Regular Microsoft insider Dean Takahashi has suggested that the company is planning another change
in the Xbox 360 console's internal architecture, with a motherboard codenamed "Jasper" to replace the new "Falcon" board by around August of next year.
San Jose Mercury News journalist and Opening the Xbox
author Dean Takahashi was the first to report on the Falcon architecture
- recently introduced to reduce production costs, retail prices and help address complaints of hardware unreliability for the Xbox 360.
Although the Falcon architecture has never been officially acknowledged by Microsoft, and is not identified on the console packaging, the new hardware has begun to appear in U.S. stores this autumn. The Falcon replaces the original 90-nanometer chip manufacturing process of the original "Zephyr" board with a less costly 65-nanometer process, resulting in a cheaper and more heat efficient CPU.
According to Takahashi, the Jasper architecture will also feature a 65-nanometer graphics chip and memory chips. He speculates that the Jasper will thereby be more reliable than even the Falcon consoles, which appears to have reduced but not eliminated reliability problems.
Takahashi further theorizes that the lower production costs of the Jasper will enable a further price cut for the Xbox 360, well in time for the Christmas 2008 gift buying season.
Given Microsoft's refusal to acknowledge the widely reported hardware problems of the Xbox 360 or discuss in detail any hardware refinements, confirmed details of the new architecture may never be made available.