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Print 104 comment(s) - last by robinthakur.. on May 15 at 5:30 AM

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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By theapparition on 5/9/2008 2:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And you sir are a hypocrite.

I'd like to find exactly what in my response you find hypocritical. My point is, and has always been that Microsoft didn't have a clue that so many would fail after release. This clearly caught them off guard.

quote:
He makes a very good and a very obvious point that a product with a 33% failure rate certainly should not be released into production.

Once again, you miss the entire point. Please, read my original point, then re-read, and then do it again, just for good measure.

HOW do you know a product has a 33% failure rate? If their internal testing demonstrated anything near 5% it wouldn't have been released. I have no idea about their testing, but my guess is that it was not thorough. Fact is, they thought they were releasing a good product. Only later did they find the design errors.

quote:
What is testing meant to do if not simulate the life of a console under many conditions?? Its actually, believe it or not, meant to be able to simulate wear and tear, safety, temperature and likely failure rate.

What your talking about is HALT testing (highly accelerated life testing). There is some speculation that RoHS issues contributed to failures, but wouldn't show up in HALT testing.

quote:
This isn't rocket science, it should have been picked up during testing.

Rocket Science is just engineering. Engineering designs products and errors are introduced. Recalls and TSB's are issued on cars daily. Software constantly corrects errors by releasing patches. Point is, there is errors in everything released. Hopefully, the errors are small and unnoticable. In the 360's case, the errors were catastrophic. It still doesn't imply that Microsoft knowingly release a bad console. By your same logic, Sony should never have released millions of batteries that were susceptable to overheating. Mistakes happen all the time, it's how the company rectifies the situation that matters.

quote:
once they discovered that the failure rates were 33% or higher was of course to recall all the consoles at risk of failure.
So you wan't them to take away 67% of peoples consoles that are working fine (even though I still doubt the failure rates.) Say liberal much???
I have friends who have lauch day consoles that are still working fine. No, what they did is pretty fair. If you console fails, it take a few days to get a new one. Sucks, but not the end of the world. Once again (not ragging on sony), but how many people have had to buy a new PS2 after the old one stopped working?


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