MEMS Technology Puts Players Into the Action
Geneva, May 9, 2006 - STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), one of the world's leading semiconductor manufacturers, today announced that its three-axis acceleration sensors will be used to provide a motion-activated user interface for Nintendo's new home console, Wii.
Expected to dramatically change the way people play games, the Wii controller includes ST's high-performance acceleration sensors that can detect the motion and tilt of a player's hand in all 3 dimensions and convert it into immediate game action.
Driven by ST's Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology - micron-sized structures that interact with the physical world - the Wii controller can respond to changes in direction, speed, and acceleration, down to the most delicate movements. Specifically, the controllers use embedded acceleration sensors to enable players' wrist, arm, and hand movements to interact with the games. Tilt measurements allow users to move characters, while the accurate three-axis acceleration sensing easily transforms the controller into a virtual sword, gearshift, or musical instrument.
The acceleration sensor's miniature dimensions (5x5x1.5mm3) significantly contribute to the user-friendly volume and weight of the TV-control-shaped handpiece. Ultra-low power consumption of ST's MEMS devices prolongs the battery life of the controller and the high thermal stability avoids unwanted motion sensing in varying temperature conditions. The robust design of the sensor also provides very high immunity to vibration and a shock resistance up to 10,000g.
"With ST's 3-axis accelerometer, Nintendo is revolutionizing the gaming world by putting players into the action," commented Benedetto Vigna, MEMS Business Unit Director, STMicroelectronics. "This valuable partnership confirms our conviction that MEMS sensors open up fascinating possibilities for intuitive man-machine interaction in consumer applications, which can also allow non-expert players to enjoy the excitement of the game."
"ST's silicon expertise and leadership in micro-machining technologies has enabled the company to deliver a most cost-effective combination of sensor resolution, size, and power characteristics," said Genyo Takeda, Senior Managing Director/General Manager of Integrated Research & Development Division, Nintendo Co., Ltd. "Another key factor in our choice of ST's motion sensors was the company's full ownership of the device manufacturing flow, which guarantees high quality, roadmap continuity, and security of supply."
"We are very pleased to work with Nintendo on developing the innovative game console that represents a real revolution for game players around the world," said Marco Cassis, Corporate Vice President Japan Region, and President of STMicroelectronics K.K. "We believe this partnership, coupled with ST's expertise and leadership in the field, will trigger new business opportunities for ST in the challenging Japanese market."
ST's market-unique portfolio of two- and three-axis MEMS accelerometers targets a wide range of low-g applications from motion user interfaces to hard-disk drive protection.
Wii(TM) is a trademark of Nintendo. All other mentioned trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
The worldwide innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Nintendo DS(TM), Game Boy® Advance, Nintendo GameCube(TM) and upcoming Wii(TM) console. Since 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 2 billion video games and more than 360 million hardware units globally, and has created industry icons like Mario(TM), Donkey Kong®, Metroid®, Zelda(TM) and Pok©mon®. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site at www.nintendo.com.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2005, the Company's net revenues were $8.88 billion and net earnings were $266 million. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
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