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Microsoft preps 65nm GPU for cooler Xbox 360s

Chip process evolution is a usual thing in a console’s lifecycle, but rarely has it been as important as in the case of the Xbox 360.

Known for its relatively hardware fragility, the original design of the Xbox 360 would frequently fall to the “Red Ring of Death” failure, which Microsoft terms as the three flashing red lights. While improvements in cooling and a CPU die shrink to 65nm in the Falcon revision have surely improved the situation, the problematic GPU still sits with its 90nm process.

The 65nm drop for the GPU in the Xbox 360 revision codenamed Jasper isn’t expected until August, a time frame backed up by a report from CENS. Microsoft has contracted Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE) and Nanya PCB Corp. to build the chips that will ship with the Jasper consoles later this summer.

TSMC will produce the 65nm chips, ASE will package and test them, and Nanya will supply the flip-chip packaging substrates. Microsoft has supposedly booked a production capacity at TSMC estimated to be at around 10,000 300mm wafers.

Inventory of the existing Falcon chips are reportedly depleted, paving the way for the transition to Jasper. The next step for the Xbox 360 console is dubbed “Valhalla,” which will integrate both the GPU and CPU in a single package as a cost-cutting measure, isn’t expected until a year after Jasper.



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RE: Gotta Appreciate The Second Effort
By daftrok on 5/9/2008 1:05:20 AM , Rating: -1
That doesn't excuse them from KNOWINGLY distributing a console that is GUARANTEED to break down and costing them over a billion dollars because of it.

Granted the main reason why the 360 came out early was because the contract for nVidia (the makers of the Original Xbox GPU) expired and Sony got a hold of them, cutting off Microsoft's Xbox (that's why it disappeared entirely when the 360 launched). That doesn't mean "Hey lets throw in a bunch of hot crap into a SMALLER box".

They should have put more resources into the design so that they can have a more stable console in Nov 2005 OR just waited and launched with the other two. It would have given them ample time for game developers and a more stable console. Now its 2008 and they STILL have a 15% failure rate. HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU FREAKING NEED? ISN'T TWO AND A HALF YEARS ENOUGH TO FIX THE PROBLEM?!


RE: Gotta Appreciate The Second Effort
By wetlegs6 on 5/9/2008 2:41:23 AM , Rating: 1
The original Xbox completely dissapeared after the 360 launch? I bought a new one a few months back to mod up...


By daftrok on 5/9/2008 2:42:33 AM , Rating: 1
Meaning they stopped producing them. You don't have to be smart alicky Nintendo stopped making Super Nintendo systems but you can still find them.


RE: Gotta Appreciate The Second Effort
By FITCamaro on 5/9/2008 8:13:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Granted the main reason why the 360 came out early was because the contract for nVidia (the makers of the Original Xbox GPU) expired and Sony got a hold of them, cutting off Microsoft's Xbox (that's why it disappeared entirely when the 360 launched).


Uh...no. The 360 launched earlier than the PS3 and the Wii because typically the console that launches first succeeds the most. And Microsoft wanted to beat them out. And between the PS3 and 360, this is holding true.

Microsoft did not want to work with Nvidia again because of the bad experience with Nvidia. Microsoft did not own the silicon with the first Xbox. They tried to negotiate with Nvidia for a lower price and Nvidia wouldn't budge. As a result, they went to AMD (which had a better architecture anyway) for the 360s GPU and had them design a chip that they(Microsoft) could own.


RE: Gotta Appreciate The Second Effort
By BladeVenom on 5/9/2008 11:36:04 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
The 360 launched earlier than the PS3 and the Wii because typically the console that launches first succeeds the most. And Microsoft wanted to beat them out. And between the PS3 and 360, this is holding true.


Fairchild come out before the Atari 2600
Sega Genesis came out before the SNES
Jaguar and Saturn came out before the Playstation
Dreamcast came out before the PS2
360 came out before the Wii

I don't think coming out first is the advantage you think it is.


By glitchc on 5/11/2008 12:59:04 AM , Rating: 2
I owned a Genesis and liked it a lot, thank you very much. Sonic 1,2 and 3 were great! Plus, I still think the controller design was far superior to the SNES controller.


By straycat74 on 5/9/2008 8:42:54 AM , Rating: 2
I can think of the last anything that I bought that wouldn't be guaranteed to break down.


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