IBM delivers Wii chip

IBM has delivered the first batch of processors for the forthcoming Wii games console from Nintendo. The chips are Nintendo customised versions of the PowerPC chips that powered the previous generation of Macintosh.

If all goes according to plan, IBM will produce millions of processors at the East Fishkill, N.Y plant. The Wii processor is based on IBM’s 90nm Silicon on Insulator (SOI) technology that, according to Big Blue provide a ‘generous improvement in processing power while achieving a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption’.

The relationship between IBM and Nintendo dates back over six years when Big Blue was awarded the contract to produce the ‘Gekko’ chip, for the Nintendo GameCube.

Although no official launch date for the Wii has been released, industry sources say that Nintendo expects to make announcements on pricing and availability in Europe on September 15th. However, unlike the rival Sonywho has delayed the launch of the PS3 in Europe till next year Nintendo is expected to announce it will hit its Q4 launch date. The lack of a Sony alternative will, of course give a big boost to the Nintendo machine as it hits the shelves in the run up to Christmas.

IBM is also part of the consortium that has developed the Cell processor that will power the Playstation 3 when it finally arrives.

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