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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Freelance technology journalist, mainly covering the cybersecurity beat, and contributing to:, The Times/Sunday Times (via Raconteur Special Reports), PC Pro, SC Magazine, Infosecurity Magazine and Digital Health Intelligence.

Three times winner IT Security Journalist of the Year (2006, 2008, 2010), Technology Journalist of the Year award (1996)