Nintendo Switch Gets Tegra-soc With Maxwell GPU

Published by


The Nintendo Switch would be using a Tegra-soc with Maxwell GPU according to two anonymous sources at GamesBeat. The choice for an 'older' architecture would have been made to be able to produce the product faster.

The sources at the game division of VentureBeat say will Nintendo Wii replacement as soon as possible and not bring the risk that competitors already a similar hybrid console on the market:

Nvidia introduced its new Pascal architecture earlier this year, but that technology is not ready for the Tegra chip going into the Switch. The custom Maxwell Tegra (which uses a 20nm process as opposed to the more efficient 16nm process of the Pascal) in the machine is still powerful enough to play Nintendo-style games that rely on quality art over horsepower, but don’t expect Switch software to match the graphical fidelity of the highest-end PS4 games.

The choice of Maxwell means that the Nintendo box will likely be a lot cheaper than other brand-new consoles (which typically debut at $400 to $600) at the outset. The Maxwell graphics will be embedded in the ARM-based Tegra processor, which is an all-in-one chip, with both processor and graphics on the same piece of silicon. Like the Advanced Micro Devices chips in the PS4 and Xbox One (those consoles have accelerated processing units, or APUs), the single chip consumes less space, uses less power, and costs less than having two chips in the system.

Hardcore gamers and tech fans will likely be upset that Nintendo won’t be using Pascal graphics. That gives Microsoft and Sony room to proceed with their tech arms race. Sony has already launched the PlayStation 4 Pro machine with 4K-like graphics and virtual reality with its PlayStation VR headset. And Microsoft promises true 4K graphics and VR with its upcoming Project Scorpio, debuting for the holidays in 2017. But others may find that the Nintendo Switch is more than adequate for what they need. To give you a sense, we expect the Nintendo Switch to be more than 1 teraflop in performance, but far less than the 6 teraflops that Microsoft is promising for Scorpio. The PS4 is around 1.8 teraflops, and it has much better memory bandwidth performance as well compared to the Switch.

he Shield set-top box that debuted in 2015 has an Nvidia Tegra X1 processor with eight 64-bit ARM cores and a 256-core Maxwell GPU. That machine debuted for $200 with a Shield controller. That machine was capable of 4K 60-frames-per-second graphics, but it used Nvidia’s cloud gaming service to run high-end games such as Dying Light (a first-person zombie game that features a great deal of climbing and jumping around an urban setting). The set-top box could tolerate a higher heat profile, and the Nvidia Shield tablet that debuted in 2014 had a Tegra K1 processor with four CPUs and 192 Kepler graphics cores. 

Nintendo Switch Gets Tegra-soc With Maxwell GPU

Share this content
Twitter Facebook Reddit WhatsApp Email Print