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

Discussion in 'Nvidia' started by a link to the past, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. 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:


    " 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

    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."









    a link to the past, Apr 27, 2005
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  2. NEC is also working with ATI to embedded some type of memory into the ATI
    'Hollywood' graphics processor for Nintendo's 'Revolution' system
    a link to the past, Apr 27, 2005
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  3. ahem, I meant 'embed' not 'embedded' ...excuse the typo :)
    a link to the past, Apr 27, 2005
  4. a link to the past

    Doug Guest

    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.
    Doug, Apr 27, 2005
  5. a link to the past

    jack Guest

    <snip crap>

    X-posting, idiot troll. Plonk!

    jack, Apr 27, 2005
  6. a link to the past

    Walter Mitty Guest

    erm, like they did with the original XBox?
    Walter Mitty, Apr 28, 2005
  7. a link to the past

    Rob Stow Guest

    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 ?
    Rob Stow, Apr 28, 2005
  8. a link to the past

    Doug Guest

    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
    Doug, Apr 29, 2005
  9. a link to the past

    abc Guest

    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.
    abc, Apr 29, 2005
  10. a link to the past

    Del Cecchi Guest

    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 Cecchi, Apr 29, 2005
  11. 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.
    john graesser, Apr 29, 2005
  12. [F'up2 reduced to one of 20 groups.]

    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.
    Hans-Bernhard Broeker, May 1, 2005
  13. a link to the past

    chrisv Guest

    And once you wipe it clean of all the pre-installed crap, it may
    actually be a decent machine. 8)
    chrisv, May 3, 2005
  14. a link to the past

    Grant Schoep Guest

    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

    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.
    Grant Schoep, May 4, 2005
  15. a link to the past

    Walter Mitty Guest

    Rob Stow wrote:
    And after all that you still have to wonder if they need to make a
    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.
    Walter Mitty, May 4, 2005
  16. a link to the past

    Herzog RTS Guest

    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.
    Herzog RTS, May 5, 2005
  17. a link to the past

    Andreas Eder Guest

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

    Andreas Eder, May 5, 2005
  18. a link to the past

    keith Guest

    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.
    <yawn> DRAM is DRAM.

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

    $40, tops. Good grief!

    keith, May 6, 2005
  19. 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

    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 Keinanen, May 6, 2005
  20. 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.
    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.

    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.
    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
    Could be, but it's irrelevant to the issue at hand.
    Keith R. Williams, May 6, 2005
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