An article in The Mercury News by analyst Dean Takahashi has blamed a new kind of memory chip used in the Xbox 360 console as the primary reason for the console’s slow manufacturing process, which has lead to continued worldwide shortages and had a knock-on effect for the profits of many publishers.
According to Takahashi’s unnamed sources, the chips are made by a German company named Infineon Technologies. Infineon have apparently had trouble manufacturing enough of the chips at the right speed, which has resulted in an overall slowing in the production process. It is also suggested that an usually high fault rate on the memory chips has exacerbated the situation.
Takahashi’s report claims that Infinenon has been unable to produce enough GDDR3 (graphics double date rate) memory chips, which are also supplied by Samsung. Some of the Infineon chips are reported to run slower than the 700 MHz necessary, potentially slowing down the entire system, and it is these that have had to be weeded out of the manufacturing process.
Microsoft has never been specific as to what the problem might be, blaming only “component shortages” for the delays. "We have more than 200 suppliers and I'm not going to point the finger at any one of them," game division head Peter Moore is quoted as saying. In a speech at the recent DICE Summit
in Las Vegas, Moore suggested that the Xbox 360 shortages would be over within the next four to six weeks.