Nintendo order spurs NEC chip investment

Nintendo order spurs NEC chip investment

NEC, the world's second largest maker of semiconductors, last week announced plans to build a new chip fabrication line in preparation for a large order from Nintendo.

The line will produce a so-called `system on a chip' that includes a pro- cessor, memory and other functionality, for Nintendo's next-generation game machine, code-named Dolphin. Nintendo is expected to ship Dolphin by August of next year.

NEC said it will begin construction of the production line next month and expects to complete the line by the time the Dolphin ships. The company did not disclose the amount of investment in the plant.

In a similar tie-up, Toshiba will supply advanced processors for Sony's Playstation 2 game machine, expected to ship in Japan from March of next year.

The deal between NEC and Nintendo is valued at about 300 billion yen ($4.2 billion).

The chip will be manufactured on 0.13 micron process technology, making the NEC plant one of the most advanced in the world. The chip will have a clock speed of 200MHz.

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