Na ISSCC (International Solid State Circuits Conference) conference approached the construction Xbox Series X console hardware engineer Paul Paternoster. He analyzed both its thermal characteristics in detail and focused on the division of the motherboard and the processor itself.
Interestingly, he said that the chip is on the TSMC N7 process, it is the best TSMC DUV process with only 0.09 errors per square centimeter (107 out of 147 chips per wafer and thus 73% yield can be used). The chip itself has 360.4 mm2 and 15.3 billion transistors.
To open, they compared the parameters of the Xbox Series X and Xbox One X, where the GPU went up twice, the memory speed 1.7 times and the CPU performance three times. Double the IO throughput and 2.4x higher power per watt. The chip consumes only 13% more than the Xbox One X.
Microsoft also described in more detail how it achieved it the right ratio between consumption, temperatures and noise. Therefore, in the end, they chose a block design, thanks to which they were able to bring 15% higher TPD, but at the same time 20% smaller dimensions with the same noise.
The console is ultimately 10% smaller than it would be in the standard design, but it also has better cooling. That combines vapoch chamber heatsink for processor and memory, with a fan that creates a flow of cooling air for both the heatsink and the rest of the components. The fan is 130mm with a three-phase electric motor for high performance, quiet operation and low maintenance.
They also showed a detailed temperature characteristic:
Microsoft has split the board into two parts for both smaller design and better cooling. There is one small minus, a minimal increase in power consumption with a transition connector between the two boards
Microsoft also introduced power management, in which they tried to save energy where possible. They worked with AMD on processor modifications and additional functions. They had three areas – load monitoring and regulation, where they gained 10% savings, process optimization – 10-15% and power management itself.
At the same time, they also solved power states, which the console needs more to optimize power consumption, whether in dashboard, standby, or background download standby. For example, standby and background downloads do not have a PC, but at the same time, consoles cannot have as many states in use as a PC to keep going full during the game and developers know what to expect.
- The CPU has 8 power states
- The GPU has 5 power states
- The board has 4 power states
- GDDR has 3 power states
Temperature density and yields were also a big topic. Microsoft addressed temperatures important to the life of the chip and tried to keep them in the norm, as well as not concentrating large temperatures in one place. This is one of the reasons why the kernels are farther apart and farther away from the GPU.
The limiting factor for the chip is mainly the temperature of the CPU cores, which heat up smaller areas at high frequencies.
In the example, the CPU cores warmed up to 87 degrees, while the GPU cores warmed up to 80 degrees. In this regard, Microsoft was looking for optimal power and frequencies for the GPU and CPU to get the performance it needed, as well as good temperature and acoustic characteristics.
Microsoft to optimized temperatures by sacrificing a certain frequency for better temperatures. Therefore, the system goes to 3.6Hz when multithreading is on, but 3.8Ghz when it is off.
In terms of yields, ie as many working chips as possible had to sacrifice certain GPU cores. Each chip has 56 computer units, but only 52 are used.
The interesting thing here is that even if their processors went full, they would still leave the same 12 Tflops. Namely, they considered 28WGP at a clock speed of 1675 Mhz, or 26 WGP at 1825Mhz. Both would have the same power difference would only be in frequency (each WGP has two computer units).
28 In the end, however, the WPG did not make financial sense in production, as the few processors produced had all the functional cores. If they succeeded, they could have 20% lower consumption. Finally, the economic solution was to use 26 WPGs.
Source: Sector.sk by www.sector.sk.
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