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NEC chip to drive next-gen Nintendo game

Posted by iTech - 2006-04-30

Japan-based NEC Electronics Corp. will produce LSIs for Nintendo's next generation game console, code named Revolution, at its 300-mm wafer fab in Yamagata Prefecture.

Toshio Nakajima, president of NEC Electronics, disclosed that the company had got an order for the system-on-chip LSI for Revolution. NEC Electronics plans to expand the capacity of its Yamagata 300-mm 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 Nitendo granted NEC Electronics permission to disclose the order, but declined to disclose details about which chip the semiconductor company will produce.

Nintendo announced Revolution last May, which featured a CPU code 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 Nintendo's Game Cube game console. The LSI was based on the company's embedded DRAM technology and has 24-Mbit DRAM and 6 million gates were integrated on it. The company also supplies an embedded DARM 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.

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