IBM Gekko PowerPC- Brain of the Nintendo GameCube


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About this Artwork:

The image you are looking at is of an IBM Gekko microprocessor. The Gekko, or "Moonlight" in Japanese, began a new generation of gaming. Nintendo approached IBM for help with its new Game Cube game console. IBM based the Gekko on their RISC PowerPC 750. Also, IBM used its new copper technology to build the 32/64-bit 485MHz Gekko. Communications with Game Cube's Flipper GPU chip was at 1.3GB/s, up to 5.2 GB/s compressed. With the Game Cube, IBM PowerPC core technology began a period of domination of the game console industry and was soon used in Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft consoles.

The overall picture of a Gekko microprocessor is somewhat boring because it looks like a matrix of rows and columns. This artwork is an image of one small corner of the Gekko that is more interesting. A real new and unused Gekko chip sits in the center of the artwork. I suspended it over a mirrored surface because it looked cool but also lets you see the solder balls of the Ball Grid Array (BGA) mount. They placed the Gekko over the spot on the mainboard where its connection pads would be. Then they vibrated the chip very fast. The heat from the friction melted the solder balls making the electrical connection. The part number of this Gekko is 06K4884, which is a pre-production version of the chip. It is marked IBM Confidential and was given a serial number. These were only released to game developers and are quite rare. Since this is a new, never used, chip it makes it even more unique. 


The artwork is framed in an 8"x 8" black shadow box frame, with glass. All framing materials are acid-free. A narrative about the artwork that includes the artist’s signature is placed on the back of the artwork.

Please note:  The look of the artifacts in the artworks may vary, each piece is unique.