February 16, 2006 – Seems one reason why Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming systems have had tight supplies is that some Infineon memory chips aren’t up to spec.
Infineon Technologies AG, who with Samsung supplies the Xbox’s 512MB of GDDR3 graphics memory chips, has had trouble making enough of the chips and at the right speeds, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News. Some of Infineon’s chips ran slower than the required 700MHz speed, and contract manufacturers Wistron and Flextronics have had to weed them out of the supply, delaying assembly of the systems. Only one unified memory architecture connects the Xbox’s memory with the graphics chip and microprocessor, meaning that slower memory access rates cause the entire system to bog down, noted SJNM reporter Dean Takahashi.
It’s unclear how much the Infineon problem has contributed to overall Xbox shortages, he added, since Microsoft has cited a variety of problems.