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MS readies second-gen 65nm Xbox 360?

'Jasper' due next year

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Microsoft will release updated versions of its Xbox 360, this time with even more 65nm chippery, from August 2008, the console's pundit-in-chief has claimed.

The new version is codenamed 'Jasper' - actually, that's the name of the motherboard new models will be based upon - and is set to incorporate an incarnation of the console's AMD-made R500 graphics chip fabbed at 65nm.

So claims Dean Takahashi, who's been covering the Xbox 360 since before it was launched and last year published Xbox 360 Uncloaked, the first history of the console's development.

R500 is currently fabbed at 90nm, and it's the 90nm version that's being used in 'Falcon', the new Xbox 360 motherboard that incorporates a 65nm version of the multi-core IBM PowerPC processor that drives the console. Falcon also integrates HDMI.

Falcon was rumoured to be on the verge of being launched for most of 2007. Microsoft finally began shipping Falcon-based Xbox 360s last month, it emerged recently.

Falcon's use of a 65nm CPU allows it to get away with a less complex cooling system, and the introduction of Jasper will cut the components' heat output further. Excessive heat is widely blamed for the infamours Red Ring of Death that has plagued many a 360 and forced Microsoft to extend the console's warranty period to three years - at a cost of $1bn.

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