' The guys over at techreport.com released some architectural details of the ATI GPU that will be used in the Xbox360 '
Feldstein, the Vice President of Engineering at ATI, cited several major areas of innovation where the Xbox 360 GPU breaks new ground. The first of those is the chip's unified shader array, which does away with separate vertex and pixel shaders in favor of 48 parallel shaders capable of operating on data for both pixels and vertices. The GPU can dynamically allocate shader resources as necessary in order to best address a computational constraint, whether that constraint is vertex- or pixel-related.
' JoyStiq has an interview with Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft '
- There are going to be some more surprises on the hardware end?
Could be! Look, for us to say we’re going to go through a whole generation without an HD capacity drive—I think that would be naive to assume that we’ll be sitting here at the end of the Xbox 360 generation and no such device will have shipped. On the other hand, we haven’t announced anything, Sony’s announced something, and who knows? You know, they could have announced support for Beta instead of VHS. We’re trying to watch and really be agile on our feet, relative to the issues between HD DVD and Blu-ray. As a platform provider we’re trying to make sure our software standards are well-supported in both places. As the provider of the Xbox, we’re sitting there saying, “Look, we’re shipping NOW.” This was not an option. Neither one of these things were an option for our first shipment, so it’s kind of a moot point. Sony’s saying, “Who knows what the standards are, but we’re going to commit to what we’re going to commit to.” I think we can be nimble and agile and that’ll be important.
Following earlier indications that the Xbox 360 will only be backwards compatible with some Xbox games, Microsoft has admitted that existing software will need to be recompiled before it can be run on the new console.
The problem, it says, is down to hardware incompatibility - since the current Xbox uses an Intel processor, but the 360 will use IBM's PowerPC architecture, while NVIDIA's graphics solution is being replaced with an ATI one.