Till a few months back I used to look at new job openings within Microsoft to find information about their new products, now I am searching for a job. Going through the new positions, I came across one where Microsoft talks about updates to the Xbox.
There is little known about what Microsoft is planning. The Xbox 360 has so far been getting incremental hardware upgrades and many are thinking about how Microsoft will be furthering the boundaries of innovation in entertainment with a new Xbox – the Xbox 720. A recent job opening describes Microsoft’s plans to reduce the (production) costs of an Xbox. The Xbox team hopes to get this done by designing a new motherboard for the Xbox.
For those keeping tabs, with the Xbox 360 Slim or Xbox 360 2010 Microsoft introduced a new motherboard design codenamed Vejle. Vejle’s single chip design (CPU+GPU+Memory) allowed engineers to improve the cooling for the console and also with the on-chip memory, one could access more features without an HDD or memory card. Microsoft is looking to improve this design. The job description explains:
The team is responsible for the design and aggressive cost reduction of the console throughout the life of the product as well as expanding the market for the console in derivative products.
The responsibilities of this position are focused on specifying, designing (schematic capture, PCB layout, BOM, cost analysis), implementing and verifying subsystems on the Xbox motherboard. This includes development of subsystem requirements by working with team members evaluating different solution options for functionality, cost and risk, developing the solution, implementing it, verifying it and supporting it in production. […]
The hardware design for computers has seen radical changes and it is now becoming an engineering challenge to keep systems cool, reduce size and perform better. It will be interesting to get a look at how Microsoft engineers achieve this.