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KL Microsoft XBOX 380 CPU ES.jpg
IBM Xenon microprocessor.
Designed by IBM
Common manufacturer(s) Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing
Instruction set Power Architecture
Cores 3 (physical), 6 (logical)
L1 cache 32/32 kB
L2 cache 1 MB

Xenon is a CPU that is used in the Xbox 360 game console. The processor, internally codenamed "Waternoose" by IBM[1] and "XCPU" by Microsoft, is based on IBM's PowerPC instruction set architecture, consisting of three independent processor cores on a single die. These cores are slightly modified versions of the PPE in the Cell processor which was designed specifically for the PlayStation 3.[2][3] Each core has two symmetric hardware threads (SMT), for a total of six hardware threads available to games. Each individual core also includes 32 KiB of L1 instruction cache and 32 KiB of L1 data cache.

The processors are labelled "XCPU" on the packaging and are manufactured by Chartered. Chartered reduced the fabrication process in 2007 to 65 nm, thus reducing manufacturing costs for Microsoft.

The name "Xenon" was repurposed from the code name for the Xbox 360 in early development.



  1. ^ "Learning from failure - The inside story on how IBM out-foxed Intel with the Xbox 360", Dean Takahashi, Electronic Business, May 1, 2006
  2. ^ "Processing The Truth: An Interview With David Shippy", Leigh Alexander, Gamasutra, January 16, 2009
  3. ^ "Playing the Fool", Jonathan V. Last, Wall Street Journal, December 30, 2008
  4. ^ a b c d e f Jeffrey Brown (2005-12-06). "Application-customized CPU design: The Microsoft Xbox 360 CPU story". Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  5. ^ César A. Berardini (2006-08-21). "Chartered to Manufacture 65-nm Xbox 360 CPUs". Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  6. ^ a b "Xbox360 security system". >
  • Xenon hardware overview by Pete Isensee, Development Lead, Xbox Advanced Technology Group, written some time before 23 June 2004

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