11/09/2006

Wii hits Broadway

IBM has started shipping the new Broadway chip (the CPU for the Wii) to Nintendo in volume. It's based on the Gekko chip used in the GameCube, but uses a 90nm process rather than 180nm. It's also faster and uses 20% less power, coming from IBM it's
Power Architechture - but not much else has been released.

IBM now owns the cores for all the major gaming platforms (XBox360, Cell for PS3 and now the Wii), Apple must be counting their blessings that they moved away from IBM as they would be such a small market for them and IBM would be able to deliver little effort into making the G5 (and successors) doing what Apple wanted them to.

The Cell is a complicated chip and optimising games will be a challenge for some time to come to make use of the multi-core design. Microsoft and Nintendo's cores are much simpler so should produce much more optimised games more quickly.

Since IBM are shipping now, Nintendo should have volume units available by the end of the year, Sony have already said there will only be 100,000 PS3 available at launch in Japan, 400,000 in the US and Europe has been delayed until at least March.
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