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IBM Shipping Nintendo Wii Microprocessors

by Rainier on Sept. 8, 2006 @ 12:54 a.m. PDT

IBM Corp. said it has been shipping microprocessors that will be used to power Nintendo's upcoming Wii video game console since July. IBM, who also makes chips for PS3 and Xbox 360, earlier this year signed a multiyear agreement to supply Nintendo with chips made at its East Fishkill, N.Y. plant.

Earlier this year, IBM and Nintendo signed a multi-year microchip production agreement to support the upcoming launch of Nintendo's eagerly anticipated Wii video game console. The chip, code-named "Broadway," will deliver experiences not previously possible on video game consoles.

"The first chips are in our possession," said Genyo Takeda, Senior Managing Director/General Manager, Integrated Research & Development Division, Nintendo Co., Ltd. "Today's milestone marks the final stage of our drive to reach both core and nontraditional gamers with an inviting, inclusive and remarkable gaming experience."

Under the terms of the agreement, IBM will produce millions of fully tested, Power Architecture-based chips featuring IBM Silicon on Insulator (SOI) technology at 90 nanometers (90 billionths of a meter), based on the specifications of the custom design agreement previously agreed upon by the two companies. The chip is being produced at IBM's state-of-the-art 300mm semiconductor development and manufacturing facility in East Fishkill, N.Y.

Silicon on Insulator technology from IBM helps deliver to Nintendo a generous improvement in processing power while achieving a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption.

Microchips based on the Power Architecture are the electronic brain of devices large and small, and are inside automotive safety systems, printers, routers, servers and the world's most powerful supercomputers.

"The IBM team has worked hard to design, develop and deliver this customized Power microprocessor for the worldwide launch of Nintendo's new system," said Ron Martino, director, IBM Technology Collaboration Solutions. "When millions of gamers take the controls of Wii this holiday season, the IBM logo will once again be front and center on this innovative new product."

The relationship between IBM and Nintendo dates to May 1999, when IBM announced a comprehensive technology agreement to design and manufacture the central microprocessor, often referred to as the "Gekko" chip, for the Nintendo GameCube™ system from its Burlington, Vt., production facility.

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