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Third-generation Xbox 360 CPU already in pipeline?

updated 04:30 pm EDT, Wed August 1, 2007

45nm Xbox 360 CPU

A much smaller and cooler version of the Xbox 360's three-core CPU may arrive as early as next year, based on observations made by Chartered Semiconductor president Chia Song Hwee during a public conference call. The company is said to be developing a processor for a "video-game device" which is likely connected to the company's existing work for the Microsoft game system and would be manufactured on a 45 nanometer process, smaller than the yet to be released 65nm upgrade.

Such a changeover would further eliminate the chronic overheating problems of the current 90nm chip and would theoretically allow for a smaller case similar to the slim PlayStation 2 redesign from late 2004. Costs would also likely drop as more CPUs could be reliably made at factories and run with less cooling.

Production of the officially unnamed replacement was not set to begin until late 2008 or early 2009 but would come just a year after the expected fall 2007 upgrade to 65nm for the current-generation Xbox; production of the latter chips has already been underway at Chartered for the past two calendar quarters, Chia all but confirmed to reporters. Whether the company will also handle changes to the hot-running video chipset is unknown.




by MacNN Staff

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