August 29, 2005 3:05 PM PDT

Infineon to supply Xbox 360 memory

SONOMA, Calif.--Infineon will supply Microsoft with high-density memory for the upcoming Xbox 360, executives with the computer memory maker confirmed Monday.

During Infineon's analysts' day here, executives with the German-owned company said it will be supplying a removable solid-state dynamic random-access memory, or DRAM, unit, as well as two other key components: a single integrated chip to power a wireless gamepad controller and an advanced security chip.


Xbox 360 consoles are expected to hit shelves in November. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Infineon executives noted that the game console will sport enough broadband and wireless capabilities to allow consumers to use it as a gateway for home content.

"There are quite a lot of solid features in Xbox 360," Robert LeFort, president of Infineon North America, told reporters and analysts during the event.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 is expected to house a large amount of memory to deal with the massive amount of computing power from the IBM PowerPC processor, which has three symmetrical cores running at 3.2GHz each. The console is expected to have a 20GB hard drive, high-definition content game support and a 500MHz graphics processor by ATI.

As previously disclosed, the Xbox 360 will house 512MB of graphics DRAM, a 700MHz dynamic DDR (double data rate) controller and an enhanced DRAM chip that eats up 256 gigabits per second of memory bandwidth for helping process the high-definition video content expected to run on the box.

Infineon will be delivering its memory components to Microsoft partners Flextronics International, Wistron and Toronto-based Celestica. All have been named to build the consoles.

Microsoft expects to sell more than 10 million units of the console in the first 12 to 16 months. Kagan Research out of Monterey, Calif., is a little more conservative, forecasting that Microsoft will sell about 11 million of its Xbox 360 consoles by 2007.

Prices for the Xbox 360 will start at $299 for the basic version and $399 for the premium edition. A first-generation Xbox currently retails for $149 online.

Sony and Nintendo are also gearing up to deliver their next-generation game boxes. Sony's PlayStation 3 is expected to be available soon after the Xbox launches, with Nintendo's Revolution expected in 2006.

CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos contributed to this report.

 

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