A couple of recent Nvidia Tegra/Nintendo Switch-related posts by a leaker have sparked speculation about the potential processor for the next-gen Switch. While some are hoping for godlike performance and updated architectures, the more prosaic likelihood is that the Nintendo Switch 2 will still be powered by an Orin-series processor like the mysterious T239 “Drake” chip.
A tipster normally known for their smartphone-related output has had a crack at leaking some console-related details that have on the surface backfired. First up, Connor (@OreXda) got Nintendo Switch fans hot under the collar by claiming that the Nvidia Tegra chip for the Switch 2 would be “manufactured from 5LPP”. This would mean Samsung Foundries would be in charge of production, with this potential Switch 2 chip blowing the original Switch’s 20-nm Tegra X1 out of the water in terms of efficiency and performance. But the same source rapidly snatched this dream away with a rather confusing follow-up post.
This time around, Connor reckoned that there were plans for a 5LPP (5nm Low Power Plus) manufacturing process for the Switch 2’s SoC, but now they have been dropped. Confusingly, the source talks about Nvidia moving from Atlan to Thor, which purportedly had some effect on the Nintendo console processor’s progress. However, Atlan was canceled in 2022 to be replaced by Thor, so it’s hardly a current situation to report. A few optimistic fans have jumped onto the idea that this could mean a cut-down Thor-series chip might turn up in the Switch 2, with its advanced graphics architecture (Lovelace) bringing up to four times the GPU performance of an Orin-series Ampere-based rival. But this is very much wishful thinking.
The expected arrival date for Thor is 2025, and it is very likely that the Switch 2 will already be available by then (rumored: 2023-24). It’s also likely that even a trimmed variant of the vehicular automation chip would be way too powerful and costly for Nintendo to consider for a next-gen Switch. However, this chaos allows for a calm reminder of the more probable choices for the Nintendo Switch 2 processor, with the mostly unknown T239 still basically a frontrunner. The original Nintendo Switch was launched in early 2017 and featured the aforementioned Tegra X1 from Nvidia, which was unveiled in the second quarter of 2015. Therefore, the Switch 2’s chip is seemingly hiding in plain sight, although Nintendo will use a semi-custom variant of the chosen SKU.
So, it’s back to the Orin series and its still-advanced 8nm process background. There have been some opinions made that a variant of the Orin Nano 8GB could be the Switch 2’s SoC, with a few arguments offered as to why. With its 128-bit memory bus-width and 1,024 shader processors at a reasonable price (US$299; but much lower for Nintendo’s bulk buy), this contender brings four times the shaders of the T210 (Tegra X1) and double the bus width. Another strong possibility is the expensive Orin NX 16GB, which could be riskier for Nintendo to use with a Switch 2 console because of its higher cost and greater power requirement, but it does bring in double the RAM of the Nano counterpart and promises a higher TFLOP rate of 1.88 (original Switch: 0.393; PS4: 1.84).
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Sorry. Tegra for Nintendo has been dropped few days(or months) ago.
It was 5LPP, but unfortunately the Nvidia changed Atlan to Thor, they seems canceled the Tegra for Nintendo.
But the news for Nvidia Tegra will be keep updating! Hold your notification
— Connor / 코너 / コナー (@OreXda) March 22, 2023
Daniel R Deakin – Managing Editor News & Magazine – 2965 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
My interest in technology began after I was presented with an Atari 800XL home computer in the mid-1980s. I especially enjoy writing about technological advances, compelling rumors, and intriguing tech-related leaks. I have a degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies and count my family, reading, writing, and travel as the main passions of my life. I have been with Notebookcheck since 2012.
Daniel R Deakin, 2023-03-22 (Update: 2023-03-22)