IBM Gekko processor
|Produced||From 2000 to 2007|
|Designed by||IBM and Nintendo|
|Max. CPU clock rate||486 MHz|
|Min. feature size||180 nm|
|Instruction set||Power Architecture|
|Microarchitecture||PowerPC ISA 1.10|
|L1 cache||32/32 kB|
|L2 cache||256 kB|
Gekko's role in the game system was to facilitate game scripting, artificial intelligence, physics and collision detection, custom graphics lighting effects and geometry such as smooth transformations, and moving graphics data through the system.
The project was announced in 1999 when IBM and Nintendo agreed to a one billion dollar contract for a CPU running at approximately 400 MHz. IBM chose to modify their existing PowerPC 750CXe processor to suit Nintendo's needs, such as tight and balanced operation alongside the "Flipper" graphics processor. The customization was to the bus architecture, DMA, compression and floating point unit which support a special set of SIMD instructions. The CPU made ground work for custom lighting and geometry effects and could burst compressed data directly to the GPU.
IBM's customization led to performance that exceeded Nintendo's specifications. The Gekko is considered to be the direct ancestor to the Broadway processor, also designed and manufactured by IBM, that powers the Wii console.
- Customized PowerPC 750CXe core
- Clockrate - 486 MHz
- Integer unit - 32 bit
- Floating Point Unit - 64-bit double precision FPU, usable as 2×32-bit SIMD for 1.9 single-precision GFLOPS performance, often found under the denomination "paired singles"
- SIMD Instructions - PowerPC750 + Roughly 50 new SIMD instructions, geared toward 3D graphics
- Front-side Bus - 64-bit enhanced 60x bus to GPU/chipset at 162 MHz clock with 1.3 GB/s peak bandwidth
- On-chip Cache - 64 kB 8-way associative L1 cache (32/32 kB instruction/data). 256 KB on-die, 2-way associative L2 cache
- DMIPS - 1125 (dhrystone 2.1)
- 180 nm IBM six layer, copper-wire process. 43 mm² die
- 1.8 V for logic and I/O. 4.9 W dissipation
- 27×27 mm PBGA package with 256 contacts
- Nintendo GameCube
- PowerPC G3
- Power Architecture
- Broadway (microprocessor), the processor in the Nintendo Wii
- MIPS R4300, the processor in the Nintendo 64
- IBM, Nintendo Announce $1 Billion Technology Agreement
- A PowerPC compatible processor supporting high-performance 3-D graphics