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Wii To Use NEC Electronics' Embedded DRAM

Officials from Japan-based electronics manufacturer (and former console hardware creator) NEC Electronics confirmed that Nintendo has selected the company's 90-nanometer ...
Officials from Japan-based electronics manufacturer (and former console hardware creator) NEC Electronics confirmed that Nintendo has selected the company's 90-nanometer CMOS-compatible embedded DRAM (eDRAM) technology for the upcoming Wii console, a measure helping contribute to NEC's profit predictions. The news comes following earlier information today that the Wii will also use electronics firm MoSys' patented 1T-SRAM technology for the high performance memory within the Wii’s graphics system. Designed to provide advanced graphics functions for the upcoming platform, the new system LSI chips with eDRAM will be manufactured using technologies on NEC Yamagata's 300-millimeter production lines. NEC Electronics CEO Toshio Nakashima confirmed in late April during the company's annual earnings announcement that it entered into an agreement with Nintendo to produce large-scale integration chips (LSIs) for the Wii console. Nakashima noted in the call that NEC had begun plans to upgrade the production capacity at NEC's Yamagata factory to keep up with Nintendo's demand for the chips, with the improvements scheduled to be completed by September. Embedded DRAM technology integrates DRAM on the same chip with logic circuits, and is viewed as an optimal solution for three-dimensional graphics acceleration systems and other applications that need to process high bandwidth data using low power. In the past, the integration of an eDRAM structure with a standard CMOS process proved challenging. NEC Electronics achieved its fully CMOS-compatible eDRAM technology by integrating a metal-insulator-metal 2 stacked DRAM capacitor on the company's standard CMOS process. Today's news is confirmation of the second business arrangement with regard to Nintendo and NEC in relation to the Wii. The company also showed earlier support in March during GDC when it confirmed a partnership with NEC, alongside Hudsonsoft, to offer TurboGrafx-16 video games for download over the upcoming Wii's Virtual Console.

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