News is breaking that Microsoft is preparing a 65nm GPU for the next Xbox 360, codename Jasper and due in August. The most recent updates to the ever popular games console, namely the Falcon revision, seem to have helped a lot with RRoD failure: also known as Red Ring of Death. This occurs when the system overheats, burns and crashes with a telltale three flashing red light rings to the front of the console. It has blighted the hardware since launch, and has yet to go away completely. Falcon improved the cooling capability and reduced the size of the CPU die to 65nm.

Which is where Jasper comes in, with its 65nm GPU to replace the current 90nm one which is still proving problematical. This is said to run much cooler and so reduce the overheating issue which is at the heart of the RRoD failures.

Hopefully, by the time the extended 3 year warranties which Microsoft introduced by way of calming tension amongst an unhappy gaming fraternity over the RRoD failures, a new Xbox will be with us. Microsoft is currently working on a next generation version of the 360 which has the codename Valhalla and will integrate CPU and GPU into a single unit. While this will result, we are told, in a cheaper production process it is as yet unclear if this will translate into a cheaper console (unlikely) or a cooler one (hopefully it will.)

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A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to Forbes.com, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...