Wii U CPUThe Wii U CPU is based on IMB’s latest PowerPC technology, the POWER7 architecture. The processor will use most of the modern features from POWER7, including advanced power saving controls. The Wii U CPU speed is estimated to be at 1.25 GHz by developers who have access to dev kits. The processor is the key part in the Wii U system specs, which include a Wii U GPU from AMD, and an unspecified amount of RAM. According to reports obtained by Wii U Daily, the console will use a processor based on the “IBM 710 Express”, but will be heavily modified to suit the needs of the console and video game software.

Wii U CPU specs

The Wii U CPU uses most of the features from the POWER7 architecture, the rumored and leaked specs so far indicate:

  • 3 CPU Cores and 1.5 MB shared L3 cache
  • 1.25 GHz clock speed
  • 45 nm process
  • Advanced power savings features and design
  • 256 KB L2 cache for core 0+1, 1MB cache for core 3

The processor of course includes a whole slew of additional features, and consumes only a fraction of power compared to other console processors. Production of the Wii U processor will take place at IBM’s facility in New York, USA, while the final console and components will be assembled in China and shipped worldwide.

Wii U CPU power and performance

The power output of the Wii U CPU is debatable at this point, as no clear technical specifications are available. The IBM Power7 architecture is rated at maximum 33 GFLOPS(Giga FLOPS) per core with the full amount of cache available at max clock speed. Per CPU, the maximum performance output is over 260 GFLOPS, albeit this is based on a fully specced out 8 core chip at 4 GHz.

  • wiiboy101

    the only thing confirmed was EDRAM, not power7 ,its also stated wiiu is system on chip and 45nm size both power7 and broadways family of powerpc is at 45nm but only powerpc 4— series is system on chip that is a multipul broadway type core…ibm system on chip has 1 to 8 powerpc 32bit coresand upto 16 units in total gpus media chips etc there based on a 128bit ring bus…theres every chance its broadway 2 cores 3x 4x or a single core power7 4x threads to a 4x core power7….

    i still think due to SOC system on chip its broadway 2 not power7 but again power7 already uses EDRAM

    my other idea is A HUGE AMOUNT OF IBM EDRAM ON WIDE BUS FEEDING GPU AND CPU AS A BETTER RAM THAN SAY GDDR5 and its not power7 level 3 catch

    most likely powerpc 400 series 32bit 3/4 cores

    power7 4xcore low clock speed say 1.6ghz THATS ALSO THE CLOCK SPEED IM GUESSING FOR BROADWAY 2

    or a single core 4xthead power 7 at high clockspeed 3.0ghz

    • EXTREME/TECH

      You may be right but under closer inspection it might be the ChinaChip CC2000 which is a 476FP core based processor with integrated DSP and GPU for game consoles,The PowerPC 476FP core contains five 5-issue, 9-stage execution pipelines and two floating-point pipelines. Memory management is optimized for multitasking embedded environments and symmetric multiprocessor systems. Additional functions include cache control, power control, timers, and debug facilities. Companion cores include an L2 cache controller that supports memory coherency, a processor local bus controller that supports coherent and non-coherent functional blocks, and a DDR3 memory controller with coherency support. The 476FP is embedded and customizable core and has 32/32 kB L1 cache
      Also it was said the wii u cpu was an out of order cpu,well the 476FP with its 9 stage out of order, 5-issue pipeline handles speeds up from 1.6ghz to 2 GHz on multiple cores.If this is the cpu they are using well the its fall into place why devs are saying the cpu clock speeds are lower than xbox 360 and ps3.

      • EXTREME/TECH

        No that means nothing to me sorry, yes it was said since the wii u was announced that the wii cpu would be based on the power 7 chip that much is true, but lets not forget the wii u hardware has been changing since that time,also people where jumping the gun,just because they said the wii u cpu would be based on the power 7 doesn’t mean it will be identical, it will have some similar structures but but quite different powerwise (obviously it will similar l1 and l2 cache maybe l3 cache and threading but way lower) as the price of a power 7 chip alone would be more expensive than a high end pc let alone a games console.A lot of devs have been stating the cpu clock speed is low and it has three cores (in comparison the power 7 chip ranges from 4 to 8 cores) compared to current gen this again proves that the cpu in wii is not a power 7 chip as even the weakest power 7 chip would run rings around current gen consoles and possibly nest gen.the weakest power 7 chip is clocked at 2.4 ghz but that has 16 cores.In my opinion and experience the only feature that the wii u chip would have similar to the power 7 would be that it has a l3 cache with embedded eDRAM. So it will be a custom ibm chip with three cores (advanced broadway cores that the wii used but higher clock speeds with more transistors) but it will be lower clock speeds than current gen that was confirmed by many,but it will have alot more edram and a l3 cache current gen doesnt even have l3 cache.
        Also the wii u’s gpu is its strongest point it was originally said that it would custom variant chip of the radeon HD 4870 or the HD 4850 in the 4000 HD series both based on the RV770 GPU,now it is rumored to be using a chip from the the Radeon 7000 series which specs are as follows these are based on the lowest performing card in the 7000 series which is the HD 7750:

        900MHz Engine Clock
        Up to 2GB GDDR5 Memory
        1125MHz Memory Clock (4.5 Gbps GDDR5)
        72GB/s memory bandwidth (maximum)
        819 GFLOPS Single Precision compute power
        GCN Architecture

        8 Compute Units (512 Stream Processors)
        32 Texture Units
        64 Z/Stencil ROP Units
        16 Color ROP Units
        Dual Asynchronous Compute Engines (ACE)

        PCI Express 3.0 x16 bus interface
        DirectX® 11-capable graphics
        OpenGL 4.2 support

        Lets compare the siad card to current gen
        if you compare the gflops to xbox 360:

        xbox 360 Xenos gpu chip Gflops = 240
        chip running at 500mhz

        wii u custom Radeon HD 7750 chip Gflops = 819
        chip running at 900 mhz

        as you can see if this is the gpu wii u uses its quite powerful for a console
        but the next xbox and ps are rumored to also use a chip from the HD 7000 series and i would imagine it would be the chip up from the 7750 not the ghz edtion which is the HD 7850 which specs are:

        860MHz Engine Clock
        2GB GDDR5 Memory
        1200MHz Memory Clock (4.8 Gbps GDDR5)
        153.6GB/s memory bandwidth (maximum)
        1.76 TFLOPS Single Precision compute power
        GCN Architecture

        16 Compute Units (1024 Stream Processors)
        64 Texture Units
        128 Z/Stencil ROP Units
        32 Color ROP Units
        Dual Geometry Engines
        Dual Asynchronous Compute Engines (ACE)

        256-bit GDDR5 memory interface
        PCI Express 3.0 x16 bus interface
        DirectX® 11.1-capable graphics
        OpenGL 4.2 support

        id say they will change the speed of the gpu chip up to 900mhz or 950mhz
        as you can see this chip goes highr than Gflops it does Tflops which stands for teraflops.

        if all of the said above gpus are used in the said consoles this would be a comparison of power between lets say xbox 720 and wii u

        wii u gpu Gfops = 819 Gflops
        gpu chip running at 900 mhz

        xbox 720 gpu Tflops = 1.76 Tflops
        gpu chip running at 900 – 950 mhz

        so a while the wii u will not be as powerful as next gen, the will be a clear distinction this time between showing that it is more powerful than current gen,my only concern would be the cpu.

    • Smurfman256

      Wrong, sir, WRONG!!!

      Does THIS tweet mean anything to you?
      https://twitter.com/IBMWatson/status/78473693843562498

  • jeenaud

    watson comfirmed wii u uses power 7 so this is most likely true

  • alex

    IBM all readt confirm that is base on a power 7 google IBM talks about,Wii u CPU,and you,will see

    • tipoo2

      They later apologized for that mistake. It’s not Power7 based, look at the size, 30mm2 on 45nm. It’s not Power7 in any meaningful use of the term.

  • Right Man

    1.The WiiU has a 3 core CPU running under 3ghz and in no way has 16 threads.

    And i known and admitted but developers to be weaker than the Xbox 360.

    • Brando

      In no way or form is it weaker then the 360’s the clock speed is slower but that doesn’t mean weaker, nice try tho

      • tipoo2

        30mm2 makes the entire Wii U CPU as large as a SINGLE core on the 360 CPU, or a single core Atom, all on 45nm processes. That’s worrying, there’s a reason why as fabrication processes shrink they use that extra size for more transistors to boost instructions per clock. It won’t be 1/3rd as powerful, you can’t derive performance just from size, but with an Atom-like transistor budget in total, and split among three cores, it just won’t be a powerhorse.

  • Scott

    IMB? am I the only one that noticed that? fix the typo!

  • Mark Redding

    so, the latest IBM architecture is still 45nm compared to Intel’s 22nm process. 45nm is a bit old in this regard and power hungry.

    I keep seeing people comparing the hardware to 6+ year old hardware like the ps3 and 360, this doesn’t seem logical to me seeings how both of those systems are now more affordable.

    After installing the firmware updates, you are left with 3GB out of 8GB onboard storage, not even win8 takes up this much space on a PC and it’s not running on dedicated hardware.

    11-14 seconds to go in and out of settings screens is absurd.

    Using ONLY bluetooth for the controllers was a major misstep, considering that the ps3 can do Remote Play over the internet.

    HD does not equal higher res textures or the ability to produce more triangles, it just means that if it was powerful enough that it could.

    All in all, this is what i expected. Nintendo hasn’t made cutting edge hardware since the SNES and N64 days anyway.

  • tipoo2

    This is pretty outdated. 3 cores is what almost everything seems to point to now, and IBM themselves backtracked and said it was not Power7 based, merely Power based. Think about it, it’s 30mm2 built on 45nm, that isn’t a Power7 in any meaningful way. It just shares a few features like the eDRAM with it.

    30mm2 makes the entire Wii U CPU as large as a SINGLE core on the 360 CPU, or a single core Atom, all on 45nm processes. That’s worrying, there’s a reason why as fabrication processes shrink they use that extra size for more transistors to boost instructions per clock. It won’t be 1/3rd as powerful, you can’t derive performance just from size, but with an Atom-like transistor budget in total, and split among three cores, it just won’t be a powerhorse.