The Origin of the Three Red Lights Revealed

2 min read


Now I know that many of you believe that when an Xbox 360 experiences “the red ring of death”, the source of the problem is Satan himself. Some large brained folks from the land of the free and the home of the Big Mac are saying that they have found the actual source of the issue. reports that “in an unlikely venue at Design Automation Conference here, Bryan Lewis, research vice president and chief analyst at Gartner, disclosed that the problem started in a graphic chip. Lewis offered this offhand revelation while discussing the changing ASIC and ASSP landscape for his DAC audience.

You can read the article yourself if you like, but it there is a lot of industry jargon that most people aren’t interested in. So I am going to explain it in simpler terms.

In an attempt to save bajillions of dollars, the graphics chips in the 360 were designed without going through what is called an ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) vendor. ASIC’s are created when something is being made for a specific use and not for general purpose. A good example is the chipsets used in cell phones.

It seems that it is due to this major short-cut that was taken the chips weren’t designed properly, which led to Microsoft losing $1 billion dollars.

Shame on Microsoft (and possibly ATI), I am glad that they suffered huge losses because of this. If they weren’t trying to save some bucks on the side they would have been better off and all of their customers wouldn’t have been messed around so badly.

It really is discomforting to know that huge companies with so much money still go out of their way to cut corners so that they can increase profits, leaving their customers with problems that never should have happened. This has been a big blow to Microsoft and it seems that they have no one to blame but themselves.

source: EE times

Last Updated: June 11, 2008

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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