XBox 360 Graphics Details

XBox 360 Graphics Details

An announcement by NEC and a patent filed by ATI earlier this year and approved March 29, reveal impressive aspects of the XBox 2/360 graphics.

NEC announced that Microsoft will incorporate embedded DRAM (eDRAM) technology from NEC Electronics in the next generation Xbox platform. The high-performance eDRAM macros designed by NEC Electronics are a key piece of the graphics subsystem and will enable the console to provide users with an impressive high-definition (HD) graphics experience. The announcement fits in well with ATIs patent which discussed the use of additional custom memory besides the standard memory graphics cards have. This custom memory will function for the GPU in the same way cache memory works for a CPU. Generally, the patent describes a method and the necessary apparatus for supporting anti-aliasing oversampling in a video graphics system that utilizes a custom memory for storage of the frame buffer.

Since eDRAM is expensive, ATIs patent describes a way of reducing the cost by freeing the module from some of the circuitry otherwise required.

All this sounds good but how will it benefit the gamer? I hear you all ask. Preliminary information mentions that the R500 powering the new console's graphics should be able to perform anti-aliasing at 720p HDTV resolution (1280x720) with almost no frame-rate drop.

Now as soon as we know how much memory, both sample and custom, XBox 2/360 will have, we will be able to draw a few more conclusions about the complete potential of next-generation graphics.