updated 12:50 pm EDT, Thu May 8, 2008
65nm Xbox 360s in August
An improved Xbox 360 platform should arrive late this year, according to a Taiwanese publication. Industry news source CENS says that Microsoft has already begun contracting out the production of 65nm chips, which should form a part of the console's Jasper revision, said to be due in August. The timing is also said to be related to the depletion of chips for the current 360 design, dubbed Falcon. The Falcon's main processor uses 65nm technology, but most other components -- notably the graphics processor -- are built using 90nm manufacturing. A still superior design called the Valhalla is expected in fall of 2009.
Widespread 65nm may be extremely important to both gamers and Microsoft, as Falcon systems have been plagued by "red ring of death" failures, generally attributed to inefficient electronics; as a result, Microsoft has been forced to replace numerous 360s at its own expense. 65nm chips should not only be less failure-prone, but cooler, quieter and less power-consuming.