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Rumour: Xbox 720 Could Be Delayed Due To "Painfully Low" Processor Quality

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Delay, Microsoft, Rumour, Xbox 720

Rumour: Xbox 720 Could Be Delayed Due To "Painfully Low" Processor Quality

Oh boy. We've had plenty of Xbox 720 rumours to pick apart over the last few months, but this latest report is an absolute doozy. According to tech site SemiAccurate, Microsoft may be forced to delay their next-generation console due to "painfully low" processor yields in the manufacturing process.

That said, since the rumoured delay is technically for an unannounced console without a release date, I daresay that few people will lose sleep over this one yet.

SemiAccurate reports that "multiple fabs" are producing an Xbox 720/Durango chip codenamed 'Oban,' which is simply not living up to expectations. Yields (usually a measure of processing power, but in this case, the ratio of viable chips produced per production batch - thanks ImNotHere) have been described as "painfully low" and "horrid." Microsoft has allegedly outsourced production to three separate factories to find a solution ahead of a planned September 2013 launch window.

Apparently Microsoft's manufacturing chain has a built-in six-to-eight week buffer zone that gives them time to sort out any problems before resorting to a delay. Should they not correct the issue before November 1st, however, they may have to delay the launch - potentially into 2014.

This ought to go without saying, but just in case: this is a rumour. You can read more over at SemiAccurate.

Add a comment7 comments
Shadowmancer88  Sep. 6, 2012 at 17:46

This could be true as there was a rumour on Twitter from some analysts (Pacther and a few others) that there would be only one console release next year with the other console trailing a few months afterwards, speculation was that it was the PS4 being delayed to 2014 but with this news it might actually be the Xbox 720 instead unless Microsoft fixes the problem.

ImNotHere  Sep. 6, 2012 at 18:15

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't "yield" in this context mean the number of viable or up-to-standard chips per wafer, i.e. a low yield means a large number of the chips produced are only fit for scrap?

gmdlogan  Sep. 6, 2012 at 18:37

Really can't see M$ missing the boat this year. They know, how crucial it was, getting out in front of Sony last time around.

I'm not fussed either way though, as i'm Sony ftw. They can't afford to let Sony steal a march this time. Especially if there is some stellar launch titles.

JonLester  Sep. 6, 2012 at 18:41

@ImNotHere: Actually, I think you may be right - I'm used to thinking of yield in power terms. It probably refers to viability/quality here. I'll update that, thanks.

Last edited by JonLester, Sep. 6, 2012 at 18:45
DivideByZero  Sep. 6, 2012 at 21:05

Yep, when they make a non-nommy wafer, the yeild is how well how many of them work. If a chip works really well it can run faster than stock speeds, if it comes out bad it will be slower or not work at all. The problems come about due to keep shrinking the process and it being a new design, which makes making them harder (at first) but then the chips will require less power and so produce less heat and can run at higher speeds... the ones that work that is.

Rizzi  Sep. 7, 2012 at 08:48

They can't afford to let Sony steal a march this time. Especially if there is some stellar launch titles.


Last time Sony 'stole a March' it was because they had a parts shortage and took the extra time to gimp the PS3's back-compat before they released it in Europe in March.

If it's Microsoft this time facing the possibility of missing 'Holiday' sales I'm sure they would sacrifice the rest of the world and pump all they have to launch in Nov for the US market.

Maybe if they gave more than 25% of the chip to circuitry and didn't have 75% of it just advertising other components it might run faster ;)

Late  Sep. 7, 2012 at 11:06

Maybe if they gave more than 25% of the chip to circuitry and didn't have 75% of it just advertising other components it might run faster ;)

Wahahaha!

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