Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

Summary: While the Wii U console itself did not take center stage on Tuesday, Nintendo is slowly shedding light on the technology powering the device.

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Of all the questions to emerge after Nintendo's Wii U announcement, few are more pressing for gamers than the question of what kind of technology will power the console.

Thankfully, Nintendo is slowly providing some of that information. It looks like AMD will be behind the Wii U's graphics processing, courtesy of a custom AMD Radeon HD GPU. Nintendo and AMD also worked together on the Wii and GameCube, making this latest collaboration not too much of a surprise.

A strong processing backbone is important for the Wii U, which will have to process, and stream information to at least four different screens simultaneously. The console's processor will come from IBM, which wil equip the Wii U with a 45nm multi-core processor with "a lot" of embedded DRAM. (Curiously, a fair bit of IBM's technology was also used in Watson, the supercomputer that bested Jeopardy champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings in February.)

Hopefully Nintendo will spill more details in the days to come.

Topics: Processors, Hardware, Networking

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14 comments
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  • RE: Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

    Now that there's no question about this supporting 1080p with AMD chips, it's a day one purchase for me. Not only did people diss the Wii at first, Sony AND Microsoft went for motion controls!
    Also do you know where I can pre order the wii u? Amazon has it listed as "pending" and the only other site I found was
    http://www.gaming-consoles.com/
    Dave877
    • Relax

      @Dave877

      Pre-order? Isn't it supposed to be out in 2012? ;-)
      Economister
    • RE: Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

      @Dave877

      That Gaming Consoles site and the link to pre-order looks fishy to me.
      bobiroc
    • Don't be in such a hurry, because, by 2012, both MS and Sony

      will also be releasing their newest generation and successor to the XBox360 and PS3. By 2012, the WiiU might turn out to be old technology and outdated. The WiiU may turn out to be a generation late to the newer game console battles.

      ;)
      adornoe
      • RE: Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

        @adornoe I highly doubt they will be too late and the Wii U is an upgrade to the Wii for all those families that are considering the Wii.
        Undrcvr SpecLst
      • Undrcvr SpecLst: At best, the WiiU will be just catching up to the current

        capabilities of XBox360 and PS3, and soon thereafter, the newer XBOX version and the successor to the PS3 will be released, and the WiiU will be rendered "outdated" and crippled in comparison to the newer boxes from the competitors.

        The WiiU will have people "upgrading" to it, but there will always be a feeling that, it's not as enjoyable as what the other boxes offer. The current Wii had huge sales, but only because it was cheaper to own and less of a burden during Xmastime for many parents. Unless the WiiU comes in cheaper than the current offerings from Microsoft and Sony, it's going to fail miserably, but, from all indications, it's got technology in it which might require price tags between $400 and $500, and with an online ecosystem nowhere close to what the competition offers.
        adornoe
    • RE: Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

      @Dave877
      Why use a stipud console when pcs are much better gaming platforms
      rparker009
      • RE: Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

        @rparker009 Not everyone can afford a PC built to handle PC games. I have a $4000. Alienware and it crashed after a month of playing games on it.

        Me and my husband each have 360's, PS3's, DS's. We own gamecubes, Wii's, 3 PSP's.
        Undrcvr SpecLst
    • RE: Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

      @Dave877 I am a Amazon Prime Member and I have mine in the pending. Amazon is very good about letting you know when it first comes up for pre order. I have also preordered my PS Vita plus the GOW3 Bundle Xbox360. 2011 is great year for consoles. We recently purchased the 3DS even though we own 2 working DS's. Me and my husband are avid gamers and collectors
      Undrcvr SpecLst
  • RE: Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

    I bet is 4 cores (best price to performance right now), not that hard to guess. But the Radeon GPU they use is probably just good enough to challenge xbox360 graphics. I say probably because of the size of the WiiU, the cooling capability is very-very limited to something powerful. You got to cool a CPU and GPU in that little box without sounding like a mini hair dryer. Not bad for an WiiUpgrade.
    m3kw9
    • RE: Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

      @m3kw9 But let be honest it will probably be blown out of the water by the PS4 and Xbox 720 in graphics terms alone unless the specs is better than the current gen, which does not look the case at the moment.
      Knowles2
      • RE: Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

        @Knowles2 Yeah guess when xbox720 and the PS4 is coming out? in 3 years at least, that is what they say. Xbox720 may come sooner like 2 years, but is quite a long way and WiiU can be satisfied with this result.
        m3kw9
      • RE: Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

        @Knowles2
        To be honest once you get past 40fps @ 1080p with anti-aliasing and transparency turned up to full, there is going to be little diffeence between all 3.

        The main question, is will they all fall down the 3D hole ?
        neil.postlethwaite
  • RE: Nintendo's Wii U to be fueled by a custom AMD chip, IBM processor

    Wii will always be behind due to they lack of real games. The games on the wii are that of free flash games online and the lack of a true gamer control leave nintendo as a kiddie toy that gamers tend to not even look at. Why did they make it so ugly and they need to dump that white housing and add somne kind of sleek or sexy factor looks like a white turd.
    Fletchguy