During the Video Game Awards Microsoft’s Phil Spencer took the stage and surprised everyone with the Xbox Series X console design and official name reveal. After the show in a blog post, Phil also shared updated information regarding Xbox GPU technology like Ray Tracing and Variable rate shading. This leads TechPowerUp to believe that the latest Xbox console might be utilizing RDNA 2.0 micro-architecture produced on an improved 7nm + EUV production process.
“Hardware-accelerated ray tracing and variable-rate shading will be the design focal points for AMD’s next-generation RDNA2 graphics architecture. Microsoft’s reveal of its Xbox Series X console attributed both features to AMD’s “next-generation RDNA” architecture (which logically happens to be RDNA2). The Xbox Series X uses a semi-custom SoC that features CPU cores based on the “Zen 2” microarchitecture and a GPU based on RDNA2. It’s highly likely that the SoC could be fabricated on TSMC’s 7 nm EUV node, as the RDNA2 graphics architecture is optimized for that. This would mean an optical shrink of “Zen 2” to 7 nm EUV. Besides the SoC that powers Xbox Series X, AMD is expected to leverage 7 nm EUV for its RDNA2 discrete GPUs and CPU chiplets based on its “Zen 3″ microarchitecture in 2020.”
Variable Rate Shading not only implies the use of RDNA 2.0 in the Xbox Series X but also allows for a performance increase. This would free up GPU resources by reducing the shading rate on objects that are barely visible at the time of rendering the scene. RDNA 2 is AMD’s new and improved NAVI’s micro-architecture. According to the latest reports, it is set to offer better power efficiency and improved performance. This means that the Xbox Series X should potentially boast much more raw GPU power and still run very cool.
Improved 7nm+ EUV manufacturing process would allow for higher transistor density plus more compute units or cores on the chip. More cores or compute units equate to better performance. Better power efficiency would allow for reduced power consumption and higher clock speeds. So far Microsoft has not released the full specifications of the Xbox Series X yet, but the information recently shared leads me to believe that their next console will be very powerful.