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Microsoft orders 65nm Xbox 360 graphics chip

'Jasper' to break Red Ring of Death?

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Claims the next incarnation of the Xbox 360's internal workings is due to begin being built into the console in August appear to be on track. Microsoft was this week said to have placed orders with chip and motherboard makers.

According to a Taiwanese Economic News (TEN) report, MS has TSMC producing a 65nm version of the Xbox 360's graphics chip. The part, along with the 'Xenon' CPU - already fabbed by IBM at 65nm - will be stamped onto the motherboard by Nanya. TSMC is also making the ancillary chippery, it's said.

The result will be 'Jasper', the forecast next version of the Xbox 360's core components.

The original 360 has a 90nm GPU and a 90nm CPU. Last year, console based on the 'Falcon' platform incorporated the 65nm CPU. With the debut of Jasper and its 65nm GPU, the over-heating problems - manifested most clearly in the infamous Red Ring of Death - that have plagued no small number of Xbox 360 owners will evaporate.

So Microsoft undoubtedly hopes, having had to replace many a console that has RRoD-ed. Even today, numerous Register Hardware readers have posted comments stating they have still had to send back malfunctioning consoles for replacement.

While plenty of Xbox 360 owners remain untroubled by the issue, enough have that Microsoft was last year forced to extend the console's warranty to three years. Indeed, in February 2008, electronics warranty firm SquareTrade alleged that, at the time, each new Xbox has a 16.4 per cent chance of breaking down - compared to around three per cent for the Wii and the PS3.

The company blamed the higher-than-average failure rate on the RRoD.

The TEN report also claimed MS is already working on Japser's successor, 'Valhalla', due to be implement in Q3 2009.

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