AMD ships 50 million GPUs for the Wii

With all the fab spinning-off and PC graphics card price wars, you might easily forget that AMD GPUs account for a pretty big chunk of the console market, too. This morning, AMD announced that it shipped its 50 millionth ATI Hollywood graphics processor for the Nintendo Wii.

Reaching the 50-million threshold makes Hollywood “the most successful AMD game console chip to date in terms of unit sales,” says AMD. While the press release doesn’t mention it, the Xbox 360’s bigger and more powerful ATI Xenos GPU probably isn’t doing too badly, either. Microsoft announced in January that it had shipped 28 million Xbox 360s worldwide since the console’s launch in late 2005.

For what it’s worth, Nvidia has a finger in the PlayStation 3 pie, although Sony had only shipped 21.3 million PS3s as of December 31, 2008. Of course, neither AMD nor Nvidia goes out of its way to reveal exactly how much revenue it gets from console GPU sales, so the real impact of those shipments isn’t clear.

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    • pogsnet
    • 11 years ago
    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 11 years ago

    I think they should put the “powered by ATI Graphics right on the console…….

    • juampa_valve_rde
    • 11 years ago

    thats free cash if they receive some coins for each chip… the ati hollywood is based on the long ago buried radeon 8500, doesnt support even 2.0 shaders. i always wondered why nintendo didnt spent a bigger coin on this, being able to put something like a radeon 9600 over the wii, with much better graphics and effects, and probably compatible to render gamecube games.

      • poulpy
      • 11 years ago

      Actually Hollywood is a speeded up version of Gamecube’s Flipper which was developed by ArtX before it was acquired by ATi, so you have no ATi technology inside.
      And -please take a seat before I break the bad news- it only supports old school T&L so no 1.0 nor 2.0 shaders there 🙂

    • Xenolith
    • 11 years ago

    Only 50 million? This is proof that Nintendo is creating an artificial demand for the Wii.

      • khands
      • 11 years ago

      Umm, how? Last numbers I saw the Wii was close to 40 million units sold, which puts about 10million (or about 1/4 of the total units owned) possibly out there for consumers, which is a HUGE number when it comes to consoles.

        • BKA
        • 11 years ago

        Not to mention, they are in stock everywhere I go now. Not the case just a year ago.

    • cappa84
    • 11 years ago

    …I’m still playing my Dreamcast! 😛

      • 5150
      • 11 years ago

      Soul Caliber brings back memories. That game was the only game I could ever beat my friend at. God Cervantes was cheap.

        • cappa84
        • 11 years ago

        Yeah, Soul Caliber was unreal! Blew my mind when I first saw it! Kilik was my fav character!

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago

      Dreamcast is brought to you in part by PowerVR, /[

        • cappa84
        • 11 years ago

        Yeah, I know. I never said DC used an ATi GPU?

          • ssidbroadcast
          • 11 years ago

          Ah. Roger that. You just felt like plugging the Console Industry’s unsung hero.

    • tu2thepoo
    • 11 years ago

    I’m was under the impression that ATI only did the design for the xbox360’s GPU – I thought microsoft bought the resultant IP and handled its own manufacturing to avoid having to pay absurd royalties like they did to Nvidia for the original Xbox.

      • asdsa
      • 11 years ago

      Well you thought wrong. There is ATI logo on the device.

        • Flying Fox
        • 11 years ago

        That still does not mean DAAMIT handles the manufacturing of the chip and depending on the IP ownership agreement, DAAMIT may have put a clause to compel Microsoft to put ATI’s logo on in order to make the IP sale.

          • khands
          • 11 years ago

          yeah, there’s all sorts of tweaking that goes on in those contracts, I doubt they got more in cash than the sale of the IP though.

      • Damage
      • 11 years ago

      Microsoft did get the IP and handle the manufacturing, as I understand it. The story wasn’t intended to give the wrong impression.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 11 years ago

    These must not be very profitable seeing as AMD currently has the GPU for the Wii and 360 yet is still losing a lot of money. I wonder what the margins are on these things.

      • khands
      • 11 years ago

      Miniscule, they’re usually tweaked “current gen” technology when they start designing them for the console, making it at least 1 generation behind by the time they’re released, and even then only about 10 million or so are made in the first batch. No, they would probably actually get more revenue if they’d helped design the CPU instead (IBM seems to be doing well that way anyways).

      Edit: “anywasy” is now copyright of khands. It’s fun to say!

        • Game_boy
        • 11 years ago

        In this case though, the Wii GPU is an overclocked and die-shrunk Gamecube GPU. So it was new in about 1999 or so. It must be profitable by now.

          • Sargent Duck
          • 11 years ago

          The Flipper chip?

          Hollywood is essentially that, an overclocked flipper chip, but it is pretty close to the processing power of the first gen xbox.

          • mczak
          • 11 years ago

          The Wii GPU should be quite cheap to produce, but you’re forgetting the other side of the coin: The Wii is meant to be built for almost nothing, and prices reflect that (while still being profitable for Nintendo). The GPU should of course still earn some money for AMD, but how much is anyone’s guess.

            • dragmor
            • 11 years ago

            Nintendo are saving a lot of money by not moving to the newer fab processes. They are sticking with their original process and getting it cheap since everyone has moved on.

            Still I’d like to see a 45nm Wii, size of the disk alone and passively cooled.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 11 years ago

          The words you are looking for are “higher clocked” not “overclocked.”

      • StashTheVampede
      • 11 years ago

      The 360 has been making money for a while now. It’s the PS3 that recently (or will) that just coup’d the costs.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 11 years ago

        Ehhhhh, starting to break even on just new consoles, when sales are slowing down, doesn’t really put you anywhere close to “making money” when you’ve been losing billions for years lol.

      • clone
      • 11 years ago

      AMD gets coin on every gpu sold with the WII but MS did a one time payment and bought the rights to the Xbox 360 gpu having gone through a debacle with Nvidia with the Xbox.

      I don’t know what they get for the WII but they were making decent coin off the gamecube… it’s likely about the same for the tweaked gpu after you factor the new version is only a mildly massaged part from the gamecube so less per part but the higher volume offsets the per unit loss.

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