Super-powerful Xbox 720 chip enters production

Super-powerful Xbox 720 chip enters production
Xbox 2160: come on, let's make this happen

The Xbox 720 (now called the Xbox One) could be with us in October 2013 if reports that its new, super-charged chipset have entered production are true.

The AMD GPU is on its way to the manufacturing plant, according to IGN, whose sources tell it that mass production will begin by the end of 2012.

Based on the AMD 6000 series, it will be similar to the Radeon HD 6670, bringing support for DirectX11, multi-display, 3D and 1080p HD graphics, with a current market value apparently somewhere above $80 (£50).

If this latest rumour is true it would mean some rather disappointing graphical hardware in the supposedly 'next-gen' console.

By the time the new Xbox is scheduled for release in 2013 AMD will have already released its entire lineup of HD 8000 series graphics chips, meaning the GPU component of the Xbox chip (code-named Oban) would be at the very least two generations behind.

Previous rumours had stated that the graphics portion of the Xbox chip (the CPU part probably being an IBM PowerPC) would be based on the current HD 7000 series of graphics chips which in turn are being used in AMD's next generation of APUs, code-named Trinity.

Still, this current production run of the chip with Global Foundaries and IBM is only going to be for the first initial dev kits, so there is a chance the silicon will change significantly before the final launch.

What's in a name?

If the rumours are indeed true, the next Xbox's graphics processing power is going to be 20 per cent better than the Wii U and six times the Xbox 360's. So, by rights, we should start calling it the Xbox 2160.

We can't see that catching on, sadly, and there's still no real clue as to what the console will be called when it is released in 2013 – although names as disparate as the Xbox 720 and the Xbox Loop have been bandied about.

What is looking more likely, though, is that we'll see an announcement about the next-gen Xbox from Microsoft at E3 2013, with IGN adding that devs should be getting access to the SDKs and final system configurations in August 2012.

Exciting times - fan the flames of excitement with our next-gen Xbox video of exactly what we'd like to see:

From IGN

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.