Microsoft had all sorts of trouble with the reliability of its XBox 360. Tales of the "Red Ring of Death" gave potential buyers pause, and Microsoft spend a small fortune replacing defective units. One of the main reasons the game console was so fragile is that the 90nm scale GPU ran very hot. 65nm chips to the rescue!
Microsoft will make available its Jasper version of XBox360 game consoles in August this year and has contracted dedicated chipmakers to build chips for the latest machine. Contracts for manufacturing, packaging and testing the 65nm Xenon microprocessors have gone to International Business Machines (IBM).
TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) is chosen to make the 65nm graphics chips and north-bridge chips for Xenon chips, ASE (Advanced Semiconductor Engineering)is contracted to package and test the two chips, and Nanya has won orders to supply flip-chip packaging substrates. The contract has booked a total of foundry capacity for around 10,000 300mm wafers at TSMC, currently the No.1 player of silicon-foundry industry worldwide.
The next generation version of the XBox, code-named Valhalla, is due out for the Holiday season in 2009. I hope it doesn't make the Halo Grunts move any faster.