NEC has revealed that Nintendo Wii will use the same NEC eDRAM for its graphics processing, which powers the Xbox 360 as well.
With 10MB of fast RAM embedded in the graphics chip, the NEX eDRAM allows enough buffer space for anti-aliasing to be added to graphics ‘for free’.
The same technology is used in Xenos, the graphics chip for the Xbox 360, and Wii is following Xbox 360 footsteps by including it in their ‘Hollywood’ graphics chip. Note that both graphics chips are developed by ATI.
NEC representatives said that the manufacturer has chosen MoSys as the DRAM macro design partner for the Wii project because the company has implemented several times 1T-SRAM macros on NEC’s eDRAM process, and they needed an experienced partner for the job.
In order to deliver enhanced graphics capabilities for NintendoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gaming console, NEC will manufacture the LSI chips with eDRAM on the company’s 300-millimeter production lines.
However, the latest 1T-SRAM technology embedded in the Wii console use NEC Electronics’ 90-namometer CMOS-compatible embedded DRAM (eDRAM) process technology.
Whilst some have been speculating that the Wii will lack the visual quality of the Xbox 360 and the PS3, this latest announcement seems to suggest that Nintendo is serious about graphics.
What’s slightly odd is that the Wii is rumoured to lack high-definition outputs, which is really where anti-aliasing is needed – AA on standard definition isn’t really a good use of hardware. Could this mean the eDRAM is being used for something else?
Games journalists at E3 were generally underwhelmed with the Wii’s graphics, but this is because Nintendo had the games running on Revolution-ised Gamecubes with the Wiimote attachment.