E3 '07: 65nm CPU 360s nearing release

Author of <i>The Xbox 360 Uncloaked</i> says Microsoft is readying "Falcon," a 360 with smaller, less expensive, and more reliable chips inside.

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SANTA MONICA, Calif.--In April of last year, Singapore-based hardware maker Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing announced that it would be making 65nm Xbox 360 CPUs to replace the 90nm chips it was already providing Microsoft. At the time, the company expected the first systems using the CPUs to arrive in stores sometime this year.

While Microsoft has been generally quiet about its plans for revamping the innards of its console and when such plans would go into effect, San Jose Mercury News tech writer Dean Takahashi is reporting that the company is nearly ready to release 65nm CPU-equipped Xbox 360, which it currently refers to by the codename "Falcon." Takahasi expects the chip to start appearing in retail Xbox 360s this fall.

For Microsoft, the advantage of using a 65nm chip is that it would have lower energy requirements, cheaper chip production costs, and lower heat output. The reduced heat output could make the Xbox 360 less prone to failure, a desirable effect for the company that just announced a warranty-extension program that will set the company back more than $1 billion.

A Microsoft representative told GameSpot, "We are constantly updating internal components on our consoles and therefore will not comment on details of specific components or manufacturing processes."

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