AMD Are Making Wii U’s GPU

An AMD press release confirms that they are manufacturing the Wii U’s GPU. This comes as no surprise as they now own the business of former GPU-specialist ATI who were behind both the GameCube and Wii graphics processing units.

Sadly for those of us who like to measure in billions of Hertz and billionths of a metre they provide no technical detail on the chip.  All they say on it is that it is a “custom AMD Radeon(TM) HD GPU”.


There is plenty of rumour and speculation around the Internet on exactly which of AMD’s family of Radeon HD GPUs it might be based on but we’ll leave that to the usual sources.

The release contains a typically PR-filtered quote from Genyo Takeda, senior managing director, Integrated Research & Development of Nintendo Co. Ltd.

We greatly value our synergistic relationship with the AMD design team. The AMD custom graphics processor delivers the best of AMD’s world-class graphics expertise. AMD will support our vision of innovating play through unique entertainment experiences.

While for their part AMD’s David Wang, corporate vice president of Silicon Engineering reciprocated with:

AMD shares Nintendo’s excitement for the new HD entertainment experience planned for the Wii U console. We’re proud to provide our leading-edge HD multimedia graphics engine to power the new entertainment features of the console. Nintendo is a highly-valued customer and we look forward to the launch in 2012.

That is the least surprising Wii U hardware news wrapped up: IBM and AMD are paired up to power a third Nintendo home console in succession.



  1. This route just means they’re ensuring back compatibility without having to include the Wii chips in there.
    Xbox 720 will be able to do something similar, but Sony will struggle with a Cell replacement that can emulate the Cell’s SPUs…

    I’m much more interested in how the Wii U stacks up directly to the PS3 and 360. 4-5 years later in GPUs in absolutely huge, so much so that even a mid-range PC card derivative could probably handle all the cross platform games at 1080p.

    That’ll be the biggest thing Nintendo could use to pull in the ‘core’ gamers and get them buying those cross platform titles on the WiiU.

    • I already no I’m not buying it PS3 & PSVita will keep me busy till the 720/PS4 arrives will be told about them near the Wiius release date I reckon.

  2. It’s near impossible to comment on the chip until they release some figures etc.

  3. Not digging the new console at all. But good to see that confirmation that it’s HD, although I might have just missed that said elsewhere..

  4. I don’t see how can Nintendo hope to get the “hardcore” gamers with this. The controller is another wiimote, as in it’s an innovation but to one can really use it as a standard controller, it’s huge.
    They should call it the Wii2, since all they are doing is “What? HD graphis? We too! Say what? Assassin’s Creed and Darksiders and all those games? Guess what: we too!” Sadly, in terms of HDD they can’t play the “we too” game.
    They’re just catching up with the competition instead of taking over. IMHO.

  5. And unless it’s really cheap, can’t see many people trading their PS3/XBOX360 for it. They can always have the two consoles, but that is what already happened with all the dust gathering Wiis we have.

    • Gathering dust; that kind of implies that the thing is hooked up, doesn’t it? Mine’s in a box under the bed, along with half a ton of plastic crap – though the guns for HotD Overkill are cool.

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