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"Yippee-ki-yay, Mr. Falcon." Microsoft prepares 65nm chips for Xbox 360

When it comes to Microsoft's Xbox 360, Dean Takahashi always seems to have the inside scoop. He was the first to spill the beans on Xbox 360 IPTV and provided confirmation on the existence of the Xbox 360 Elite.

Today, Takahashi confirmed that Microsoft's upcoming 65nm die shrink for the Xbox 360's microprocessor and GPU is codenamed "Falcon." Takahashi reports that Microsoft is currently qualifying the new Falcon chips along with a redesigned motherboard. The 65nm-equipped Xbox 360s are due to hit store shelves this fall.

The new chips are not only smaller and roughly 50 percent cheaper to produce than their 90nm counterpart, but they are also cooler. Cooler-running chips coupled with a revised cooling solution would go a long way to eradicating the Xbox 360’s fatal flaw: the Red Ring of Death (RROD).

Heat has been a big problem with the Xbox 360 and has been the root cause of RROD cases around the globe. Microsoft has countered the RROD failures by increasing the warranty of the console, adding various "warranty enhancements" and beefed up cooling solutions on new production Xbox 360 units.

Microsoft ultimately caved in to mounting pressure from the Xbox 360 community on RROD failures and announced a $1 billion initiative to service Xbox 360s afflicted with the problem and extended warranty coverage for those machines to three years.

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<i>Late</i> Fall
By Goty on 7/9/2007 2:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
If they're only just qualifying chips this late into the summer, I doubt we'll see any 65nm 360s until late fall, probably just before the Christmas buying rush.

RE: <i>Late</i> Fall
By TomZ on 7/9/2007 4:58:45 PM , Rating: 1
Based on this schedule, I doubt 65nm parts will be in retail for this season. Shipments to retail for the holiday season are generally done around October, and if you work backwards from that, considering overseas production, shipping, and testing/qualification prior, I would guess there's not time for this season.

On the other hand, maybe they'll "fast track" this change in light of the issues with the existing design.

RE: <i>Late</i> Fall
By Parhel on 7/9/2007 5:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
If the failure rate is anywhere near what people are speculating, then they very well might "fast track" it considering the number of systems that will ship for the Christmas season. But, the RROD issues may have already been resolved in current systems via the revised cooling solution.

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