Advertisement
Advertisement

Xbox One Slim could be near as AMD develop smaller processor

Katharine Byrne
4 Nov 2014
Microsoft Xbox One
Advertisement

AMD let slip that its working on a new "cost-reduced derivative" of the console's main processor that uses 20nm technology

A cheaper 'slim' version of Microsoft's Xbox One could be on its way as AMD inadvertently reveal a smaller, more cost-effective 20nm version of the console's main processor. 

According to Eurogamer, the news comes from the LinkedIn profile of AMD's senior SOC (system on chip) physical design manager, which was spotted by Mosen from the Beyond3D forums. The profile states that the senior manager has "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." 

At the moment, the Xbox One's 28nm processor is one of the most expensive components in the entire console, costing around $50 per chip according to current estimates. A more cost-effective processor could therefore reduce the overall price of the console quite significantly, paving the way for a smaller, cheaper, 'slim' version of the console. 

Both the PS4 and Xbox One currently run 28nm processors, which means that each transistor measures 28 thousand-millionths of a metre. By reducing the size of the processor by 1.9x, this means AMD will be able to produce more processors on the same silicon wafer, keeping costs down. The reduction in power consumption will also help the console to run cooler and more efficiently, allowing Microsoft to make a much thinner, more streamlined chassis. 

Microsoft has yet to announce a new version of the Xbox One, but the company is already advertising for an electrical engineer to investigate new memory technologies, specifically the existing DDR3 and DDR4, and evaluate "different solution options for performance, functionality, stability, cost and risk for the memory subsystem within the platform."

This suggests the company is trying to revise its current gen console rather than develop a successor.

Eurogamer also goes on to speculate that it's "almost certain" that AMD will do the same for the PS4 as the Xbox One, so we could potentially see both companies introduce slimmer versions of their current console before too long.