First tape-outs using 65nm fabrication process at IBM.

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
While this is about the Xbox it is still very interesting!

Quote:

First Xbox 2 Processors Taped-Out



5GHz 65nm Chips Enroute to Microsoft?





by Anton Shilov

01/26/2004_|_06:19 AM





A report from over a web-site dedicated to game consoles claims there are first tape-outs using 65nm fabrication process at IBM. Apparently, the first chips are non-other than central processing units for highly anticipated Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 2 consoles.



As announced previously, both Sony and Microsoft will use technologies developed by IBM in microprocessors for next-generation of their gaming consoles. Some sources suggest that CPUs in the Play Station 3 and Xbox 2 machines will be based on Cell technology, a derivative of PowerPC micro-architecture. Given that PowerPC and Cell architectures are expected to be found in a wide range of applications from consumer electronics to servers, mention of these names gives hardly any details about consoles except the fact that they are 64-bit and are not Intel-based.



?It will be built on a 65nm process,? a source confirmed to TeamXbox web-site. ?IBM has already taped out experimental samples at its East Fishkill fab, but it will take between 12 to 18 months for them to deliver commercial parts. Anyway, they are way ahead of Intel.?



?With the new 90nm manufacturing process, IBM broke the 2GHz barrier. The 65nm- technology will allow them to break the 3GHz barrier for sure and get closer to the 5GHz mark,? the source added.



?However, this is not just about clock speed. The more important thing here is what this baby and its specialized cores can do in a single clock cycle,? an anonymous source of TeamXbox said.



Concerns about IBM?s ability to tailor its 64-bit microprocessors for Microsoft consoles did not materialize, in case the information published herein is correct.



Microsoft Corporation is likely to adopt Nintendo?s approach to pay only royalties for technologies the company utilizes in its products, but not to acquire every single chip from every single developer. It is not known who will manufacture semiconductors for Microsoft, but there is likely to be a number of makers. Nevertheless, whatever chips are made outside of certain silicon developers, such as ATI or SiS, IBM has been historically manufacturing its CPUs in its own fabs.



http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mmedia/...126061648.html
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    tfworldtfworld Posts: 181member
    Nice! So in 12 months or so we will see the 65nm dual cored GX chips? 8)
  • Reply 2 of 33
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Awesome! I wonder when IBM estimates it will be supplying 65nm Cell PPC's to Apple? If the dual cored rumors, and double piped Altivec, or whatever are correct the PowerMac is going to be one h3ll of a wicked computer next year.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    pbpb Posts: 4,231member
    So, this old rumor, may have some true in it after all.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    addisonaddison Posts: 1,185member
    Presumably the idea of both Sony and Microsoft is that by going the G5 route, the games will not be playable on PC nor will the boxes be so easily hacked.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Addison

    Presumably the idea of both Sony and Microsoft is that by going the G5 route, the games will not be playable on PC nor will the boxes be so easily hacked.



    OK, they are not G5's they are PPC's. There is a difference.



    Well you can't really play either of them on PC's anyway? I think the reason is just because IBM has a better more powerful processor design than intel does, and they both new it right away.



    But what I have really always thought was that Microsoft chose the processor because they new Sony would be using one. Which will make the processor category equal on both systems. Micronopoly figures with the same processor game developers will probably be using Mac's, or special IBM's to write the games for both platforms. So if they are that similar Microsoft will have it's exclusive XBOX development teams going, but write some program that will make porting the code from PS3 code to XBOX2 compatible code so easy that all, or most of the console game developers will have no excuse not to port the games to XBOX which will give Micronopoly more games for the upcoming generation of consoles. Of course this software will be free for the price of developing the games. Micronopoly will also stick to it's formula of making a console with the most impressive #'s. Like GHz, and MHz, Graphics, GPU, Memory, and so on. They will be ahead in the hardware department (faster system), and have all the games their console was lacking in it's first generation.



    That's what they hope for IMHO.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    smirclesmircle Posts: 1,035member
    This is huge. Although I believe MS will not want to use a 5Ghz part for reasons of heat dissipation, a rumored 3-core 3Ghz Chip would pack some serious punch.



    The timing sounds a bit early though. The rumored tape out for the 130nm 970 was in winter 2002 (of course, this could have been very wrong). Achieving a 50% structure size reduction in two steps over 1.5 years is more than I believe is possible - even in a new fab like Fishkill.



    But if it is true, IBM is surely taking business dead serious - in fact this is a killing mission to regain a large chunk of the chip market.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    WTF? IBM was on 130 8 months ago. Heck...we haven't even seen 90's yet cuz of stupid unknown problems.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    WTF? IBM was on 130 8 months ago. Heck...we haven't even seen 90's yet cuz of stupid unknown problems.



    Considering there are people on Ars saying they have G5 Xserves already, the 970FXs do seem to be out there. The "delay" of the PowerMacs might not have anything to do with the processors, or it might be related to the volume of speeds that Apple wants (3 GHz?).





    Keep in mind that this is 65nm tape out which is a far cry from production. It probably does put them on track for production sometime in mid to late 2005, however. If 130nm tape out was 2002, then it has taken 2 years to advance 2 stages, which is pretty impressive. Hopefully they get the kinks worked out on schedule so that we can have 65nm Macs next year.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    pbpb Posts: 4,231member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Programmer

    Keep in mind that this is 65nm tape out which is a far cry from production.



    Now what's that tape out? Anyone care to explain to the ignorant (me for example )?
  • Reply 10 of 33
    snoopysnoopy Posts: 1,901member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    Now what's that tape out? Anyone care to explain to the ignorant (me for example )?





    Back in the dark ages of electronics, technicians used what looked like black masking tape on a clear plastic sheet, mylar I believe. The tape came in different widths and it would represent, say, the conductive paths in an electronic circuit. This was first done to layout circuit boards, and a similar technique was used for early microcircuits on a chip. Now the design layout is done in a computer. I'm surprised that people are still using this term in some companies. I'm accustomed to calling it "layout."
  • Reply 11 of 33
    smirclesmircle Posts: 1,035member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    Now what's that tape out? Anyone care to explain to the ignorant (me for example )?



    Basically the point in time, where a chip design is finalized and lithographic masks are created (this used to be done with photographic film - "tape"). After this step, the design is tested, debugged, and optimized.



    Call it an alpha stage if you like to compare it to software.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    tinktink Posts: 395member
    65nm even at this early stage is impressive especially given the difficulties Chimpzilla seems to be having with the 90nm.



    Having all this development energy around the PowerPC is extremely nice.

    A couple of years ago it seemed like the only development besides the Power4's was from Motorola and they were starting to look pretty anemic, even in the the embedded space.



    It seems like all of a sudden we have unreal momentum with the PowerPC.

    We have the Fabs, the brains and the funding to pump out powerful, efficient, inexpensive custom PowerPC chips tailored for Multimedia, Graphics and 3D and backed by some of the biggest names/pockets in the industry.



    Isn't that nice!



  • Reply 13 of 33
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    Sony is going to use IBM??? I thought they just invested a few BILLION dollars to make their own fab for the PS3????
  • Reply 14 of 33
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Programmer

    Considering there are people on Ars saying they have G5 Xserves already, the 970FXs do seem to be out there.



    This is apparently horseshit...nobody's got G5 Xserves. Can you point out the thread on Ars about this?
  • Reply 15 of 33
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ZO

    Sony is going to use IBM??? I thought they just invested a few BILLION dollars to make their own fab for the PS3????



    The few billion was to IBM wasn't it.



    Quote:

    As announced previously, both Sony and Microsoft will use technologies developed by IBM in microprocessors for next-generation of their gaming consoles



  • Reply 16 of 33
    jousterjouster Posts: 460member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    This is apparently horseshit...nobody's got G5 Xserves. Can you point out the thread on Ars about this?



    There are certainly a couple of posters on ars claiming to have one, though I think these were within other threads as opposed to being in threads of their own.



    Of course, it's easy to claim whatever you want in a forum.



    I'll see if I can dig 'em out when I get back from class.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    snoopysnoopy Posts: 1,901member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by tink





    . . . It seems like all of a sudden we have unreal momentum with the PowerPC. We have the Fabs, the brains and the funding to pump out powerful, efficient, inexpensive custom PowerPC chips tailored for Multimedia, Graphics and 3D and backed by some of the biggest names/pockets in the industry.



    Isn't that nice!









    It's been a long time since I last saw a discussion on "why Apple should switch to Intel." Nice change in climate.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    atomichamatomicham Posts: 185member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    This is apparently horseshit...nobody's got G5 Xserves. Can you point out the thread on Ars about this?



    I am curious as well about these claims. We ordered an xServe soon after the announcement and our date (I just checked the order) is currently "on or before 3/31/04".
  • Reply 19 of 33
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by atomicham

    I am curious as well about these claims. We ordered an xServe soon after the announcement and our date (I just checked the order) is currently "on or before 3/31/04".



    I don't think many people have them because Virginia Tech' is either still replacing the PowerMacs with Xserves, or just finished. I'll bet if you check that VT teachers blog you could easily find out how close Apple is to sending out those Xserves to the regular customers. I suppose the date you have is probably correct for yours considering Apple has been hard at work filling that first order (again).
  • Reply 20 of 33
    oldmacfanoldmacfan Posts: 501member
    Everyone should keep in mind that Apple and IBM are in the process of developing 2 lines of PPC at the same time. So they can catch up to Intel/AMD. This has been common knowledge for some time.
Sign In or Register to comment.