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Nintendo Chooses STMicroelectronics & PNI Sensors For Wii U

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ST's and PNI's technologies enable intuitive motion sensing for Nintendo's latest gaming applications

Nintendo Co., Ltd. has adopted an advanced sensor solution for its soon to be launched Wii U from STMicroelectronics and PNI Sensor Corporation.

PNI's 3-axis geomagnetic sensor, based on proprietary magneto-inductive technology and driven by ST's ASIC, together with an ST 3-axis accelerometer, enables intuitive motion sensing in gaming applications.

The Wii U supports the need of users to enjoy intuitive motion control that is stable under various environments. The geomagnetic sensor delivers new playability in combination with other sensors. What's more, the accelerometer accommodates a wide variety of players' motions in gaming.

"The collaboration of advanced sensing technology and extensive know-how in gaming motion-control from ST, who is leading the MEMS market, and impressive geomagnetic-sensing technology from PNI, has strongly supported Nintendo's challenge to deliver an entirely new kind of gaming and entertainment experience for consumers around the world," said Genyo Takeda, Senior Managing Director, Nintendo Co., Ltd.

"Since its launch, the Wii has revolutionised the gaming world and ST has kept its close relationship with Nintendo by reliably delivering advanced MEMS technology while expanding its expertise in sensors for gaming, its manufacturing capability and its advanced MEMS technologies," says Benedetto Vigna, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Analogue, MEMS & Sensors Group of STMicroelectronics.

"We're pleased that PNI and ST can play an important role in the development of Nintendo's latest game console, the Wii U, and will continue to explore avenues that allow ST to demonstrate the value of MEMS."

"We are pleased to have Nintendo, a true pioneer in interactive entertainment, select our geomagnetic sensor for use in the Wii U. And working closely with ST has made this possible," says Becky Oh, PNI Sensor President and CEO. "Our goals are to offer our sensors to customers who need to sense motion despite some magnetic interference, to complement their algorithms, and to react in real time."

Designed and manufactured in Northern California, the PNI RM3000 geomagnetic sensor enables motion sensing while also accounting for reasonable magnetic anomalies. It detects magnetic fields in the environment with improved accuracy, even where magnetic interference from audio speakers, metal objects, building girders or a cell phone can send other magnetic sensors off target.

ST's ASIC amplifies signals, from a tiny variation of magnetic field detected by magnetic sensor coils, and with low noise, converts them to digital data, and interfaces with an application processor through an SPI bus.

In addition to the geomagnetic sensor, the Wii U includes ST's 3-axis accelerometer. With its low current consumption (2µA) and compact 3 x 3 x 1mm package, this accelerometer is ideally suited for use in consumer and mobile devices with power and/or space restrictions.

ST says its output is accurate over a selectable acceleration range and can be used to detect accelerating or slowing a race car or swinging a sword (±2g/±4g/±8g/±16g). Also its performance is claimed to remain stable over periods of time or during temperature changes.

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