Better efficiency and less heat
Microsoft has confirmed that the latest Xbox 360 slim consoles use a new SoC (system-on-chip) processor, rather than having multiple chips. The chip that is being produced by IBM/Global Foundries is using a 45nm process and combines the tri-core CPU, AMD/ATI GPU, dual channel memory controller, and I/O onto a single chip with a new front side bus. The concept of the design is similar in strategy to AMD’s Fusion and Intel’s Sandy Bridge offerings.
Of course, the move to the SoC allows Microsoft to reduce cost, but it also greatly reduces heat and increases power efficiency; these are two areas that Microsoft has been improving with each generation of Xbox 360 that has been released.
The 372 million transistors that make up the new SoC chip that Microsoft has developed took the company 5 years of research and development to make happen. Microsoft has paid special attention to guaranteeing compatibility, and to this end has implemented precision latency and bandwidth throttling that perfectly impersonates the older Xbox systems which used separate chips to make up the console.