The reason behind 360’s RROD: “Microsoft wanted to avoid an ASIC vendor”

By Patrick Garratt, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 10:18 GMT

Speaking at the Design Automation Conference in California this week, Bryan Lewis, research vice president and chief analyst at Gartner, said that the reason Microsoft was forced to admit Xbox 360’s hardware faults and spend $1 billion on a recall was because the firm wanted to avoid paying a third party to help make the console’s GPU.

“Microsoft wanted to avoid an ASIC vendor,” said Lewis, designed the chip by itself, cut a traditional manufacturer out of the process and went straight to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

When the RROD problem got out of hand, Microsoft struck a deal with an unnamed ASIC vendor – probably ATI – and issued the recall.

Lewis added: “Had Microsoft left the graphics processor design to an ASIC vendor in the first place, would they have been able to avoid this problem? Probably. The ASIC vendor could have been able to design a graphics processor that dissipates much less power.”

Thanks to EETimes.

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