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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Cost is king for Xbox 360

Cost is king for Xbox 360
power-management discretes, and ON Semiconductor has been crowned, says iSuppli

"Much attention has been paid to the some of the bigger chips in the new Microsoft Xbox 360 video game console, like IBM’s microprocessor and ATI Technologies’ graphics processor. However, another supplier has made a major impact on the new video-game console with some less glamorous but no less-important chips: ON Semiconductor, which is providing key power-management discretes for the console.

iSuppli is estimating that 10 million Xbox 360's will be sold in 2006, every one containing a power-management subsystem that has seven buck converters, each using some combination of 22 D-Pak 20V MOSFETs to do the bulk of the DC/DC conversion, plus a few linear regulators and LDOs thrown in for good measure.

A dissection of the Xbox 360 conducted by iSuppli’s Teardown Analysis Service reveals that ON Semiconductor has the bulk of that MOSFET business-by far. ON Semiconductor also won most of the controller and power IC business in the Xbox 360

In the Xbox 360 Premium console analyzed by iSuppli, ON’s NCP5425DB dual sync buck controller, its NCP5331FTR2 2-phase controller/driver and a half-dozen of its LDOs were found. That leaves only a half dozen or so other parts to be shared among fellow Xbox 360 power-management semiconductor suppliers Philips, Vishay, Analog and Samsung.

ON Semiconductor now has more than US$6 worth of parts in every Xbox shipped, noted Chris Ambarian, senior analyst, power-management, for iSuppli. If ON remains the sole-source for these devices, the company stands to garner US$60-70 million in revenue from the Xbox 360 in 2006, representing a significant boost to the company’s power-management business.

Cost and second-sourcing likely are key considerations in determining which discretes might have a potential advantage. Certainly for Microsoft, which like other game-console manufacturers loses money on each console shipped, achieving the absolute minimum cost that can be attained in any given form factor is a key criterion." [more]

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