed a smaller, chepaer 20nm version of the CPU found in Xbox One. Such processor may allow Microsoft to release a slimmer and cheaper Xbox One. LinkedIn pages of AMD’s senior manager of SOC physical design describes that he “successfully planned and executed the first APU for Microsoft’s Xbox One Game Console in 28nm technology and a cost-reduced derivative in 20nm technology.” TSMC which makes Xbox One thinks that shrinking down the same chip provides 30 per cent higher speed or 25 per cent less power than the existing processor, at 1.9 times the density.
The main processor inside Xbox One is one of its most expensive components, with the current 28nm version estimated to cost Microsoft something in the region of $50 per chip. Physically reducing the size by 1.9x means more processors can fit onto the silicon wafers used in production, lowering costs. We can safely assume Microsoft’s objectives with the revised processor will be to provide exactly the same performance as the current model (a 30 per cent performance boost offered by the smaller chip is an intriguing thought, but unlikely to materialise), while the reduced power consumption makes for a cooler, more efficient console.
This opens the door to a much smaller cooling assembly and a thinner chassis, which in turn leads to cost benefits throughout the whole manufacturing and distribution process – smaller consoles means less packaging, meaning cost savings in physically shipping the units out from China to retail markets worldwide.
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