Full steam ahead for Nvidia Xbox chips

Processors will hit full production next month, according to Nvidia executive

Nvidia, the graphics chip maker, plans to begin manufacturing graphics and communications chips for Microsoft's Xbox video game console next month, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Dan Vivoli, the company's senior vice president of marketing, told the paper that Nvidia will begin manufacturing at least several million of the specialised chips with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in May, with complete Xbox units beginning to roll off the assembly lines this summer.

The console, which analysts have estimated will not turn a profit for Microsoft for at least three years, will be launched in Japan and the US this autumn, with a European launch following next spring. The console competes against Sony's already-launched PlayStation2 and Nintendo's upcoming Game Cube.

Nvidia's Xbox graphics chip is based on the company's GeForce 3 chip for PCs, but the Xbox version will be faster, Vivoli told the Journal. Nvidia is also making the communications chip that will link the different components of the console together.

Nvidia makes market-leading PC graphics chips, and sold 35 million of them to PC manufacturers last year.

Gamespot UK has a channel devoted to the latest Xbox news, reviews and previews. Check it out here.

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