Microsoft could be working on a cheaper, slimmer Xbox One

By Sherif Saed
31 October 2014 13:26 GMT

Microsoft could be in early stages of development on a smaller, cheaper Xbox One unit.


So a bit of backstory for you; both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are using processors built on 28nm chips. Now, the rumour originates from a LinkedIn listing.

The listing (via Beyond3D) is by Daniel McConnell, who’s a senior manager at AMD, the chip manufacturer of the new consoles.

The two key things here are “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” and “Assembled and grew two cross-site execution teams for 2 successive XBOX APU revisions. This included developing key technical leads into senior positions allowing for successful execution and future team expansion to handle more SOCs.”

Which could indicate that Microsoft is in the planning stages of a newer, slimmer version of Xbox One. 20nm tech would allow the firm to build a smaller box, which leads to different, more cheaper cooling solutions. The processor – being among the most expensive components in the box – would cost Microsoft less money to make when it moves to 20nm, which results in a cheaper SKU.

Microsoft is also looking to hire an electrical engineer (via Beyond3D) for “development of the memory subsystem” and evaluating “different solution options for performance, functionality, stability, cost and risk for the memory subsystem within the platform.”

The candidate has to be familiar with both DDR4 and DDR3, which is currently being used in Xbox One. So a move to the newer iteration of RAM could also be linked to that.

Digital Foundry adds that it would be a while before we see a newer SKU. Which is a result of TSMC’s (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) 20nm production line being very busy making chips for the new iPhones, iPads and also for AMD and Nvidia’s next line-up for PC graphics cards based on 20nm.

Thanks, Eurogamer.

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