The CPU for the Xbox 2 is rumored to be designed to be a processor that can decode and execute instructions in Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) while at the same time being able to run x86 code, to remain compatible with Xbox.
Of course this is only a rumor and we’ve heard a few bad ones already, but still. One of my early tasks at my current company was to give a presentation on .NET, where it came from, where its going etc. I had a slide that was all about one of the hidden benefits of .NET was that it untied Microsoft’s hands from x86. Relative old-timers know that NT itself was built on the idea of multi-cpu architecture support (MIPS, Alpha, PPC, x86) but the others just fell off due to competitive, not technical reasons.
Anyway, I’m not surprised at all that MS is looking to implement something along the lines of a lightweight .NET runtime for PPC or possibly even an MSIL specific silicon. Normally I would say that MSIL on silicon wouldn’t be something MS would consider due to upgrade concerns, but since this is an XBOX, almost by definition, a static platform – maybe.
The title refers to Suns perennial MAJC chip design announcements which like many Sun technologies never really succeeded in finding an audience.
[via Early Adopter]