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IBM Announces First Wii CPUs Fabricated

IBM Announces First Wii CPUs Fabricated

September 7, 2006 | By Simon Carless

September 7, 2006 | By Simon Carless
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IBM has announced that the first 'Broadway' CPUs created for the Nintendo Wii are being shipped from the company's East Fishkill, N.Y., fabrication facility to Nintendo, as the company ramps up for the launch of the next-gen console later this year.

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., and has reportedly actually been shipping in smaller amounts for a number of weeks before the debut of this official announcement.

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.

According to the company, 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 compared to the 'Gekko'. IBM is also providing key processor technology to both the PlayStation 3 (as part of the Cell partnership) and Xbox 360.

"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."


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