Microsoft to start its own chip design lab for new Xbox
byCyrus Farivar||October 21st 2006 at 8:03amOctober 21st 2006 8:03 am
Ah, Wintel. The mere convergence of the words "Windows" and "Intel" harkens back to a simpler time (call it the 1980s and 1990s), when Microsoft and Intel were literally joined at the hip. Microsoft provided the software, and Intel brought the brains. Today in the aught decade, everything's all whacked -- Apple has partnered with Intel, dumping IBM. Meanwhile, Microsoft is in the video game business, and now powers its Xbox with IBM chips. Well, get ready for yet another change in the who's-in-bed-with-whom story: Microsoft is leaving IBM. Who's the lucky bride? Itself! Yes, that's right, according to a report in yesterday's Gray Lady, Microsoft will be starting its own chip design division, with the ultra-creative name: "The Computer Architecture Group," and will be split between Redmond, Washington and Mountain View, California. The venerable NYT adds that Microsoft will use the lab to beef up chips in the next-generation Xbox (the Xbox 720?), and will be headed by Charles P. Thacker (pictured here working on the CAG gang sign). He's formerly of the legendary Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where he helped work on the original Alto and the invention of Ethernet. All that aside, we're kinda concerned that IBM doesn't get too depressed over this development, and hope that Big Blue will at least get the kids, the car, and the house.