Nintendo’s New WiiTM Video Game Console Uses NEC Electronics’ Embedded DRAM
KAWASAKI, Japan, SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 19, 2006, NEC Electronics today announced that Nintendo Co., Ltd. has selected NEC Electronics’ 90-nanometer (nm) CMOS-compatible embedded DRAM (eDRAM) technology for WiiTM, its innovative new video game console. Designed to provide advanced graphics functions for this new gaming platform, the new system LSI chips with eDRAM will be manufactured using advanced technologies on NEC Yamagata’s 300-millimeter (mm) production lines.
Embedded DRAM technology integrates DRAM on the same chip with logic circuits, and is viewed as an optimal solution for three-dimensional (3D) 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 (MIM2) stacked DRAM capacitor on the company’s standard CMOS process.
NEC Electronics first introduced MIM2 technology on 90 nm eDRAM in 2005, and volume production started that same year. The technology requires a material with a high dielectric constant to be placed between two electrodes, and a large charge to be maintained on the capacitor with low leakage and a small cell size. NEC Electronics has achieved this by 1) using a MIM structure for the electrodes in the DRAM cell to achieve lower resistance values and higher data processing speeds, 2) using cobalt-silicide (CoSi) DRAM cell transistors to increase driving performance, and 3) using zirconium-oxide (ZrO2) in the capacitance layer (ahead of other vendors) to increase capacitance of the unit area. These and other breakthroughs have allowed NEC Electronics to develop eDRAM chips using its most advanced 90 nm process and to secure its roadmap to 55 nm eDRAM and beyond.
Available now with NEC Electronics’ unique 90 nm CMOS-compatible eDRAM process, the ASICs deliver significant advantages that promise to continue along the technological roadmap toward 55 nm processes and beyond.
NEC Electronics selected MoSys® as the DRAM macro design partner for the Wii devices because MoSys is experienced in implementing 1T-SRAM® macros on NEC Electronics’ eDRAM process. MoSys designed the circuits and layout of high-speed 1T-SRAM macros on NEC Electronics’ 90 nm CMOS-compatible eDRAM technology.
The adoption of these eDRAM ASICs for Nintendo’s new game console is a clear vote of confidence in NEC Electronics’ eDRAM technology. The company is committed to delivering more value-added features to spur the adoption of its CMOS-compatible eDRAM solutions across a wide range of applications.
More information about NEC Electronics’ eDRAM can be found at http://www.necel.com/process/en/edram.html.
About NEC Electronics
NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) specializes in semiconductor products encompassing advanced technology solutions for the high-end computing and broadband networking markets, system solutions for the mobile handsets, PC peripherals, automotive and digital consumer markets, and multi-market solutions for a wide range of customer applications. NEC Electronics Corporation has 25 subsidiaries worldwide including NEC Electronics America, Inc. (www.am.necel.com) and NEC Electronics (Europe) GmbH (www.eu.necel.com). For additional information about NEC Electronics worldwide, visit www.necel.com.
NEC Electronics is either a registered trademark or trademark of NEC Electronics Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Wii is a trademark of Nintendo Co. Ltd. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
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- Denise Garibaldi
- Public Relations Manager
- NEC Electronics America, Inc.
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