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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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Jasper = Blu-Ray Xbox 360?
By pwnsweet on 5/9/2008 6:41:51 AM , Rating: 3
There was a report here on DT that said Asus were working on a Blu-Ray enabled Xbox 360 and that it would be released in the third quarter of this year. If I'm not mistaken, the Jasper revision is also slated to be released in the third quarter of this year. Does this imply that the Jasper revision and the Blu-Ray enabled Xbox 360 are the same thing? If not, what revision will the Blu-Ray enable 360 be called?

RE: Jasper = Blu-Ray Xbox 360?
By FITCamaro on 5/9/2008 8:31:35 AM , Rating: 3
It's likely that if a Blu-ray model is released, it will use the Jasper hardware. But I don't think the two necessarily coincide with each other.

Likely the Blu-ray model will become the new Elite.

RE: Jasper = Blu-Ray Xbox 360?
By Arribajuan on 5/9/2008 11:26:37 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, I think we might have a bluelite model with jasper internals.

And the rest of the line with jasper internals and normal dvd drive.

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