Nintendo Invests $15M in 3D Memory Startup

Four year-old startup Matrix Semiconductor Inc. today said Nintendo has invested $15 million in the company, bringing the total funding raised by Matrix to $95 million.

Matrix claims to be the first company to commercialize low-cost, high-density 3-D ICs. Its first product is a non-volatile memory specifically designed for use in portable electronics. This marks an area of interest for Nintendo, as the Matrix 3-D memory is designed for storage and is field programmable. This would allow games developers programming flexibility and greatly reduce inventory complexity and costs, the company said.

“The portable and mobile device markets are expanding rapidly. Matrix’s cost and density advantages over existing technologies support the memory requirements of our portable video game machine, Game Boy Advance,” said Yasuhiro Minagawa, Nintendo’s PR manager, in a statement. “We believe Matrix’s technology will help us to make our exciting game titles more efficiently.”

Nintendo’s investment seems to be a one-off rather than part of an actual round of funding. By December 2001 Matrix had raised over $80 million from Benchmark Capital, Skymoon Ventures, Microsoft, and other consumer electronics manufacturers. Taiwan Semicondcutor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. has been manufacturing Matrix’s 3-D memory since 2001, although general availability of the memory technology has not yet been announced.

News source: Electronic Business

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