Sunday, October 5, 2008

Microsoft Reportedly Initiated Shipments of Xbox 360 with New Chips

Just weeks after Microsoft Corp. reduced pricing of its Xbox 360 video game systems in the European Union and the USA, a new version of the console reportedly started to arrive. It is believed that the novelty is cheaper to make, sports lower power consumption and is generally more reliable.

According a web-site that monitors DVD drives and mainboards of Xbox 360 game console – 360drives.com – there are many instances when end-users found code-named Jasper mainboards inside their video game systems. The new systems were acquired by actual customers in the UK and the USA.

The code-named Jasper design of the Xbox 360 game console uses ATI Xenos graphics and memory controller hub (GMCH) made using 65nm process at TSMC as well as IBM Xenon central processing unit (CPU) produced at IBM’s 65nm nodes. The new system design is projected to consume less electricity, use less complex cooling systems, produce less noise and be cheaper to manufacture.

The web-site contains pictures of code-named Xenon, the first incarnation of Xbox 360 motherboards with 90nm microprocessor and 90nm graphics chip; Zephyr, which is Xenon mainboard with HDMI output as well as improved cooling system; Falcon which sports 65nm CPU and 90nm GMCH; Opus, a mainboard that sports 65nm CPU and 90nm GMCH, but comes without HDMI. Even though the web-site has not published a photo of Jasper motherboard, end-users could determine that they have one since it did not resemble any of the published.

It is about time for a new Xbox 360 design to show up. Earlier this year it was reported that production of the new version of the console was slated to begin in August.

Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.

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