Already a powerhouse as the provider of custom chips to power popular game systems, IBM announces that its chips will be at the heart of the upcoming Wii U System from Nintendo.
Further strengthening its position as the key producer of
high-powered chips to power today's most popular game systems, IBM
recently announced that IBM microprocessors will serve as the engine of
the new Wii U system from Nintendo.
Nintendo unveiled the Wii U system at the E3 trade show
on June 7 when IBM and Nintendo announced that IBM's chips would power
the unit. Nintendo plans for its new console to hit store shelves in
IBM chips have powered previous versions of the Nintendo Wii, and
Big Blue's microprocessors also lie at the heart of Microsoft's Xbox
and Sony Playstation game consoles.
Meanwhile, the all-new, Power-based microprocessor will pack some of
IBM's most advanced technology into an energy-saving silicon package
that will power Nintendo's brand new entertainment experience for
consumers worldwide. IBM's embedded DRAM, for example, is capable of
feeding the multi-core processor large chunks of data to make for a
smooth entertainment experience, the company said.
Indeed, IBM plans to produce millions of chips for Nintendo
featuring IBM Silicon on Insulator (SOI) technology at 45 nanometers
(45 billionths of a meter). The custom-designed chips will be made
at IBM's state-of-the-art 300mm semiconductor development and
manufacturing facility in East Fishkill, N.Y.
The relationship between IBM and Nintendo dates to May 1999, when
IBM was selected to design and manufacture the central microprocessor
for the Nintendo GameCube system. Since 2006, IBM has shipped more than
90 million chips for Nintendo Wii systems, IBM officials said.
"IBM has been a terrific partner for many years. We truly
value IBM's commitment to support Nintendo in delivering an entirely
new kind of gaming and entertainment experience for consumers around
the world," said Genyo Takeda, senior managing director of Integrated
Research and Development at Nintendo Co., in a statement.
"We're very proud to have delivered to Nintendo consistent
technology advancements for three generations of entertainment
consoles," said Elmer Corbin, director of IBM's custom chip business,
also in a statement. "Our relationship with Nintendo underscores our
unique position in the industry -- how we work together with clients to
help them leverage IBM technology, intellectual property and research
to drive innovation into their own core products."
Built on the open, scalable Power Architecture base, IBM custom
processors exploit the performance and power advantages of proven
silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology, IBM officials said. The inherent
advantages of the technology make it a superior choice for
performance-driven applications that demand exceptional,
power-efficient processing capability - from entertainment consoles to
supercomputers, IBM said.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.