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NEC chip to drive next-gen Nintendo console

Posted: 03 May 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NEC Electronics? Nintendo? LSI DRAM? Wii? Yoshiko Hara?

NEC Electronics Corp. will produce LSIs for Nintendo's next generation game console, the Wii, at its 300mm wafer fab in Yamagata Prefecture.

Toshio Nakajima, president of NEC Electronics, disclosed that the company plans to expand the capacity of its Yamagata 300mm fab from present 6,000 wafers a month to 11,000 wafers in the first half of this fiscal year.

"The chips for Nintendo's game console will be one of main products to be produced at the expanded line," said Nakajima.

A Nintendo spokesman said the console maker granted NEC Electronics permission to disclose the order, but declined to disclose details about which chip the semiconductor company will produce.

Nintendo first announced the Wii (originally code-named Revolution) last May, which featured a CPU named Broadway developed by IBM and a graphics processor code-named Hollywood developed by ATI Technologies Inc.

NEC Electronics supplied a graphics LSI chip named Flipper for the GameCube, Nintendo's current-gen console. The LSI was based on the company's embedded DRAM technology and has 24Mbit DRAM and 6 million gates were integrated on it. The company also supplies an embedded DRAM LSI to Microsoft's Xbox 360.

NEC Electronics will apparently produce an embedded DRAM chip that may integrate the graphics processor developed by ATI, or produce the embedded DRAM chip and the graphics processor.

The Japan unit of ATI, however, declined to comment about the tie-up with NEC Electronics about the graphics processor.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times




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