According to reports, contract chipmaker Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing has begun work on a 45-nanometer CPU designed specifically for a video game console, and the word on the street is that Microsoft is the company placing the order. The Singapore-based chip company, which produces the current Xbox 360 CPU, is set to begin work on the new design in late 2008 or early 2009. The smaller chip would mean lowered production costs, smaller power requirements, and a cooler operating temperature -- which would address a handful of problems the current Xbox design has. The newer 65nm chip which the company produces for Microsoft went into production over the last two quarters, and Chia Song Hwee, Chartered's president and CEO, said that "you would expect 45nm to come on stream about 18 months from that timeframe." So, expect to pass some time before any major changes beyond the 65nm come... perhaps Halo 3 will make the wait more bearable?