Nintendo Switch Technical discussion [SOC = Tegra X1]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Alucardx23, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. Goodtwin

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    This is a popular opinion, but I dont feel like its out of the question for Nvidia to create a custom processor for the next Switch. Nintendo paid big money to have IBM create a tri core PowerPC 750 processor and matched that to a custom AMD processor that used edram. The cost associated with developing custom processors gets pretty low when sales potential sits as high as 100 million units. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Switch successor use a processor that is a direct evolution of the X1. Switch 2 really only needs to get into the X1/PS4 realm of performance to offer a meaningful upgrade. Cut out the unnecessary hardware in the X1, and bump the GPU core count to 512. The A57 cores are actually better clock for clock than the Jaguar cores, so if hacked Switch units are anything to go by, bumping CPU core clock speeds to 1.75 Ghz is not a problem. Although is compatability isnt an issue, perhaps moving on to the A7* series CPU would be a much bigger improvement. Add in a 128bit memory bus with the newest LPDDR memory and now you have something that resembles a PS4 on the go. Portable consoles are always going to be a generation behind, but we have come so far that even a geration behind is impressive when its in the palm of your hands.
     
  2. wco81

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    Nvidia stock has more than doubled YTD. What are they producing these days? Can't be a lot of growth in the PC 3D cards market right?

    They had phone ambitions but never made it anywhere.

    They are producing chipsets for cars but the world isn't exactly teeming with self-driving cars. Now they may be using Nvidia chips to control the dash display, like Audi does I believe. But that's not a fast-growing market either, car sales in general and high-end cars in particular.

    So what are they so busy with that they couldn't knock off a new Switch SOC, though as successful as the Switch was, I'm guessing it didn't materially boost Nvidia's finances.

    OK quick search, I found that Nvidia passed the market valuation of Intel when it's stock was $420, now it's $550.

    For the first time, revenues from data center sales outpaced gaming hardware sales.

    Meanwhile it has growing software sales tied to subscriptions:

    OK, I can see the association with Tesla, whose own stock is going crazy, probably uplifts Nvidia.

    Self-driving cars are mostly hype, nobody expects level 4 or 5 for at least a decade.

    Data center, I can see, with the hype of the cloud.

    Nvidia charges for AI frameworks which are meant to spur sales of its silicon? Nice business model.


    Maybe Nintendo will have to pay a lot to get Nvidia to dedicate resources to making a bespoke chip. With high-flying stock, Nvidia shouldn't have problems attracting and retaining talent but console gaming may be far down their list of priorities.
     
    #1222 wco81, Sep 1, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
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  3. Goodtwin

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    Nvidia has said that their partnership with Nintendo was going to last for decades, so while its likely this was just PR fluff, but its also possible that there is certain agreements already set in place for future processors. Creating a "custom" processor doesnt mean its comprised of bespoke components. Piecing together a SOC comprised of a very mature architecture matched to licenced ARM CPU cores just doesn't scream high priced. Backwards compatibility will also be a big factor. If Nintendo wants that to be a feature, sticking with Nvidia is a guarantee. This continued partnership will mean Nintendo will likely end up with a processor less capable than they could have gotten for the same money from a mobile SOC manufacture, but its Nintendo, they value a lot of things above peak performance per dollar.
     
  4. wco81

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    But is Nvidia still doing a lot with ARM?

    Is their self-driving and other automotive stuff still using ARM?
     
  5. Kise Ryota

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    Yes, their Jetson AGX Xavier - for autonomous machines - still use ARM.
     
  6. Lalaland

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    It is but those are high power parts (30-60 W) iirc, not suitable at all for a mobile platform, I mean the launch Switch battery life was marginal for a mobile device as it was. Someone posted their most recent platform roadmap here recently that included Tegra, Xavier, and Odin but I cannot for the life of me find it now. It showed a new Tegra class platform for 2022ish iirc which seems like the best fit for Nintendo's needs as more or less everything else Nvidia is doing in the ARM SoC space is AI and automation focused (60W!) and a poor fit for a handheld device.
     
  7. ToTTenTranz

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    Nintendo paid to have IBM make them a 3-core CPU based on a core IP that was turning 14 years old by the time the Wii U went to market, and AMD for a GPU based on the old VLIW5 DX10 architecture.
    "Big money" is probably not the word to use here. Nintendo hasn't used state-of-the-art aechitectures since the gamecube.


    Are there public benchmarks that corroborate this?
     
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  8. Lalaland

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    I see this a lot and never found anything that can back this up, a big part of the problem is most Jaguar products were out of the market by the time A57 was on the market so there's not any direct comparisons between both. Best x86 vs ARM comparison article I've found was this Jaguar vs A15 from notebookcheck.net article from 2013 but to be honest without a reliable way to try and eliminate variables such as varying Android builds/skins etc I think these comparisons are of very limited usefulness. ARM was in the final stages of completely eliminating x86 in low cost, low power devices where Atom and Jaguar used to dominate even in 2013 so by the time A57 rolled around it just never had to compete versus x86.
     
  9. Karamazov

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  10. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I have a Google Pixel C. Some CPU tests I can run on it?
     
    #1230 swaaye, Sep 2, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  11. Goodtwin

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    Im just saying that Nintendo paid a good chunk of change to have a PPC750 customized into a tri core CPU, something that IBM never did with that series of processor. It was truly a one off custom piece. That may have been a poor investment, but it just goes to show that Nintendo makes decisions that arent made with the intent of getting the best performance or lowest cost.

    Tom at DF is the one who talked about the A57 CPU cores having better IPC than the Jaguar cores. I believe it was during the Witcher 3 tech review.
     
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  12. glow

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    Nintendo also paid for a custom SoC to be developed for the 3DS (and another one for the "New 3DS"), using IP that was unique enough to ensure there were no off-the-shelf parts for it.
     
  13. RDGoodla

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    Is there any Nvidia GPU which can have 2~3x performance "per watt" if
    Switch 4k model is real?
     
  14. Entropy

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    Not a GPU.
    But a combination of new architecture and new process node may well do the trick.
     
  15. 536571616e74

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    they have 2 (potentially 3) full node shrinks, each of which is cable of reducing power draw by 50-60% (so < 1/4 power at iso performance), so yes.
     
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  16. Pressure

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    Yeah, it’s Nintendo, so not likely.
     
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  17. Lalaland

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    No not in their road map today for the mobile space. Compared to the current architecture in the X1 the GPU is pretty old but they would need a lot more in the CPU side also. NV has been investing in non-mobile ARM parts for a while (their AI and car stuff).

    Handheld 4K = no.
    Docked 4K also no
    4K upscale from 1080p with native UI elements seems pretty likely.
    Not discounting any title being "native 4k" but I feel pretty confident none of the 3D fare like Zelda will get native 4k
     
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  18. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    What if I run android on my switch, then run switch emulator on it?

    I'm already using switch android almost everyday for work because my Lil bro sometimes hogs the TV. The performance is quite good, except when the memory goes too low
     
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