Microsoft is an Operation fan, toying around with the 360's guts from time to time to make them cooler, quieter or more reliable. Seattle PI's Jacob Metcalf says they have two more new motherboards in the works: "Opus" and "Valhalla." Opus is basically a more reliable Falcon motherboard (w/ 65nm CPU) designed to fit in first-gen 360s, while Valhalla has a single super-chip that hybridises the CPU and GPU. What's the reason for both?
The Xenon 360s had a ridiculous fail rate (as many of you know), so Microsoft has a ton of old boxes for that motherboard lying around—rather than piss off Greenpeace and dump them in a landfill, the re-jiggered Opus mobo offers a recycling solution. Unlike Falcon, no HDMI though. You'll probably get one if you send your RROD'd first-gen box back to Microsoft.
Valhalla's merged CPU/GPU would only need a single cooling system, which would make it a lot quieter, and probably more reliable. Plus, as Metcalf points out, these guts are going to be a lot cheaper to pump out, so we might see cheaper 360s. It'll be in 360s around 2009. [Seattle PI]