Xbox 360 CPU Upgrade in Q1 2007
Manufacturing process to switch from 90nm to 65nm.
September 28, 2006
- Vnunet.com reports today that Chartered Semiconductor of Singapore, manufacturer of the Xbox 360's CPU, will begin manufacturing a new version of the chip in Q1 2007. The current Xbox 360 CPU uses a 90-nanometer manufacturing process, a relatively old-fashioned technique compared to the cutting edge 40nm process soon to be perfected by Intel and AMD.
Chartered Semiconductor will update the 360 CPU to a 65nm process, the current state-of-the-art in chip manufacturing techniques. The new Xbox 360 CPUs will benefit from lower power consumption, and thus much lower operating heat. The change will likely have a dramatic impact upon Xbox 360 reliability, as the console, especially the first batch of units manufactured before January 2006, has something of a reputation for being prone to hardware failure and the dreaded "Red Eye of Death."
While the exact cause of the Xbox 360 hardware's tendency to die remains unclear, decreasing the internal operating temperature of any piece of high-end electronics has a dramatic effect on reliability. Microsoft will likely also benefit from reduced costs as a result of a more efficient manufacturing process that will allow for more CPUs per silicon wafer.