XBox Next/720 silicon production day arrives

Exclusive: Consoles this year mean the chips went in

XBox LogoRemember when SemiAccurate exclusively brought you the news about the XBox Next/720’s main chip taping out? Remember when we said customer silicon was likely to go in to production in 2012? Guess what?

OK, dramatic introductions aside, we have passed the day that SemiAccurate was told that Oban has not just taped out, but final customer silicon has likely gone in to production too. The mystery date we were told about way back in the Summer of 2011 was Monday, December 31, 2012 for final silicon production wafers in on the next XBox console. And with that ends the 4th longest held secret around the SemiAccurate offices. The answer to your next three questions are going to be no.

Back to the topic at hand, our sources were very specific about the date, and if bugs, yield, and other various and sundry problems were worked out like Microsoft planned, the end is in sight. What problems are those, and why do they matter? SemiAccurate covered that a while ago, the full analysis is here if you missed it the first time around.

While we have not definitively heard about a go/no go wafer in decision, if Microsoft is going to launch their next generation console this year, they almost assuredly made the December 31 date. Any delay of more than a few weeks will mean no new console in 2013, there just won’t be enough time to make them. If no one credible leaks news soon, I wouldn’t go stand in line for a new Microsoft console in late August.

One more bit of housekeeping now that the whole XBox Next/720 saga is drawing to a close, names. We mentioned earlier that the XBox Next/720 project was code named Kryptos and the Sony Playstation 4 project was called Thebes. These are not new names contrary to what most sites who re-write news without a basic understanding of the meaning might say. Kryptos and Thebes are the names of the design projects for the respective chips. Oban is the name of the XBox Next/720 chip itself, and neither are the code names of the development boxes. When you re-write our stuff, please at least have a basic understanding about the topic you are writing about. If you don’t, we will mock you publicly like this once again.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate