Xbox One Lead Engineer: ‘Who Cares About a Couple of Hundred Million PCs Anymore?’

Xbox One Lead Engineer: ‘Who Cares About a Couple of Hundred Million PCs Anymore?’

At the Develop Conference 2017, the one-time lead engineer on the Xbox One and Xbox Live founder Boyd Multerer stated that mobile devices are driving innovation in CPUs.

“Mobile phones drive the research of CPUs, there’s no question about it,” Boyd Multerer, said at Develop. Processor developers like Intel and ARM have prioritised their mobile projects because “the market is phones. Who cares about a couple of hundred million PCs anymore? This is about billions of phones.”

When desktop processors were a priority, Multerer explained that it was about making faster CPUs. Now he believes that it’s all about cutting power usage.

“If they can lower the amount of power use of that instruction by a little bit, that gives them a competitive edge against other chips. […] The phone industry says I can have 16 CPUs so that when you want to run a complicated app I can go into high power mode and I’ll have all of them working at the same time and work really fast. As soon as that app goes to the background, 14 of those CPUs get turned off and sit there drawing zero power while the next app is in front.”


According to him, this trend is here to stay, with the shift from power efficiency “not going to happen in the next ten years.”

Although, this doesn’t help PC gaming directly, it does impact servers necessary for PC gaming.

Speaking to PCGamesN after his talk, Multerer said that “the effort into having lower power performance on mobile is absolutely benefitting us on the servers.” Reason being ongoing power and cooling costs are a large chunk of the expenditure needed to keep servers running.

“That’s why Facebook…

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