IBM and Nintendo have announced a multi-year $1 billion technologyagreement to support Nintendo's next home video game console, code-named"Dolphin." As part of the agreement, IBM will design and manufacture aunique 400 MHz central processor featuring IBM's industry-leading 0.18micron copper technology. The chip, dubbed the "Gekko" processor, is anextension of the IBM PowerPC(TM) architecture. It's designed to be morepowerful than those found in any current or planned home video gameentertainment system, providing players with dramatically bettergraphics and more realistic action. The processor is in the advanced stagesof development, supporting Nintendo's plans for a worldwide launch for the2000 holiday season. While the relationship initially involves thedevelopment and production of the copper-based processor, the companieswill explore the potential use of IBM technology in other Nintendo productsas well. The current arrangement calls for IBM to design, manufacture andship copper processors to Nintendo, with the potential value of the dealexceeding $1 billion. The IBM copper processor will be paired with arevolutionary graphics chip designed by ArtX Inc., one of the world'sleading 3-D graphics technologists located in Palo Alto, Calif. The ArtXteam, led by chairman, Dr. Wei Yen, includes a number of well-known 3-Dgraphics designers.