VentureBeat reporter and renowned Microsoft digger Dean Takahashi has said that the new 'Jasper' version of Xbox 360 hardware could do away with the Red Ring of Death forever.
Jasper introduces a 65nm version of the graphics chip among other tweaks. "With the new design, Microsoft has a chance to rise above the problems associated with the Red Ring of Death," Takahashi wrote, then hedging: "We'll see if the systems prove reliable."
"The graphics chip will likely consume less power than previous versions, allowing it to fit snugly into its motherboard socket. That should lead to fewer system failures due to the graphics chips coming loose."
Takahashi summarised his previous reporting on the Red Ring of Death to explain Jasper's potential. Old models has 90nm chips that overheated thanks to thermal fatigue, he said, which Microsoft previously attempted to off-set with improved heat-sinks.
Jasper also comes with 256MB of internal flash memory, allowing Microsoft to bundle New Xbox Experience without relying on a hard disk or external memory card.
It's not yet known how you will be able to distinguish a Jasper 360 from its predecessors without ripping it open, but once current retail inventory has been exhausted the new model should take over, and has already appeared in the wild judging by illustrated Xbox-Scene posts linked by the VentureBeat reporter.
Once we get our hands on Jasper, expect Eurogamer's technical guru Rich Leadbetter to rip it apart to get some answers. Check out our Xbox 360 Elite hardware test feature to see what he made of that back in June last year.