XBox 2 SDK released

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
http://theinquirer.org/?article=14407





Xbox 2 SDK released on cool Apple Power Mac G5s



It comes to pass





By Paul Dutton: zaterdag 28 februari 2004, 15:59









WE'VE JUST got word that the Software Development Kit (SDK) for Microsoft?s forthcoming Xbox 2 has now been released to Developers.



As we reported earlier, IBM processors are indeed the Xbox 2 development platform of choice.



The big news to us is that the XBOX 2 SDK has been seeded to developers on dual Apple Power Mac G5 systems running a custom Windows NT Kernel.



The Apple Power Mac G5 is based upon two of IBM?s 64-bit Power PC processors and features ATi RADEON 9800 Pro (R350) graphics. However the R350 is believed to be an interim solution and will, in due course, be superseded by the forthcoming ATI R420.



Interestingly the SDK apparently also features an Apple logo on a side bar within the application.



What we don?t yet know is whether the custom Windows NT Kernel for the 64-bit capable IBM Power PC processors is 64-bit or 32-bit.



Though as ATI is so clearly behind with even its iAMD64 device drivers for both Intel and AMD x86-64 platforms, we suspect that it?s 32-bit.



Let us know if you know. µ
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally posted by fieldor

    What we don?t yet know is whether the custom Windows NT Kernel for the 64-bit capable IBM Power PC processors is 64-bit or 32-bit.





    Well since the machine will have considerably less than 4 GB of RAM and no hard disk, it doesn't seem to make much sense to waste memory on 8 byte pointers when 4 will do just fine. The processors are 64-bit, but don't count on ever seeing a 64-bit OS for it.
  • Reply 2 of 47
    smirclesmircle Posts: 1,035member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by fieldor

    http://theinquirer.org/?article=14407





    Xbox 2 SDK released on cool Apple Power Mac G5s




    Wow, this is completely mind-boggling. Never in my live would I have expected MS to release an XBox SDK that actually uses a PowerMac. This is so strangely unideologic, completely unlike MS. Especially considering how Apple treats the Mac BU ...



    This _is_ a swift kick to intels nuts too - for reasons I don't quite understand, MS does not seem to have too much faith in intels (or AMDs for that matter) capability to deliver a cool, cheap, and powerful chip.



    Hell just considerably cooled, I think.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    I think it's weird that Microsoft has a version of windows already running on the G5. It's like a just in case scenario. Just in case that G5 thing blows the doors off intel? That would suck having windows on the same processors as our beloved OS. Maybe the GHz was has been won? By IBM. Justice!!!!!!!!!
  • Reply 4 of 47
    3.14163.1416 Posts: 120member
    Quote:

    This _is_ a swift kick to intels nuts too



    Indeed. I believe this bodes very well for future Macs. Microsoft undoubtedly has information that we don't, and they've decided that IBM's processor roadmap is not only better than the x86 alternative, but so much better that it justifies making a major architecture switch.
  • Reply 5 of 47
    Not too surprising really. MS had NT running on PowerPC processors early on - along wtih MIPS and Alpha (I actually had an Alpha at one point that ran NT 3.51). So, getting it running on a G5 should have been pretty simple, all they really needed to do was write drivers for the devices. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the kernel is still the old 3.5 kernel - I don't think the RISC versions of NT ever made it to NT 4.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    I think it's weird that Microsoft has a version of windows already running on the G5. It's like a just in case scenario. Just in case that G5 thing blows the doors off intel? That would suck having windows on the same processors as our beloved OS. Maybe the GHz was has been won? By IBM. Justice!!!!!!!!!



  • Reply 6 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally posted by 3.1416

    Indeed. I believe this bodes very well for future Macs. Microsoft undoubtedly has information that we don't, and they've decided that IBM's processor roadmap is not only better than the x86 alternative, but so much better that it justifies making a major architecture switch.



    while i'd love to believe this (Microsoft having more info regarding roadmap, etc) I doubt it. They may have some assurances from IBM that "the future looks good", and a more detailed view of all the various options for foundry work, i doubt IBM would be stupid enough to let any real info out to MS.



    MS's choice seems to me most strongly motivated by things we all know:

    1) IBM has HUGE new foundry capability

    2) IBM needs to use some of that

    3) IBM is clearly leading the process shift (130->90)

    4) IBM leads Intel and AMD in efficiency, SMT, etc.

    5) Competition will stir up innovation, which leads to increased MS sales (OS, software, and now hardware (home routers, etc.)).



    Do you really think MS needs any 'extra' info to make the PowerPC choice?
  • Reply 7 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally posted by concentricity

    Do you really think MS needs any 'extra' info to make the PowerPC choice?



    I am 100% positive that MS knows quite a bit more than is publicly known regarding IBM's current and upcoming PowerPC technology, fabs and process tech.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Programmer

    I am 100% positive that MS knows quite a bit more than is publicly known regarding IBM's current and upcoming PowerPC technology, fabs and process tech.



    100%?
  • Reply 9 of 47
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by concentricity

    while i'd love to believe this (Microsoft having more info regarding roadmap, etc) I doubt it. They may have some assurances from IBM that "the future looks good", and a more detailed view of all the various options for foundry work, i doubt IBM would be stupid enough to let any real info out to MS.



    You're kidding right?!?!



    IBM's PPC division is in the business of SELLING CPUs... If a MAJOR client can be SOLD to make the switch to the PPC then IBM's sales force most assuredly is providing AS MUCH detail as it can to close the deal.



    This specific quote really made me laugh... "They may have some assurances from IBM that "the future looks good"... "



    Ummm do you really think those types of fluff answers would be accepted by a customer the caliber of Microsoft? Hell no, this isn't some keynote address this is a MAJOR business deal for BOTH parties! A PPC based XBOX II in short means a TOTAL redesign of just about everything the XBOX was. Talk about starting from square one! if changing the CPU and motherboard isn't doing just that then I don't know what is...



    Trust me... Microsoft has TONS and TONS of 'REAL INFO' on the PPC line - and after all why shouldn't they? IBM's PPC group is NOT in competition with MS in any way shape or form... Oh and don't start quoting old deals gone bad between IBM and MS - DOS / Windows / OS/2 etc etc etc... That was then and this is now... unlike people a company will move on much more quickly since after all. 'business is business'.



    "the future looks good"



    Sorry but that cracks me up...



    Dave
  • Reply 10 of 47
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,912member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by concentricity

    while i'd love to believe this (Microsoft having more info regarding roadmap, etc) I doubt it. They may have some assurances from IBM that "the future looks good", and a more detailed view of all the various options for foundry work, i doubt IBM would be stupid enough to let any real info out to MS.







    I have to believe it. The switch to PPC would be a major change for the XBOX, it owuld not be something done without significant consideration.



    In most industries it is fairly common to get significant information about new products years in advance. The significance and accuracy of that information becomes more accurate as the release dates near. In any event the whole point of NDA is to get buy ins before a product is released. The goal being to assurre market success.

    Quote:



    MS's choice seems to me most strongly motivated by things we all know:

    1) IBM has HUGE new foundry capability

    2) IBM needs to use some of that

    3) IBM is clearly leading the process shift (130->90)



    I would not be surprised to find out that IBM has demoed their 60nm process to microsoft and demonstrated significant advantage with the process.

    Quote:

    4) IBM leads Intel and AMD in efficiency, SMT, etc.

    5) Competition will stir up innovation, which leads to increased MS sales (OS, software, and now hardware (home routers, etc.)).



    In this case the competition is other set top boxes. Here MS has had problems and if the rumored machines form the other manufactures materialize will have problems in the future. MS needs a platform that would be competitive, nothing from intel fills the bill and AMD is slightly behind with 90nm.



    So I don't see it as stirring up the competition, more so I see it as responding to the competition. A slight difference in my mind.

    Quote:



    Do you really think MS needs any 'extra' info to make the PowerPC choice?



  • Reply 11 of 47
    fotnsfotns Posts: 301member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kiwi-in-dc

    I don't think the RISC versions of NT ever made it to NT 4.



    The PowerPC version made it to 4.0.
  • Reply 12 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally posted by DaveGee

    You're kidding right?!?!



    you both completely missed the point of my post...IBM (or any other company in a highly competetive marketplace where intellectual property is crucial, and easily "stolen" and reused) is only going to give up the bare minimum of details required to 'get the sale'. I was specifically responding to the assertion that MS picked IBM because MS has intimate detail of IBM's long-range processor plans. that's f-ing absurd! MS knows only what they need to know to make the decision, which, from what i explained in the list, is not much more than what we "know" either from reports or fairly mainstream rumors. Has MS seen IBM 65nm parts? Probably. But we, as consumers and "Mac heads" have heard multiple reports of these already. I seriously doubt if anyone in MS has their own hands on these, outside of possibly a hermetically sealed sample box. This is far from being intimate knowledge of IBM's long-range processor / foundry technology.



    Get it?



    It's easy to mock, or make light, but if you spent a little more time thinking critically about it, and paid attention to what I was specifically responding to, you might not be laughing, but rather adding something to the conversation.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally posted by concentricity

    Blah



    Wait a sec. Just what's the whole point in arguing over this? Does it make you feel any bigger knowing any more than Microsoft? It's obvious that as a partner, it knows more than you do. But even if you refuse to acknowledge that, it doesn't change a thing.
  • Reply 14 of 47
    smirclesmircle Posts: 1,035member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by concentricity

    I was specifically responding to the assertion that MS picked IBM because MS has intimate detail of IBM's long-range processor plans. that's f-ing absurd! MS knows only what they need to know to make the decision, which, from what i explained in the list, is not much more than what we "know" either from reports or fairly mainstream rumors.



    No way, you are utterly wrong here. MS is not a chip maker, so IBM has not to fear they are going to steal their process knowledge. MS is, on the other hand, a very important customer (if they base the Box2 on PPC), possibly earning IBM hundrets of millions. You do not treat customers on that scale like they are getting information on a need-to-know basis. You have to convince them with both hard cold facts and an emotionally reassuring outlook you are better than the competition.

    Heck, they are potentially more important to the chip division than IBM's own server makers and nearly as important as Apple.



    MS and IBM will have had a lot of meetings where IBM has detailed _exactly_ where they are heading their efforts (Ghz, GPlops in 1, 2, 5 years), where they potential dangers and pitfalls and at which point they can offer MS which products at which projected prices in which numbers. I am pretty sure, they offered MS several different (more or less customized) solutions with an individual price degression plan as their process is further evolved.



    OTOH, the MS managers surely had to sign some stiff NDAs before the IBM guys spilled the beans...
  • Reply 15 of 47
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,912member
    I don't think anybody on this thread is missing the point more than you. MS at this point knows as much about what IBM has up its sleeves PPC wise, as Apple did with repect to the 970 two years before the 970 was even released to market. There is simply no way for MS to make a decision to switch processors and not have this information available. Now you can fully expect that the NDA's and the relavant contracts where signed before timelines are generated, but just a NDA would have netted MS a great deal of information.



    To put it bluntly MS could not have made the decision it did make without knowing IBM's long range plans and having some idea of when the products outlined by those plans would be available



    Think about it a bit, if you're running a business that has a product that will require a development time measure in years, how could you make any decisions without having very specific information to base those decisions on. In a nut shell that is the whole point of having NDA's and devlopment contracts, so your product can be ready or close to ready to ship when your suppliers are ready to ship.



    As to what Apple or MS has their hands on right now, it is a given that both of them have technology in house that won't see the light of day for months or years. Even with all of the obvious involment of Apple in the devlopment of the 970 it still took the may months of work before they could deliver a 970 base PowerMac after the 970 was first described in public.



    The situation is the same with the fx variant. You can be reasonably sure that Apple had these before they were publicly announced by IBM. We can only hope that it is a matter of weeks and not months before we see them in desktop Macs.



    It maybe isn't a matter of laughing, it might be a question of being stunned. Just how do you think products are developed and contracts won and lost? Hell even in the old metal working industry you can get tooling on test or demo. They might not call it beta but the concept is the same. Test it, give us your feedback and maybe we release it into the wild.



    Feedback from potential customers can be very humbling but is required if you expect to release first class products.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by concentricity

    you both completely missed the point of my post...IBM (or any other company in a highly competetive marketplace where intellectual property is crucial, and easily "stolen" and reused) is only going to give up the bare minimum of details required to 'get the sale'. I was specifically responding to the assertion that MS picked IBM because MS has intimate detail of IBM's long-range processor plans. that's f-ing absurd! MS knows only what they need to know to make the decision, which, from what i explained in the list, is not much more than what we "know" either from reports or fairly mainstream rumors. Has MS seen IBM 65nm parts? Probably. But we, as consumers and "Mac heads" have heard multiple reports of these already. I seriously doubt if anyone in MS has their own hands on these, outside of possibly a hermetically sealed sample box. This is far from being intimate knowledge of IBM's long-range processor / foundry technology.



    Get it?



    It's easy to mock, or make light, but if you spent a little more time thinking critically about it, and paid attention to what I was specifically responding to, you might not be laughing, but rather adding something to the conversation.



  • Reply 16 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally posted by wizard69

    I don't think anybody on this thread is missing the point more than you.



    Except yourself perhaps.

    Quote:

    There is simply no way for MS to make a decision to switch processors and not have this information available.



    Right. And now you expect us to believe that you're privy to MS business plans? As far as you know MS is shifting to the PPC because that makes it harder to hack the XBox into a PC.

    Quote:

    The situation is the same with the fx variant. You can be reasonably sure that Apple had these before they were publicly announced by IBM.



    You really are clueless you know that? As if IBM even had plans to develop the PPC970 before Apple came to them and said "build it." As if MS needs to know anything about IBM or its roadmaps other than they can deliver what MS wants.
  • Reply 17 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Tomb of the Unknown

    Except yourself perhaps.



    Right. And now you expect us to believe that you're privy to MS business plans? As far as you know MS is shifting to the PPC because that makes it harder to hack the XBox into a PC.



    You really are clueless you know that? As if IBM even had plans to develop the PPC970 before Apple came to them and said "build it." As if MS needs to know anything about IBM or its roadmaps other than they can deliver what MS wants.




    well, thank you.



    while i don't think MS is completely clueless, I did say MS knows more than us, but marginally.



    and quite frankly, I'm AMAZED that so many, seemingly intelligent people in this thread can honestly believe that IBM needs to "spill the beans" to MS to win the XBox2 contract?! MS engineers and product managers would get all the relevant info (that you and I can get from pdf's @ IBM.com) about the different cores, SOC designs, buses, etc. MS'd get assurances that IBM could produce X on X technology, and yes, get samples of custom parts. But, that's not an inside look at their f-ing roadmap! MS isn't going to be building multiple different versions, upgrading the processors every few months, and need to know how things will continue to evolve! This is a static design job, requiring MS and IBM to put together what's wanted/needed with what IBM can or can't do.
  • Reply 18 of 47
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    You can be sure that MS know much more than you. MS signed for a precise chip avaliable in precise numbers at a precise date. In short they bought the chip on plans. This plans are secret, and both MS and IBM won't publish them.



    As nobody here has plans about this chip, i think that Microsoft knows a much more about this chip than anybody here. Now I doubt that IBM gave info concerning their others products.
  • Reply 19 of 47
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    As an aspiering programmer, (dektop aps or games is still up n the air) this reafferms my plan to learn / teach myself to code on intel AND non intel boxes, and now i am interested more than ever in getting a G5 because it looks like all sides are backing ibm(again) as they have successfully spanked intel in proformance, now the question:



    learn osx or get windows on a G5, or both?



    i think that if a mass switch from intell does indeed lie ahead, many would take the oppritunaty to stp back and consider thier os..and this could open the floodgates to switchers, not only to mac but linux, and unix in general



    and look at the mac freindly gameing trends recently, ut 2k4 goes mac linux and windows on the same day for the same price, doom 3 is doing the same thing i think.
  • Reply 20 of 47
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by concentricity

    well, thank you.



    while i don't think MS is completely clueless, I did say MS knows more than us, but marginally.



    and quite frankly, I'm AMAZED that so many, seemingly intelligent people in this thread can honestly believe that IBM needs to "spill the beans" to MS to win the XBox2 contract?! MS engineers and product managers would get all the relevant info (that you and I can get from pdf's @ IBM.com) about the different cores, SOC designs, buses, etc. MS'd get assurances that IBM could produce X on X technology, and yes, get samples of custom parts. But, that's not an inside look at their f-ing roadmap! MS isn't going to be building multiple different versions, upgrading the processors every few months, and need to know how things will continue to evolve! This is a static design job, requiring MS and IBM to put together what's wanted/needed with what IBM can or can't do.




    Okay one last time without any laughs...



    I have seen (previous) IBM and Motorola roadmap PDF's and PPT's - I have also seen those same documents that have additional pages tacked on to the end and were marked IBM CONFIDENTIAL (or MOT CONFIDENTIAL) NDA ONLY and trust me those 'additional pages' that are made available to NDA clients contained MUCH more information about the future of their chips / processes / designs / etc.



    I have no doubt that MS know as much (or almost as much) about IBM's plans as Apple does. I said almost as much only because it would kinda bug me if MS knew AS MUCH as Apple... The cold hard truth is, MS probably does. In the end, why shouldn't they? Apple is a client and MS is a client and Sony is a client - all of them top tier customers too... Apple MAY hold a special place due to it being the FIRST top tier customer and depending on who you believe had a fair amount of say as to the design of the core (being the only top tier customer at the time why shouldn't they) but as the sands of time move - I'm more than a little fearful that Apple would hold less and less of IBM's "ear" when it comes to PPC design.



    That part really bothers me...



    Dave
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