Wii processor details unveiled

by: Chuck -
More On: Wii
Here's the news that's been teased all day.  Rather than trying to summarize it I'll just post the entire release:

Gamers around the world can rejoice as Friday, September 8th marks the day that they'll be one step closer to getting their hands on a Nintendo Wii gaming system.  IBM has announced that its microprocessors, which are the digital heartbeat of the Wii, have begun shipping to Nintendo from IBM's state-of-the-art fabrication facility in East Fishkill, N.Y.

IBM's microchips, based on the Power Architecture, are the electronic brain of devices large and small, powering the world's most powerful supercomputers, automotive safety systems, printers, and the three major video games consoles.

IBM's chips will enable the Wii to bring players a more natural, intuitive and improved gaming experience through increased processing power of Silicon-on-Insulator technology.  The chip also makes it possible to reduce energy consumption of the console by 20 percent.

Although most associate IBM with backoffice servers, IBM's chips are found in a wide range of consumer devices, from handhelds and PDAs to the world's leading gaming systems, including all three of the next generation gaming platforms.


IBM Ships First Microchips for Nintendo's Wii Video Game System

-- Advanced IBM Technology Brings Wii to Life, Using Less Energy --

Armonk, N.Y., September 8, 2006 -- IBM today announced that the microprocessors that will serve as the digital heartbeat of Nintendo's upcoming Wii(tm) video game console are being shipped from IBM's state-of-the-art East Fishkill, N.Y., fabrication facility.

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, powering automotive safety systems, printers, wireless routers, backoffice 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(tm) system from its Burlington, Vt., production facility.

IBM's Technology Collaboration Solutions unit helps clients collaborate with IBM to rethink and reinvent their R&D operations and the products they bring to market.  It helps clients leverage IBM technology, intellectual property, research, process capabilities, systems and expertise to drive innovation into their own core products and services.  Technology Collaboration Solutions provides expertise in the rapidly growing world of digitalization and network connected products and services - - complementing existing customer skills with IBM's 50+ years of digital and information technology, insight and ex