updated 01:15 pm EDT, Wed June 11, 2008
Xbox 360 breakdown cause?
Widespread failures of launch-model Xbox 360s are mainly due to Microsoft efforts at cost-cutting, a Gartner analyst claims. Bryan Lewis, the latter company's VP of research, says that when Microsoft was originally designing its game console, it wanted to omit third-party ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) vendors from its graphics hardware, saving tens of millions of dollars. In designing its own graphics technology, however, it produced chips which regularly overheated, forcing recalls that cost the company over $1 billion.
Microsoft has since met with a unnamed ASIC vendor from the US, according to Lewis, and had the graphics chipset redesigned for higher efficiency. The vendor is rumored to be the AMD-owned ATI Technologies, but this is unverified.
In the long term Microsoft is known to be working on still more efficient architectures called the Jasper and the Valhalla, which mark a switch from 90nm manufacturing to 65nm.