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TSMC starts fabbing Nvidia Xbox chips

Countown to launch begins

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Nvidia's Xbox graphics chip and the console's Southbridge, dubbed the Media Communications Processor, have been sent off to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for production.

Which means, of course, that Microsoft can soon start building consoles ready for Xbox's ship date, "this fall", according to Microsoft's Xboss, Robbie Bach. We hope so. We'd hate Microsoft to experience the same supply problems and build quality issues that have plagued Sony's PlayStation 2.

Both Nvidia chips are being fabbed at 0.15 micron, the company reiterated. The graphics chip, which Nvidia calls the Xbox Graphics Processing Unit (XGPU), contains over 60 million transistors. It will run at 250MHz to process over 125 million polys per second, four billion pixels per second and one trillion ops per second, roughly five times the performance of the GeForce 2 GTS.

The Xbox's MCP turns out to be a four billion ops per second dual-DSP chip dedicated to handling audio - 64 channels of 3D positional sound, boasts Nvidia - and network data. The audio part at least is a licensed version of Parthus Technologies' MediaStream DSP.

Actually, much of this we already knew. Isn't it about time you told us something new, Nvidia? ®

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