This news piece contains speculation, and suggests silicon implementation based on released products and roadmaps.The only elements confirmed for Project Scorpio are the eight cores, >6 TFLOPs, 320 GB/s, it's built by AMD, and it is coming in 2017. If anyone wants to officially correct any speculation, please get in touch. 

Here’s an announcement at E3 for you. Microsoft just announced Project Scorpio, an internal project to develop the next generation Xbox set to be released in 2017. Project Scorpio is to be backwards compatible with Xbox One, and seems to be directly in line to compete with whatever Sony are supposedly releasing in the near future. But here’s some specifications for you that has my mind in a twist.

In the presentation, Microsoft states that the Project Scorpio SoC will have eight cores, up to 320 GB/s of memory bandwidth, and over 6 TeraFLOPs of power. To put this into context, this is more processing power than the recently announced AMD RX 480 GPU using a GCN 4 based architecture, set to be launched later this month. Microsoft specifically announced that Project Scorpio is to be launched next year, which puts a few things together worth mentioning.

By this time next year, we expect AMD’s Zen microarchitecture to be in full swing, and AMD has already showcased a silicon sample of an 8-core Zen processor. However, the current Xbox line relies on AMD’s ‘cat’ core architecture, which according to current AMD roadmaps doesn’t seem to feature anywhere for 2017. Without a direct confirmation, it’s hard to tell if Project Scorpio is the same Jaguar cores as the Xbox One, or the newer Zen microarchitecture. I would assume we won’t find out until later next year.

Microsoft Console Specification Comparison
  Xbox 360 Xbox One Project Scorpio
CPU Cores/Threads 3/6 8/8 8 / ?
CPU Frequency 3.2GHz 1.6GHz (est) ?
CPU µArch IBM PowerPC AMD Jaguar ?
Shared L2 Cache 1MB 2 x 2MB ?
GPU Cores   768 ?
Peak Shader Throughput 0.24 TFLOPS 1.23 TFLOPS >6 TFLOPs
Embedded Memory 10MB eDRAM 32MB eSRAM ?
Embedded Memory Bandwidth 32GB/s 102GB/s ?
System Memory 512MB 1400MHz GDDR3 8GB 2133MHz DDR3 ?
System Memory Bus 128-bits 256-bits ?
System Memory Bandwidth 22.4 GB/s 68.3 GB/s 320 GB/s
Manufacturing Process   28nm ?

On the GPU side, the current Xbox One uses a 16 CU implementation in the SoC, with two disabled giving 14 CUs. We already know that AMD’s RX 480, running at 5 TFLOPs and built on Global Foundries 14nm FinFET process, runs in at 36 CUs. So Project Scorpio will have easily have more CUs than Xbox One, and judging by the shots in the video, the die size is relatively small. The Xbox One was built on TSMC’s 28nm HP process. At this point it’s still not confirmed if this is an AMD win, however judging by the comments towards backwards compatibility and SoC integration (where CPU and GPU are on the same silicon (or package)), all fingers would point in that direction.

AMD Radeon GPU Specification Comparison
  AMD Radeon RX 480 AMD Radeon R9 390X AMD Radeon R9 390 AMD Radeon R9 380
Stream Processors 2304
(36 CUs)
2816
(44 CUs)
2560
(40 CUs)
1792
(28 CUs)
Texture Units (Many) 176 160 112
ROPs (A Positive Integer) 64 64 32
TFLOPs (FMA) >5 TFLOPs 5.9 TFLOPs 5.1 TFLOPs 3.5 TFLOPs
Boost Clock >1.08GHz 1050MHz 1000MHz 970MHz
Memory Clock 8Gbps GDDR5 5Gbps GDDR5 5Gbps GDDR5 5.5Gbps GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 512-bit 512-bit 256-bit
VRAM 4GB/8GB 8GB 8GB 2GB
Transistor Count ? 6.2B 6.2B 5.0B
Typical Board Power 150W 275W 275W 190W
Manufacturing Process GloFo 14nm FinFET TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm
Architecture GCN 4 GCN 1.1 GCN 1.1 GCN 1.2
GPU Polaris 10? Hawaii Hawaii Tonga
Launch Date 06/29/16 06/18/15 06/18/15 06/18/15
Launch Price $199 $429 $329 $199

The memory bandwidth of Project Scorpio, 320 GB/s, is also relatively interesting given the current rates of the RX 480 topping out at 256 GB/s. The 320 GB/s number seems round enough to be a GPU only figure, but given previous embedded memory designs is likely to include some form of embedded memory. How much is impossible to say at this point.

AMD has stated that the RX 480 is a VR Gaming capable card, so given what we've said about the Xbox One S tackling VR, it's clear that Project Scorpio is right on the money. AMD's business plan as of late is to expand its custom SoC business, and thus sticking Zen and a GCN 4 based architecture on a combined package or die for Microsoft makes a lot of sense. At the RX 480 announcement, it was stated that AMD wants to power the first 100 million VR users, and this would help towards that goal.

It's worth noting that this news piece contains a decent amount of speculation based on knowledge of the market, and the only elements confirmed for Project Scorpio are the eight cores, >6 TFLOPs, 320 GB/s, and it is coming in 2017. If anyone wants to officially correct any speculation, please get in touch. 

Sources: Ars Technica (Carousel Image), Verge Live Blog (Video Screen Capture)

Additional: We can confirm that Scorpio will be an AMD based design, as expected.

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  • Krysto - Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - link

    I doubt we'll see HBM2 on 14nm - or ever. AMD already says Navi will use a "next-gen memory", although it's still not clear whether that refers to scaling up HBM2 to all products, or a completely new type of memory. Reply
  • T1beriu - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    That's why I said 2-3 years. :) Reply
  • Krysto - Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - link

    I'm surprised a site like Anandtech isn't considering 4-core CPU with 8 threads, and assumes by default it's going to be an 8-core Zen. That would be way too expensive for a console, and it's completely unnecessary to provide a big boost over the current CPU.

    In fact, we should consider lucky it will even be a quad-core Zen, and not a higher clocked dual-core one with 4 threads, or worse, another Jaguar successor. I'd be disappointed if it's not a quad-core Zen with 8 threads, though - it just makes the most sense.
    Reply
  • T1beriu - Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - link

    Because 8 threads ain't the same as 8 cores. That's why. :) Reply
  • SunnyNW - Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - link

    With all this emphasis on 4K and Phil SPencer saying the new Scorpio is "built specifically to lead the console industry into true 4K gaming..." It makes me wonder would it not be better to use the extra GPU power and console resources for better graphical fidelity at 1080p? Better shadows, lighting, etc. can go a long way in bringing photo-realistic gaming with 6 Tflops at 1080p. Full HD resolution is already pretty crisp and with good AA I can't help but wonder if this would not be the better direction. Any thoughts? Reply
  • BehindEnemyLines - Sunday, June 19, 2016 - link

    Developers can choose to use it how they see fit. I think dynamic resolution and dynamic graphics will become more common especially with first party. You can already see it with Forza 6 Apex dynamic resolution and graphics. It's really cool. Reply
  • fanofanand - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    But marketing. Reply
  • yhselp - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    Read this shortly after the E3 presentation, but didn't have time to comment.

    Thank you so much for releasing this in a timely matter - when I hit the Anandtech bookmark after the presentation this was precisely the article I was hoping for. Thank you for taking the time to write it, on time. Very much appreciated.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, June 20, 2016 - link

    Spell check:

    "So Project Scorpio will have easily have more CUs than Xbox One," - Should remove one "have".

    Also, partially subjective, everywhere it says "Xbox One" should read "Xbone".
    Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, June 20, 2016 - link

    I'd be very surprised if that 320GB/s figure was a sustained load figure, RMS to use audio parlance.

    More likely it's a burst figure that comes from cache, though what kind and form the cache will take? Your guess is as good as mine.

    They better fucking not name this the Xbox Two. They do that I can't ever buy on pure principal.
    Reply

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