Up Close and Personal with the CPU, GPU and... Yonah?

The heart and soul of the Xbox 360 is of course its CPU and GPU, first off we have the 3 core PowerPC processor. In order to give you an idea of its size, we've compared it here to Intel's 65nm Yonah processor, with a die size of just 90 mm^2:

The 90nm Xenon processor looks to be a little less than 3 Yonahs, but remember that the move to 65nm will cut the Xenon basically in half, making it closer to 1.5 Yonahs if they were on the same manufacturing process. Through this comparison we can get a rough idea of the size of the logic in the Xenon CPU.

As another comparison point, here is Yonah vs. a AA battery, as well as the 3-core Xenon processor with a AA battery:

Now let's have a look at Yonah vs. the ATI Xenos GPU:

Finally we've got the Xbox 360 South Bridge, which is quite small:

Taking the Surface Tour Final Words, and a Refresher on the Benefits of Serial Buses
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  • Bally900 - Monday, June 02, 2008 - link

    Hi everyone.
    I have removed the gpu clamp from the bottom of the xbox motherboard, there seems to be some blown components, therefore I was hoping there was some good photo's of the motherboard with gpu xclamp removed?? Any help is v much appreciated.
    Reply
  • Kensei - Sunday, November 20, 2005 - link

    FYI... have a look at last Friday's WSJ article on the XBox 360. Lots of interesting information on how the XBox is made in China.

    Kensei
    Reply
  • Clauzii - Sunday, November 20, 2005 - link

    I think there is too much ´splatter´ on that GPU-tingy.. Reply
  • agnot - Saturday, November 19, 2005 - link

    Why was Hypertransport classified as a serial bus? As implemented on K8, it's a 16-bit wide data bus in each direction, so 32 pins in total for data per HT link. Moreover it doesn't have any SERDES logic (serializer/deserializer that converts parallel data to serial data and vice versa). This gives Hypertransport a latency advantage over serial links that require these extra steps, and low latency, as I understand it, was one of the main concerns when developing Hypertransport. Reply
  • segfault7 - Sunday, November 20, 2005 - link

    I wondered the same thing. Althought the author is confused on this point he does make a nice comparison between serial and parallel buses.

    "Note the clear definition of the traces the clean routing, to the point where you can count the individual data, address and clock lines:"

    This statement also is a little misleading since every serial bus that I have looked at (PCIe/SATA/IB) dervives the clock from the data stream. Additionally the address and data are typically sent on the same lines in the form of a packet.

    Good article. I'm looking forward to the flurry of xbox 360 hacking that is about to ensue.
    Reply
  • TheInvincibleMustard - Friday, November 18, 2005 - link

    I like the inclusion of the little thumbnails with red circles on them. It's a simple yet effective method of communicating just where something is on the motherboard. Props to whoever proposed that idea!

    -TIM
    Reply
  • icube - Friday, November 18, 2005 - link

    I'm pretty sure that mystery chip is the custom hdtv encoder/scaler created by the old WebTV team for the xbox360. Maybe it has some other functions as well though.

    See: http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/2005/08/a_walk_th...">http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/2005/08/a_walk_th...

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    Robbie Bach, the chief Xbox officer, even came down for a visit once to make sure all the WebTV folks stayed aboard and helped with the 360. He knew that they had a lot of options in the valley. One of the chips they designed was a TV encoder that would support the TV-side of the system.

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    Reply
  • yacoub - Friday, November 18, 2005 - link

    That comparison between serial and parallel on the last page was very informative. Sometimes a picture really does speak for a volume of words. Very cool. Reply
  • mlittl3 - Friday, November 18, 2005 - link

    This is a great breakdown of a very custom, sophisticated motherboard. I was wondering if Anandtech could do the same thing with another custom, sophisticatd moetherboard...the one in the Powermac G5. That's got to have some pretty cool features also. Reply
  • stmok - Friday, November 18, 2005 - link

    I'm always curious...We can modify the current Xbox 1 to run Linux...How about the 360? :) Reply

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