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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 omnicronx on 5/9/2008 1:32:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm curiose to see what the official sales #'s for GTA4 are... Despite not being that into the game if MS has their claimed 2:1 sales advantage I think that says one whole hell of a lot about the current state of the console wars.
Went to go buy the 360 version yesterday, Sold out.. plenty of PS3 versions of the shelf though..

I was actually going to buy the PS3 version, as it was originally thought that because they are compressing the textures on the 360, that the ps3 version would look better. All the reviews seem to think that they look almost identical, so I changed my mind in favor of the extra content and the fact that online play seems to be better on the 360.(in my opinion)


By Locutus465 on 5/9/2008 1:56:51 PM , Rating: 2
I did rent the 360 version and I have to say that it is indeed one good looking game. Not quite a halo 3 or gears of war but very good looking none the less. I may eventually buy it, but it might be a while. Frankely GTA4 lost out to Mario Kart Wii in my home.


RE: Gotta Appreciate The Second Effort
By Reclaimer77 on 5/9/2008 1:57:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I was actually going to buy the PS3 version, as it was originally thought that because they are compressing the textures on the 360, that the ps3 version would look better. All the reviews seem to think that they look almost identical, so I changed my mind in favor of the extra content and the fact that online play seems to be better on the 360.(in my opinion)


Exactly another misconception by the PS3 crowd that gets under my skin. The idea that because it has more graphical power than the 360 and has Blu-Ray, it automatically translates into a better experience for the end user. This is simply not the case. Games are not just going to magically " look better " on the PS3 over the 360 because of hardware.


By Locutus465 on 5/9/2008 2:13:37 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps I'm wrong or my info is out of date but I thought it was generally accepted that the 360 has a better GPU bet less over all CPU power... Wouldn't things pretty much even out? Sort of like ME-109 v. spitfire?


RE: Gotta Appreciate The Second Effort
By omnicronx on 5/9/2008 2:44:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Exactly another misconception by the PS3 crowd that gets under my skin. The idea that because it has more graphical power than the 360 and has Blu-Ray, it automatically translates into a better experience for the end user. This is simply not the case. Games are not just going to magically " look better " on the PS3 over the 360 because of hardware.
Do some research, in order to fit the entire game on a DVD-9 rockstar had to compress the textures. This process was not needed on the PS3 because of the extra space BD provides. In theory uncompressed textures should look better, but it seems rockstar did a very good job, and as it turns out, the difference is negligeable. Hats off to rockstar on this, this only shows that DVD9 still has some life it it.

quote:
This is simply not the case. Games are not just going to magically " look better " on the PS3 over the 360 because of hardware.
Sure it does, but Microsoft got the 360 into the market first, thus it now has a larger userbase and more people to buy games. When talking about cross platform games this is a very important variable. I have always found that a crossplatform game is limited by the weakest console, especially when the weaker console has a larger userbase. Just consider the PS2, devs would make games for it then port the it to the Xbox because it had a much larger userbase. Although less and less games are being directly ported, the full potential of the PS3 has yet to be reached.

I personally think that MS's decision automatically add 4x AA to any game regardless of how the dev programs it has given it a major advantage. Half the PS3 games I own have terrible jagged edges as though it was directly ported from the 360 version.. Live08 comes to mind as a terrible culprit.


RE: Gotta Appreciate The Second Effort
By Reclaimer77 on 5/9/2008 3:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hats off to rockstar on this, this only shows that DVD9 still has some life it it.


DVD9 is the dominant format in all console and PC gaming. Yeah, I should say it has " life left " in it. This might shock you but Blu-Ray isn't taking the world by storm.

quote:
Sure it does, but Microsoft got the 360 into the market first, thus it now has a larger userbase and more people to buy games.


Huh ? You just admitted GTA4 doesn't look better on the PS3. Again, stop with the " 360 was first " crutch argument.


By robinthakur on 5/12/2008 5:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
Its inevitable that higher capacity formats will start to take a foothold in the market. If you doubt this, look at history. Or do you think the next Xbox will come with a dvd9 drive still? ITs just more likely to be a data limitation which drives the format adoption and not hi-def video as was thought.

GTA4 doesn't look significantly better on PS3 than 360, I know because I bought both versions. The point he was making, which flew clear over your tiny head, was that Rockstar had to work around the limitations of the 360 by decompressing the textures on the fly (hence the odd bit of pop-in visible) The fact that the 360 launched a year and a bit earlier than the PS3 IS indisputable. However, it didn't stop Nintendo from cruising past the 360 sales wise or am I not allowed to mention that, as your brain clearly runs on Vista? Yes Nintendo is the world leader. They sold more consoles. They won this round. The 360 lost. Keep on whining about attach rates and try not to imagine the money bleeding out of Redmond straight into Nintendo's treasure chest.

Sony's arrogance might well be its undoing, but to be fair both MS and Sony have made slip-ups this time around. MS the defective hardware and a not very diverse range of titles and Sony for launching an expensive product too late and too many SKU's.

I've noticed a trend in your posts which is to slam people that criticise MS, slam people from Europe and generally just be spoiling for a reaction. Maybe get some anger management and get off your knees once in a while.


"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer














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