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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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By robinthakur on 5/12/2008 5:14:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yet again, you seem to enjoy coming across like an ignorant pig and seem to assume that just because I'm criticising MS that I do not OWN a Xbox 360. I actually own all current generation consoles and personally dislike the fact that a) its very noisy, b) that the noise varies like the fan's dying and c) that the console fails to boot up roughly 33% of the time. That's an anecdotal statistic, but I can assure you that its not an exaggeration.

You don't seem to understand the concept of testing. I refer you to my original post. They would test a batch of consoles which typifies the shipping product. They stress test them under varying conditions and using tests to simulate a lifetime of wear and tear. This is what should have happened. Its not rocket science, every manufacturer of virtually everything has to do it. This is a problem where a console overheats where the ambient atmosphere is room temperature significantly high to warp the motherboard and melt solder. That's a significant fault, and you'd have to be blind or just thick not to see it. You don't need an amp sitting on top of it and run it on carpet for the fault to occur and you're actually patronising your fellow 12 year old Xbox fanbois in saying that.

Generally consumer electronics standards and quality control have suffered, yes, but the fact remains that the 360 has an absolutely pitiful reliability record, one which Microsoft is painfully aware of. In fact everybody seems to be aware of it but you.

As for the PS3 failing due to heat en masse, get a god-damn clue. Everybody knows that the PS3, since the first generation (whatever its other faults), has had extremely good and quiet cooling, and you pulling out stats from your ass still leaves the rest of the stuff thats shoved up there.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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