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Xbox 2 to sport three 64-bit IBM chips, ATI R500

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Microsoft's Xbox 2 console - aka Xbox Next - will be powered by three IBM PowerPC G5-class 64-bit processors, with graphics driven by ATI's next generation of accelerator chip.

So claims a San Jose Mercury News story, with further details published at TeamXbox.

The next-gen Xbox will boast three PowerPC 976 chips, each based on IBM's Power 5 architecture and fabbed at 65nm. That Power 5 connection means each will offer simultaneous multi-threading technology, allowing them to process two program instruction streams at the same time.

With three CPUs in the box, and an alleged two cores per die, that means the console has the equivalent of 12 processors inside - a lot of processing horsepower, if the console and chip specs. are to be believed.

Alongside them will be an ATI R500 graphics chip, apparently. It will support DirectX 10, which will also provide the graphics API for the next major version of Windows, 'Longhorn'.

The R500 die contains its own frame buffer embedded DRAM, which, it's claimed, will yield HDTV picture resolution with full-screen anti-aliasing. Backing that will be 256MB of SDRAM. ®

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