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TSMC gets contract to manufacture Xbox 2 GPU

Discussion in 'ATI' started by R420, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. R420

    R420 Guest

    TSMC will get the job of manufacturing the ATI-designed graphics processor
    for Xbox 2, aka Xbox Next, aka Xenon.


    _____________________________________________________________________
    http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/5630/TSMC-To-Manufacture-Xbox-2-Chips
    _____________________________________________________________________

    TSMC To Manufacture Xbox 2 Chips
    By: César A. Berardini - "Cesar"
    Apr. 6th, 2004 06:00 am


    Microsoft Corporation and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)
    have reached an agreement for TSMC to provide semiconductor manufacturing
    services for "Microsoft's future Xbox products".

    The breakthrough agreement expands an ongoing relationship between the two
    companies by providing Microsoft with direct, collaborative access to TSMC's
    advanced semiconductor process technologies.

    "TSMC has consistently demonstrated industry leadership in the development
    and deployment of highly advanced semiconductor process technologies for
    high-volume manufacturing," said Todd Holmdahl, Xbox General Manager of
    Microsoft Corporation. "It was this solid record of achievement that led us
    to work directly with TSMC on semiconductors targeted to our future game
    consoles products."

    Founded in 1987, TSMC is the largest semiconductor foundry in the world,
    specializing in manufacturing semiconductors for its customers in a wide
    variety of end markets. Its foundry services also include a broad range of
    silicon-proven intellectual property cores and tight integration with
    leading electronic design automation (EDA) design tools that allow chip
    designers to achieve faster time-to-volume.

    "Microsoft's future Xbox products and services will require leading-edge
    semiconductor technologies," said Dr. Rick Tsai, president of TSMC. "This
    agreement underscores the importance of a partnership between the two
    companies to identify the best technology platforms for Microsoft's future
    products. We look forward to a long and productive collaboration with
    Microsoft."


    What All This Means

    Microsoft Corp. has licensed so far microchip technology from IBM Corp. and
    ATI Technologies Inc with SiS selected as the chipset contractor. Today's
    announcement regarding the partnership with TSMC does no other thing but
    confirm that Microsoft is becoming a "fabless" company, a term used to
    describe those companies who design their chips but have another company to
    build them.

    Both Microsoft's deals with IBM and ATI are similar to those both companies
    already have with Sony and Nintendo, respectively. IBM & ATI provide
    customized technology for the Xbox successor and, in exchange, they will
    receive royalties. That's different from today's model where nVIDIA's Xbox
    revenues comes from selling chips to Microsoft.
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    ___

    ____________________________________________________________________________
    ___
    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=15200
    Microsoft, TSMC to collaborate on Xbox 2

    Put a SOC in it


    By INQUIRER staff: Tuesday 06 April 2004, 12:57

    CHIP FOUNDRY TSMC and Microsoft issued a statement today saying they will
    collaborate on future Xbox technology.
    Although the two companies were slim on details of the deal, the move will
    give Microsoft access to TSMC's Nexsys technology for systems on a chip
    (SOC).

    Microsoft, said TSMC, "will be given direct collaborative access" to its
    process technology.

    No financial details were given.

    Nexsys, however, is TSMC's 90 nanometre proces technology, which offers a
    triple gate oxide feature, and which it claims will allow it to establish
    the SOC technology standard. µ

    _____________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________

    http://www.adr.com/adr?page=adrnews&formtype=4&level=C&prod=RT&mdate=2004040
    6&mseq=4981669

    UPDATE 1-Taiwan's TSMC to make chips for Microsoft Xbox (REUTERS)
    Updated: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 06:23AM ET

    UPDATE 1-Taiwan's TSMC to make chips for Microsoft Xbox

    (Adds details)

    TAIPEI, April 6 (Reuters) - TSMC <2330.TW>, the world's largest contract
    maker of semiconductors, will make chips for future Microsoft Xbox game
    consoles, the two companies said on Tuesday.

    The agreement expands an existing relationship and allows Taiwan
    Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) to directly provide Microsoft with the
    most advanced semiconductor process technologies, they said in a joint
    statement.

    No other details were immediately available.

    TSMC now has a contract to make graphics chips for the second generation of
    Xbox game consoles through Canada's ATI Technologies Inc , the world's
    second-largest graphics chip maker.

    Microsoft signed that deal with ATI, which outsourced manufacturing to TSMC.
    The next generation of Xbox is set for release late in 2005.

    The latest agreement was signed directly by Microsoft and the Taiwan
    company, said TSMC spokesman Tzeng Jinn-haw. He declined to give a dollar
    value for the contract.

    The announcement came after the close of Taiwan trade on Tuesday. The
    Taipei-traded shares of TSMC, which is one-fifth-owned by the Netherlands'
    Philips Electronics N.V. ended flat at T$62.0 each.

    Last month, Microsoft lowered the price of the Xbox to $149.99 from $179.99,
    a move seen as a change in strategy. Microsoft previously cut the Xbox price
    only after similar cuts from industry leader Sony Corp <6758.T> on the
    PlayStation 2.

    ATI focuses on designing chips used to compute complex three-dimensional
    graphics for computer games, but outsources the actual microchip production
    to companies like TSMC.
    _________________________________________________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________________

    http://www.tsmc.com.tw/tsmcdotcom/PRListingNewsAction.do?action=detail&LANG=
    E&newsid=1500&newsdate=2004/04/06

    TSMC to Supply Products and Services for Future Microsoft Game Consoles

    Manufacturing Pact Gives Microsoft Access to Advanced Nexsys(SM) Technology
    for SoC


    Issued by: Microsoft Corporation and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing
    Company
    Issued on: 2004/04/06



    Hsin-Chu, Taiwan - April 6, 2004 - Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) and Taiwan
    Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM) have reached an agreement for
    TSMC to provide semiconductor manufacturing services for Microsoft's future
    Xbox products.

    The breakthrough agreement expands an ongoing relationship between the two
    companies by providing Microsoft with direct, collaborative access to TSMC's
    advanced semiconductor process technologies.

    "TSMC has consistently demonstrated industry leadership in the development
    and deployment of highly advanced semiconductor process technologies for
    high-volume manufacturing," said Todd Holmdahl, Xbox General Manager of
    Microsoft Corporation. "It was this solid record of achievement that led us
    to work directly with TSMC on semiconductors targeted to our future game
    consoles products."

    Founded in 1987, TSMC is the largest semiconductor foundry in the world,
    specializing in manufacturing semiconductors for its customers in a wide
    variety of end markets. Its foundry services also include a broad range of
    silicon-proven intellectual property cores and tight integration with
    leading electronic design automation (EDA) design tools that allow chip
    designers to achieve faster time-to-volume.

    "Microsoft's future Xbox products and services will require leading-edge
    semiconductor technologies," said Dr. Rick Tsai, president of TSMC. "This
    agreement underscores the importance of a partnership between the two
    companies to identify the best technology platforms for Microsoft's future
    products. We look forward to a long and productive collaboration with
    Microsoft."

    ___________________________________________________________________________




    ____________________________________________________________________________

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=569&ncid=738&e=7&u=/nm/20040
    406/tc_nm/tech_taiwan_tsmc_dc
    Taiwan's TSMC to Make Chips for Microsoft Xbox
    2 hours, 42 minutes ago Add Technology - Reuters to My Yahoo!



    TAIPEI (Reuters) - TSMC (2330.TW), the world's largest contract maker of
    semiconductors, will make chips for future Microsoft (NasdaqNM:MSFT - news)
    Xbox (news - web sites) game consoles, the two companies said on Tuesday.



    The agreement expands an existing relationship and allows Taiwan
    Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) (NYSE:TSM - news) to directly provide
    Microsoft with the most advanced semiconductor process technologies, they
    said in a joint statement.


    No other details were immediately available.


    TSMC now has a contract to make graphics chips for the second generation of
    Xbox game consoles through Canada's ATI Technologies Inc (Toronto:ATY.TO -
    news), the world's second-largest graphics chip maker.


    Microsoft signed that deal with ATI, which outsourced manufacturing to TSMC.
    The next generation of Xbox is set for release late in 2005.


    The latest agreement was signed directly by Microsoft and the Taiwan
    company, said TSMC spokesman Tzeng Jinn-haw. He declined to give a dollar
    value for the contract.


    The announcement came after the close of Taiwan trade on Tuesday. The
    Taipei-traded shares of TSMC, which is one-fifth-owned by the Netherlands'
    Philips Electronics N.V. (PHG.AS) ended flat at T$62.0 each.


    Last month, Microsoft lowered the price of the Xbox to $149.99 from $179.99,
    a move seen as a change in strategy. Microsoft previously cut the Xbox price
    only after similar cuts from industry leader Sony Corp (news - web sites)
    (6758.T) on the PlayStation 2 (news - web sites).


    ATI focuses on designing chips used to compute complex three-dimensional
    graphics for computer games, but outsources the actual microchip production
    to companies like TSMC. (US$=T$33.0)
     
    R420, Apr 6, 2004
    #1
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  2. R420

    K Guest

    Sounds good for ATI but you have to remember that it was because of
    Nvidia's devotion of resources to Xbox 1 that they dropped the ball on
    their consumer PC graphics cards, something that Nvidia are only just
    recovering from. That is probably why Nvidia weren't so keen on playing
    the Xbox 2 gig. High volume but very low margin, Xbox 2 is only worth
    bragging rights for whoever makes the GPU, and NV have long since realised
    that it's not worth it, especially dealing with MS who attempted to bleed
    them dry over the pricing.

    K
     
    K, Apr 6, 2004
    #2
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  3. R420

    Eric Pobirs Guest


    Simply untrue. The problems with the FX series of GPUs had absolutely
    nothing to do with the Xbox project. The major work on those chips didn't
    even begin until after the XGPU was in production. There was an entire
    generation of NVIDIA GPU's, GeForce4, that came directly on the heels of the
    XGPU and are largely improved PC versions of that part with additional
    features. Likewise the other major IC in the Xbox supplied by NVIDIA is
    almost entirely encompassed by the equivalent part in their Nforce chipset
    for PC motherboards.

    There is nothing in the Xbox that wasn't part of NVIDIA's existing path.

    NVIDIA's complaint was solely about sales. The failure of the Xbox to
    sell in much greater numbers than it did and Microsoft's continuing attempts
    to negotiate lower prices for the chips, reducing the potential profit still
    more. If the early volumes had been there would have been little problem and
    continuing investment for a cost reducing die shrink would have been
    justified. This would have advantages beyond the cost of the chips
    themselves since the reduce power draw and heat would allow for a revisions
    to the rest of the Xbox to reduce cost and size thus making the product
    attractive to a wider audience.

    The FX series of GPUs represent a massive increase in complexity and
    transistor counts over the GeForce4. NVIDIA tried to mitigate the resulting
    issues by moving to a smaller manufacturing process level but found that
    combining that transition with the difficulties already presented by the
    DirectX 9 class technology only made matters worse. ATI avoided this by
    sticking with their current dependable process and living with a monster
    die size. Another factor was that NVIDIA chose to include some higher-end
    features that had little bearing on the consumer market. This gave them and
    edge in their version of the chip targeting the engineering and workstation
    markets but also increased the transistor count. ATI chose to favor the
    consumer market and had a design that was manageable, albeit on the bulky
    side. They saved the inevitable transition to a smaller process level until
    after they'd gotten dependable yields on this class of chip from the current
    manufacturing process.

    ATI is not oblivious to what happened between Microsoft and NVIDIA. You
    can be sure those issue loomed large in the negotiations for the Xbox-2
    parts.
     
    Eric Pobirs, Apr 6, 2004
    #3
  4. R420

    wg Guest

    Will the chips be made in TSMC's new plant in the US?
     
    wg, Apr 7, 2004
    #4
  5. R420

    R420 Guest



    Well said, Eric.

    I pretty much completely agree with what you've said above.
     
    R420, Apr 7, 2004
    #5
  6. R420

    R420 Guest

    no idea on that.
     
    R420, Apr 8, 2004
    #6
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