According to a new rumour, IBM and Global Foundries are hard at work on the main processor for the next-generation Xbox.
Reportedly codenamed 'Oban', the processor is said to be a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) - a 32nm processor that incorporates a PowerPC CPU and an ATI Southern Islands GPU - basically a modified version of the 7000 series GPUs.
Fudzilla reports (Via Industry Gamers) that Microsoft put the two companies to work on the new chip in December last year.
The site's 'sources' say a 2012 release is therefore unlikely, pitching 2013 as a more likely year for MS to make its next-gen move, with a possible announcement before the end of the year.
The report also speculates that MS could be ready to start handing out development kits as early as March or April.
Rumours on the next-gen console have been rapid-firing from various sources since late last year, with strong reports of a launch in 2013 (including apparent leaks from inside Microsoft's Xbox team).