Microsoft is approaching the full reveal of the Xbox Series X in small steps. The most recent piece of the puzzle comes from Microsoft Xbox department manager Phil Spencer, who unveiled one of the most important components of the console that will arrive at the end of the year. .
In fact, Spencer updated his Twitter profile with a low-quality image of the processor behind Project Scarlett, and while that might seem like a minor detail, we all have to start speculating on the final features. of Redmond’s next machine.
The most interesting thing? It seems that this chip is the largest processor ever released by Sony or Microsoft in their history and this would confirm the desire of both companies to offer truly extreme performance with their next consoles.
Truth be told, it’s not easy to take important data on this Microsoft-controlled leak. In fact, the photo was purposely posted in a low resolution format, taken at an odd angle and distorted by a wacky distortion effect. The actual measurements of this new chip are somewhat important: we can assume that the Scarlett processor will be made with the same 7nm lithography as that of the AMD Zen 2 and Navi chips, the bases on which the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft will be. built. By comparing the image with AMD components that use the same production technique, we can get an idea of the proportions of what we will find inside the new gaming machines.
Evaluating the size of the chip used by Microsoft can give us a rough idea of the architectural makeup of the console. It is however important to emphasize that the surface occupied by the microprocessors involves significant costs. Each additional square millimeter increases the cost of construction, so you have to find the right balance. Of course, comparisons to AMD’s new products could be helpful, but comparing chip measurements with previous generations can reveal, at least briefly, Microsoft’s investment in this new console (and also the final price, once in stores).
After Phil Spencer’s initial tweet, Xbox Hardware Division Senior Director David Prien also added more meat to the fire by releasing a new processor image. Since Spencer himself is in possession of a fully functioning X-Series, these photographed specimens could be production line waste, chips that did not pass the company’s imposed quality test. It’s not much, actually, but it’s enough to start speculating. We repeat, both images released are low resolution and captured from a certain angle, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to imagine the actual size of the chip.
From our previous attempts, following the E3 2019 trailer, it appeared that the processor could have a surface area of around 380mm.2. Compared to that of the Xbox One X, this would represent a 5.8% increase in surface size, which would reflect the transition from a 16nm to 7nm process. In the end, therefore, we should find more transistors in a larger area.
However, some recent leaks (and the massive size of the X-Series case) suggest the arrival of an incredibly powerful machine that is rumored to provide 12 teraflops of computing power. Another rumor is that the X-series chip will also have up to 56 compute units, and while this data is far from definitive, it could confirm the inclusion of a chip from unprecedented measurements.
All of this gave rise to a heated debate online that led to an almost forensic level of analysis around the new Scarlett chip. Applying distortion effects and corrective filters to Photoshop may have drastically changed the original image and affected the accuracy of the measurements. From that perspective, the only way to get more meaningful data would be to get your hands on some real-world comparison to put things in the right perspective.
For starters, we thought Scarlett’s processor was mounted on the same 50mm structure used for the Xbox One X Scorpio engine. However, when comparing the images, it was clear that the area occupied by the processor was more contained than that of One X, around 90% of what we saw previously. A chip of this size wouldn’t have required an impressive case like the one in the X series, so we had to make some new assumptions.
However, there are also other benchmarks to get an idea of the actual size of the chip. The components surrounding the processor, for example, tend to have standard measurements and in this case, they appear to be the same as seen on Xbox One X. In this regard, Wccftech’s analysis seems quite plausible and suggests a surface about 401 mm2. That would represent an 11.7% increase over the Xbox One X and make it the biggest processor ever produced for a console.
There is always a possibility of measurement error since all our assumptions are based on a low resolution image to which different filters were applied with Photoshop. This may explain why other analysts have based their speculations on the distance. Between Components. For our part, we tried a hybrid approach, taking into account measurements of already known components, data extrapolated from the image published on Twitter and the Xbox One X chip. Our results are around 405 mm2, an area slightly larger than that estimated by Wcctech. The in-depth analysis posted by Reddit user _rogame, based on the image leaked by David Prien, showed equivalent results in total: an area of around 407mm2.
The next question is somewhat obvious: Does this analysis add anything to our information about the next generation of consoles? The basic components of Zen 2 and Navi are already well known and we have several examples of how they work. The Radeon 5700XT offers 40 compute units and a lot of features that we’ll likely find on newer consoles (the AMD Navi 10 GPU takes up 250mm2). The Zen 2 octa-core CPU, meanwhile, with its reduced L3 cache compared to desktop equivalents, is expected to take up around 65mm.2. By combining these two crucial elements, we would get a processor similar to that of the PS4 Pro, 325 mm2 with the old 16nm manufacturing process. The standard PS4, on the other hand, measured around 348mm.2 with 28nm process.
|Processor size||Manufacturing process||Calculation unit / TFLOP||Architecture CPU|
|Xbox Series X||About 405 mm2 (not confirmed)||7 nm||56 / 12TF (unconfirmed)||Zen 2|
|Xbox One X||359 mm2||16nmFF||40 / 6TF||jaguar|
|PlayStation 4 Pro||325mm2||16nmFF||36 / 4.2TF||jaguar|
|PlayStation 4 ‘Slim’||208mm2||16nmFF||18 / 1.84TF||jaguar|
|Playstation 4||348 mm2||28nm||18 / 1.84TF||jaguar|
|Xbox One S||240mm2||16nmFF||12 / 1,4TF||jaguar|
|Xbox One||363 mm2||28nm||12 / 1,31TF||Octo-Core Jaguar|
Assuming size greater than 400mm2 turns out to be true for the Xbox Series X, this impressive processor could easily provide all the shaders with the protagonists of the recent leak of an AMD test session. It’s worth mentioning that features not found on existing AMD Navi graphics cards (such as Ray Tracing and VRS support, for example) have been confirmed for the Xbox Series X. These, in all likelihood, are helping to increase the size of Scarlett’s physical processor.
Obviously, it’s worth repeating that all of this analysis is based on an image that has been reworked by special software and may not reflect the final form factor of the chip. Scarlett’s precise processor measurements won’t finally be revealed until after the official technical specifications of the machine are released, as in the case of the Xbox One X. However, for now, Microsoft has achieved its goal: the level of Interest around the X series continues to increase and the console seems more and more powerful with each passing day.
Maybe we’re too cynical, but these Microsoft-controlled versions seem cleverly designed to spark this kind of discussion… and it works amazingly well! To conclude, it looks like all traditional limitations in console design will be shattered with the arrival of the next gen. Microsoft wants a machine with scary performance, and as a result, the processor will be the largest and richest in transistors of all time.
This means that the new console will have to deal with dissipation and offer an advanced cooling system that will inevitably take up a lot of space in the case. This all leads to one final question: How much will Microsoft cost to produce the X series? And what will be the final price for users? The official revelation of the specifications may not be too far away but it may be necessary to wait until at least until E3 to finally know the X series in the round.
Source: Twitter Feeds