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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 mmntech on 5/9/2008 10:43:15 AM , Rating: 2
The design was flawed since the 360's cooling system was inadequate for it. Two tiny heatsinks and a pair of 60mm fans wasn't enough. That's why they redesigned it after Falcon came out. The PowerPC 90nm processors run very hot. Look at the cooling system they had in the PowerMac G5 and that was only for two cores.

Anyway, it's good to see the Jasper cores finally coming out, even if it is better late than never. This should solve the cooling issues and prevent a lot of RRODs.

By Locutus465 on 5/9/2008 11:13:48 AM , Rating: 2
PowerPC cooling issues have already been fixed, falcon only deals with the GPU. Changes made to Falcon really did help out quite a bit, my 360 is very quiet and doesn't seem to get terribly hot as far as I can tell. I've also left the sucker on all day downloading video store content with no issue.

Though my 360 also sit's out in the open. Milage may very here (and as hotly debated as the noise/heat issues my guess is it does very greatly)

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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