3DS got two ARM11s

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices and SoCs' started by thop, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. thop

    thop Great Member
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    Well, IGN is not exactly the best source for hardware specs, but I doubt it was made up.

    IGN has learned that the Nintendo 3DS will pack not one, but two 266MHz ARM11 CPUs, along with a 133MHz GPU, 4MBs of dedicated VRAM, 64MBs of RAM, and 1.5GBs of flash storage. The information comes from persons familiar with the hardware who spoke to us under the condition of anonymity.

    http://uk.gear.ign.com/articles/112/1122613p1.html
     
  2. DeadlyNinja

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    Two ARM 11? Can it function like a dual core?
     
  3. thop

    thop Great Member
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    And 133MHz does confirm the statement made by DMP that the 3DS PICA200 it is based on the 200MHz version, but Nintendo considered this to be excessive still.
     
  4. Exophase

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    I was expecting 533MHz ARM11 + 67MHz ARM9 and people were saying it was surely going to be faster... this I did not expect. Still unconfirmed, but damn.

    I have a good feeling you won't be able to run user code on one of the CPUs, regardless of what they are, since that has been the model both Nintendo and Sony has used thus far.

    For ARM11 @ 266MHz I expect 16/16KB L1 cache (with 32/32KB being a maybe) and 0KB of L2 cache. Was expecting CPUs that'd be a little bit more competitive against PSP than this....
     
  5. sfried

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    I'd take anything on IGN with a huge grain of salt. They were wrong about certain aspects of the Wii. However it's not unconcievable that the flash memory would be 1.5 GB.

    If the specs just happen to be true, then judging by RE: Revelations, that's one heck of an efficient system.
     
  6. darkblu

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    And I expected an A8 + ARM11 combo, the ARM11 being a factor in the BC. Dual ARM11 is not that far off, but i wonder if the clocks are not artificial and a subject to official sanctions.

    I think all bets are off this gen. But yes, chances that one of the cpu's will be in the 'trusted zone' are very high.

    They might not have a pressing need for L2. I would not be surprised if they could get 64MB of sufficiently-high speed pseudo-SRAM in there. For instance, Fujitsu already had 512Mb of their FCRAM back in 2008, featuring burst mode and all.
     
  7. Rangers

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    Err, actually wasnt Matt Casamassina-whatever from IGN the first source to really blow the lid of Wii's specs? And he was pretty much 100% right too. And he received a ton of violent backlash from Nintendo fanboys who didn't want to believe it, too. But he was right.

    I''ve been downplaying the 3DS hardware from day one. It's just not Nintendo's nature anymore to deliver competent or imo decent hardware, but it's a little annoying. I dont know, I just always expected the 3DS to be revealed as underpowered, while people on message boards keep trying to portray it as a beast based on screenshots.
     
  8. Rodéric

    Rodéric a.k.a. Ingenu
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    The Wii outsells both other consoles, the DS outsells the PSP, why on earth would you waste money on hardware that doesn't make it sell ?
     
  9. ToTTenTranz

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    133MHz GPU and dual 266MHz ARM11 is.. damn, it's depressingly disapointing...

    Unless there's some kind of dedicated vector processing units, Nintendo is launching a hardware that performs lower than 3 year-old cellphones.
    Maybe they should know that the exact same formula that worked in 2005 won't work in 2010?

    Casual gaming is shifting for cellphones. Lauching another console dedicated to casual gaming will make it obsolete as soon as 3D displays become standard in cellphones.
     
  10. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
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    In terms of CPU, yes. In terms of GPU, not at all: a 133MHz DMP nearly seems excessive compared to a single 266MHz ARM11 (if we assume the second one won't be available to devs, but who knows) - so the one thing you can expect not to see is complex physics or AI. Not a huge deal in Nintendo's market I'd argue, but disappointing indeed.

    And when is that exactly? I'd be very surprised if even the 2012 or 2013 iPhones had a 3D display. And there's nothing that prevents Nintendo from refreshing the HW significantly 3-4 years later as long as they maintain backwards compatibility, but we'll see.
     
  11. Urian

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    I believe that PICA200 was a last minute solution, if I am not wrong original Tegra specs were ARM11MP2 with a GeForce ULP running at 133Mhz. It is possible that Nintendo saw a better cost, performance and power consumption in the DMP chip and decided to abandon Nvidia.
     
  12. Exophase

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    We'll see, I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't even have a programmable PLL.

    Both being listed as 266MHz is probably evidence that it could be available, since I'd imagine one being used for purposes like the ARM7 on DS could be a weaker core, but who knows. PSP was a big waste of a second core.

    Fujitsu's mobile FCRAM offerings are much smaller and cheaper, also only 16-bits wide.. I don't think you save very much vs LPDDR with solutions like this. I imagine having some L2 would be cheaper and lower consumption than particularly fast RAM, but I personally doubt we'll see anything remotely recent in design in this. I mean, they're using an ARM11, not a Cortex-A5.
     
  13. fehu

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    i was thinking about it
    in almost a year i have not heard about an A5 implementation, maybe its too overfeatured compared to an arm11, and if you want cortex compatibility you go directly to an A8

    anyway, why two weak core and not a beefier dual issue A8?
    I can't see a so great thermal or W advantage in the dual core solution, and a developer will be strangled by it
     
  14. ToTTenTranz

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    It really sounds unreasonable. I'd take dual 533MHz ARM11 easily, or even single ~500MHz Cortex A5 with NEON. Or at least having some dedicated hardware for vector processing, like Broadcom's BCM2727 in Nokia N8.

    With this kind of hardware, we just know the 3DS games are condemned to scripted physics, AI and even low-quality sound music/effects (please, no more midi sound, really.. it's enough) during their whole lifetime (until 2016?).

    The console is coming at the same time as dual-~1GHz A9 smartphones hit the market.. I just can't believe they think they can pull another "it's okay 'cause we're creative" on us, with 5 year-old hardware.


    When? How about 3 months ago?
    http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_w960_amoled_3d-3319.php
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRK4DVkdao4&feature=related

    It's the same parallax barrier system as the 3DS, same resolution, but in AMOLED flavour (not that a short-lived AMOLED screen should be in a console, though).



    Probably not Apple phones, they've always been late at adopting all the trends they don't start.
    I do see Android, Symbian and MeeGo releasing official support for stereoscopic view and even stereoscopic versions of their UIs in less than 2 years.
     
  15. Exophase

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    The DMP does have vertex shading hardware. Almost every 3D console released has some kind of specialized hardware functionality to aid vertex transformation, including the DS.. I don't think Nintendo would now expect people to do it on an ARM11.
     
  16. sfried

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    Wasn't it also because of nVidia was having trouble meeting the performance specifications of the Tegra in terms of power?
     
  17. DuckThor Evil

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    Isn't 4MB of vram and 64MB of ram a bit on the low side?
     
  18. MfA

    MfA
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    Handheld consoles aren't about casual gaming ... so how is that relevant?
     
  19. BoardBonobo

    BoardBonobo My hat is white(ish)!
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    I guess that's because two arms are better than one...
     
  20. ToTTenTranz

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    The DS' worldwide success is all about casual gaming.
     

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