We present a high-resolution soft x-ray grating spectrometer concept for the International X-Ray Observatory (IXO) that meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for effective area (> 1, 000 cm2 for E < 1 keV) and spectral resolution (E/▵E > 3, 000). At the heart of the spectrometer is an array of recently developed highefficiency blazed transmission gratings, the so-called critical-angle transmission (CAT) gratings. They combine the advantages of traditional transmission gratings (very low mass, extremely relaxed alignment and flatness tolerances) with those of x-ray reflection gratings (high efficiency due to blazing in the direction of grazing-incidence reflection). In addition, a CAT grating spectrometer is well-suited for co-existence with energy-dispersive highenergy focal plane detectors, since most high-energy x rays are neither absorbed, nor diffracted, and contribute to the effective area at the telescope focus. Since our initial successful x-ray demonstrations of the CAT grating concept with large-period and lower aspect-ratio prototypes, we have now microfabricated 200 nm-period silicon CAT gratings comprised of grating bars with the required dimensions (6 micron tall, 40 nm wide, aspect ratio 150), optimized for the 0.3 to 1.0 keV energy band. Preliminary analysis of recent x-ray tests show blazing behavior up to 1.28 keV in accordance with predictions.© (2009) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.