Last week, speculation surrounding a pending announcement of the oft-rumored, slimmed down "Valhalla" model of the Xbox 360 was kicked into high gear, thanks to a Microsoft hiring notice
for a motherboard engineer, and Steve Ballmer's reference to "more form factors
" for the hardware. Earlier today, a Chinese tech forum
purportedly posted a pair of pictures of the newly remodeled motherboard, which has undergone a massive size reduction from the current iteration of Xbox 360 hardware.
A few noteworthy changes in the motherboard
(full pictures of which can be found after the jump) are a consolidated GPU/CPU (one of the rumored features
of the Valhalla chipset), an extra SATA port, and a much smaller heatsink. Though the design could just be a mock-up from an extraordinarily talented modder, it certainly looks like professional-quality work. We've contacted Microsoft to see if they'll comment on the skinny-fied hardware.