Microsoft and IBM PowerPC

Fascinating to read this EE Times story about the new Microsoft Xbox 360 and its use of three custom IBM PowerPC processors — abandoning Intel.

Officially launched Thursday night (May 12) over broadcast TV, the Xbox 360 uses three custom 3.2-GHz PowerPC cores, each handling two threads. Each core includes a 128-bit vector graphics unit sporting a full 128 registers and a 1-Mbyte cache.

In addition, the console includes a graphics chip from ATI Technologies Inc. that processes up to 500 million triangles per second. The ATI chip contains 10-Mbytes of embedded DRAM and works with 512-Mbytes of external GDDR3 memory running at 700-MHz clock frequency.

PowerPC, of course, is the core platform for Apple’s Mac OS X.