" The Xbox 360 will have a custom-designed IBM processor that has three processing cores, each capable of handling two threads, or two separate applications. Six total threads provides a lot of processing power, but it adds to the software complexity, because you now have to manage resources between all the processes. Microsoft has a lot of experience with multithreaded applications, and the company is confident that developing on the processor won't be a problem. It might take developers a while to figure out the most efficient way to use all the threads, but the large number of threads will give programmers a lot of flexibility. The 165-million transistor chip will run at 3.2GHz, and it'll have a vacuum-sealed, water-cooled heat sink to handle heat dissipation.
"Microsoft will pair the IBM processor with an advanced 500MHz ATI graphics chip. The ATI chip will have "48-way parallel floating-point dynamically-scheduled shader pipelines." Today's PC desktop video cards max out at 16 pipelines, but the technologies aren't quite the same. The new ATI graphics chip will be based on a new unified shader model that processes vertex and pixels through the same multipurpose pipelines. Current PC video cards have pipelines dedicated to pixel processing or vertex processing. ATI's current top-of-the-line Radeon X850 XT PE graphics chip, for example, has 16-pixel pipelines and 6-vertex pipelines. We don't know how these new hybrid pipelines will perform compared to the older, dedicated pipeline designs, but with 48 of 'em, we're betting that the next-gen ATI chip will live up to expectations"