IBM ships chips for Nintendo’s Wii

IBM has begun shipping microchips to Nintendo that will serve as the heart of the gaming giant’s forthcoming Wii video game system.


IBM has begun shipping the first of millions of microchips to Nintendo that will serve as the heart of the gaming giant’s forthcoming Wii video game system.



Earlier this year, IBM and Nintendo signed a multi-year microchip production agreement to support the upcoming launch of the Wii. IBM claims the chip, code-named “Broadway,” will deliver experiences not previously possible on video game consoles.



The chip is being engineered and produced at IBM’s 300mm semiconductor development and manufacturing facility in New York State. The custom Power Architecture-based chips feature IBM Silicon on Insulator (SOI) technology at 90 nanometres.



IBM said its SOI technology delivers increased processing power with a 20 per cent reduction in energy consumption. Microchips based on the Power Architecture also operate devices including automotive safety systems, printers, wireless routers, back-office servers and supercomputers.



IBM has secured the ‘Triple Crown’ of the gaming world, designing and producing chips for all three leading game platforms.



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.