NV got DS2 contract according to BSN

Discussion in 'Mobile Industry' started by TEXAN*, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. rpg.314

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    Custom T2 for Nintendo then? :???:
     
  2. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
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    Just lurking a bit and couldn't resist... :)

    There's only one non-custom SoC today that would have a lower BOM for roughly that level of graphics performance, the Samsung S5PC110 (45nm 1GHz Cortex-A8, 200MHz SGX540 - it's the one in their first Bada phone BTW) and I'd be surprised if Nintendo is going with Samsung. There are two other chips in the same ballpark: OMAP4 and Snapdragon2 (+derivatives of the latter). The former has slightly greater external component requirements (64-bit LPDDR2, HDMI PHY, etc.) whereas the latter integrates a HSPA+ baseband Nintendo nearly certainly wouldn't want. Also the main external components on the Tegra2 reference board are netbook-specific (i.e. related to the multi-cell battery, LVDS, USB hub for >2 ports, etc.) and LPDDR2 isn't *that* expensive in the 2011 timeframe.

    Oh, and before any fool takes this to mean the S5PC110 is what is in the iPad: it's amazing how clueless everyone is there. Come on, 'A4', how obvious can you get? It's their fourth custom chip: 90nm A1 in the iPhone 2G/iPod Touch 1G/iPhone 3G, 65nm A2 in the iPod Touch 2G, 65nm A3 in the iPhone 3G S/iPod Touch 3G, 45nm A4 in the iPad and 2010 iPhone. I don't know how many times I'll have to link this PDF, but I guess I'll try again: http://www.samsung.com/us/business/semiconductor/news/downloads/FoundryBrochure0507.pdf (i.e. quite a bit of the IP is synthesized by Samsung, maybe less each gen, but each of those SoC is definitely custom, see http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle....E1GHRSKH4ATMY32JVN?articleID=218100442&pgno=2 for the 3GS)

    Anyway I do believe however that Nintendo is more likely to go with a custom solution at this point, whether from NV or from someone else. Tegra2 is a bigger chip (~50mm2) than most imagined, and it could also be an unannounced derivative on 40nm or even 28nm, but that seems unlikely. It is also perfectly possible that they have decided to go for a custom non-NV solution at a Japanese manufacturer, although there haven't been many leaks of what that design would be if so. BTW, NVIDIA has claimed publicly to the Linley Group that they will sample Tegra3 (afaik on 28nm with triple gate oxide) before the end of the year, aka Q4. This implies a tape-out schedule around TSMC's "initial risk production" timeframe of June 2010. That will nearly certainly be the first Tegra with a DX10-level/CUDA-capable GPU.

    Oh, while I'm at it: there's a slight inaccuracy with the Linley Group's claim that Tegra2 does not support 1080p High Profile. It is supported AFAIK, but only up to ~10Mbps (so YouTube 1080p is fine), whereas Main Profile and Baseline are supported to substantially higher bitrates (so definitely no Blu-ray ISOs). Video Encode, on the other hand, remains 1080p Baseline. And I wasn't sure, but someone from NV confirmed on their forums that NEON is not supported on either core, fwiw.

    And before anyone thinks I appear only for Tegra-related matters: I think the level of quality of App Processors throughout the industry has increased greatly in the last 2 years. Even Samsung and Marvell have extremely appealing solutions for several markets, and they seem to be delivering on the software front. In a way, the market is maturing (after all there are no mainstream standards beyond 1080p for example!) although certainly not yet a commodity. NV's greatest advantage here is velocity, and on 40nm it seems to have paid excellent dividends (85 tablets in flight, T1&T2 phones in Q3). For Tegra3, it will be interesting to see whether TSMC can deliver on 28nm SiON. It seems like a very incremental process to me, so they probably will, but I'm sure everyone is wary at this point.
     
  3. Ailuros

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    Apparently the longer it takes for you to post the longer your posts in the end :lol:

    Just 3 quick points:

    The rumor that NV might have yielded the Nintendo deal is years old. You might want to check which japanese semi it was (to deduct it from the list of possible contenders) and ask yourself why it's out of the picture in the meantime. Nintendo's usual semi partner shouldn't be a secret I guess, which would be a 2nd contender amongst a few others.

    Let's hope then it doesn't take as long as it took from Tegra2 tape out to mass production. If I'd calculate a similar timeframe for T3 I'm not so sure what that would have to do with Nintendo's next generation handheld or why that piece of information is something that would blow up my skirt :p

    Since when cares Nintendo primarily for graphics performance and I've missed something?
     
  4. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
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    Well iirc, T2 taped-out in 4Q08, sampled in July 2009, mass production starting now and products in Q2. So that's 18 months from tape-out to products, better than the industry average although certainly not as nice as NV had hoped even for T1 with products out in 4Q08 after a 3Q07 tape-out and sampling in January 2008 - in retrospect, not very realistic at all except for subpar Tier 2 products IMO.

    As for how this is related to the DS2... it's not. Arguably though you could take it to mean Nintendo will definitely not come use a 28nm chip unless they wait for 4Q11/2012.

    Gosh no, but Nintendo is still likely to care more about graphics performance *than other performance aspects*, and many standard SoCs dedicated even less silicon relatively speaking to 3D. So if Nintendo wanted to go lower-end, they'd want to go for a custom chip too IMO.

    FWIW, this is what I assumed the T2 derivative looked like fairly recently:
    1xA9/256KiB L2/1xTMU 3D/192KiB GPU/1080p BP Decode/720p BP Encode/12MP Imaging
    32-bit LPDDR1&2/1xUSB OTG/2xSDIO/1xCSI2/1xHDMI/0xRGB/0xIDE
    ~25mm2

    And on that, maybe I should poof into nothingness again :)
     
  5. Ailuros

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    Nintendo definitely cares more about power consumption than graphics performance, and that's exactly the reason why it came as a huge surprise for me when the first rumors for a Tegra powered handheld emerged.

    Under that reasoning I don't see why they couldn't have changed their mind and are aiming for something far more humble than a Tegra2 or SGX540 or whatever else.

    As a sidenote if Nintendo still hasn't made up its mind for their technology targets at least for their next generation handheld, they probably don't intend to release it any time either. I'd doubt even 2011 if that's the case.

    Cliff notes: too many unknown variables.
     
  6. MfA

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    Doing graphics on a CPU is hardly power efficient.
     
  7. Ailuros

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    Definitely not. But embedded graphics aren't just limited to higher end variants of any sort of OGL_ES2.0 GPUs.

    If Nintendo is in the end going to use Tegra for its next generation handheld and if BOM or power consumption of Tegra2 should be outside of what Nintendo really wants or is targeting for, an alternative in the form of Tegra1 (shrunk to the most recent process of the time) wouldn't suggest that you're doing graphics on the CPU; au contraire (yes it's just an example).
     
  8. NeoTechni

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    I still say DSi is the DS2. They'd be stupid to kill off DSi by releasing a DSi2 so soon.
     
  9. MfA

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    Except the DS(i) is completely flooded with warez ...

    It would be perfectly possible for new DS games to be almost impossible to pirate, it's just takes a bit of forward thinking ... and frankly their hardware engineers tend to lag the industry a bit too much even when it doesn't make economic sense, the DS is a success despite the hardware not thanks to it. They just had no competition in their price bracket.

    But it would be too late by now, they'd still be stuck with a platform with a huge amount of warez already available for it which most people would probably just play in preference to the new unpirateable games. If they had fixed the warez problem in time the DSi could have sufficed ... but they didn't. They need a new platform without the warez problem and they need to distuingish it enough from DS(i) for people to make the jump regardless of the free games available on the old platform ... so they have to make the games look better.
     
  10. tongue_of_colicab

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    Too bad that graphics have never ever helped a handheld succeed. The Gameboy, GBC, GBA and DS always beat their competitors while having far worse gfx. Just releasing a new system with better gfx wont make it a succes. Software and hardware sales on DS are still strong so I dont see a reason why Nintendo should release a new system to solve the piracy as soon as possible.
     
  11. MfA

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    The only real competition it ever had was Sega Game Gear and PSP, never competition in it's own price class. As for sales, essentially losing Europe is not really doing great.
     
  12. Ailuros

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  13. Simon F

    Simon F Tea maker
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  14. Ailuros

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    Yep.

    I'm willing to bet good money that Fudo doesn't have the slightest clue if asked what's inside the A4 or what the respective differences between solution A or B could be. But as I said if you're up for some good entertainment reading trash tabloid sites is a solution.
     
  15. rpg.314

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    I am willing to bet that he doesn't have a clue about what goes inside _any_ chip.

    That dude's website has degenerated into nv pr's mouth.
     
  16. I.S.T.

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    Yeah, all of The Inquirer shoot-off sites are hilarious. Not a single fact to be found in any of 'em(Well, that's an exaggeration, but it's not too far from the truth...).
     
  17. brain_stew

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    So now that the "DS2" has been finally officially announced as the "3DS" what's the latest best guess on what hardware it'll be using. The Tegra rumours seem to have gone quiet so are we now to expect something from IMG or Qualcomm instead? Any other serious contenders been mooted? Samsung?
     
  18. nathan1988

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    i cant understand why nintendo has opted for tegra and not IMG . it just doesnt make sense what with from what ive read so far powervr gpus are way better both in terms of power consumption and performance . nintendo used to make clever descisions when it comes to choosing the right hardwares for its consoles .
     
  19. sfried

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    Eh? I thought we're still not sure if the Tegra deal held? It could be Intel for all its worth.
     
  20. argor

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    :lol2: :lol:
     
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