Microsoft will have to solve a major tech headache if it wishes to hit its planned September 2013 launch for the Xbox 720, if new reports are to be believed.
Tech site SemiAccurate reports that a chip designed for use in the console, dubbed ‘Oban', is providing lower-than-usual yields. (Manufacturing microchips is notoriously unreliable. The yield is the number of production units that are functional. Newer tech can sometimes suffer from higher failure rates and, in some instances, prove to be uneconomical).
Oban yields are being described as worse than painfully low”. Microsoft has even outsourced production to three separate factories in the hope that one will strike upon some sort of magic formula to improve the situation.
Microsoft current launch schedule is said to be able to accommodate a six to eight week delay, but anything beyond that could force the company to alter its plans.
And what is this release date? September 2013, according to SemiAccurate. And the site adds that if it were to slip, heads would most certainly roll.
There are also details about the Xbox 720's innards. The CPU is apparently, as rumoured, an AMD x86. However, the GPU seems to have undergone an upgrade from the last reports we heard, and is now based on AMD's HD7000, though it has been specifically tweaked by Microsoft for its machine.
AMD is also believed to be supplying the CPU and GPU for PS4.
See, we told you Microsoft was planning a 2013 launch.