Rumor: Switch 2 Will Have A Custom Designed Nvidia Chip
12.02.2024 - 12:54
We have an interesting rumor today, that may have been corroborated by multiple sources months ago.
As reported by Reuters, Nvidia is planning a new business unit to make bespoke, or dedicated chips, for multiple customers. They tail-ended this report with this claim:
“A new version of the Switch console expected this year is likely to include a Nvidia custom design, one source said.
Nintendo declined to comment.”
However, the rest of the article seems to also have relevant information on this end. It mentions that much of Nvidia’s business is now going to AI chips, with their biggest clients including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.
Nvidia’s most popular AI chips are the H100 and A100, but Reuters also points out that these companies have started designing their own chips. Nvidia is now shopping around their bespoke chips to these companies, and other potential clients. Nvidia’s interest in video games may mean they could have offered these chips to Sony, Microsoft’s Xbox arm, or PC OEMs for their gaming handhelds. But obviously, Nvidia sees the upside to sticking with Nintendo.
What’s interesting about this rumor is we have been hearing such rumblings from various sources since last year. Last March 2023, a Korean account going by the handle Connor/OreXda believed that Nvidia commissioned Nintendo’s custom chips to Samsung, and that they would be an incredible 5LPP, AKA potentially as powerful as the Xbox Series S. But they took this one back in the last minute as the chip order they were monitoring switched to an automotobile chip.
Now here’s where this gets interesting.
In September, a 4chan poster claimed that Nintendo originally planned to use the Nvidia T239 to make a Switch Pro, but changed their mind. That T239 aligned with the rumors Connor was following. This 4chan poster than claimed that Nintendo now plans to use a modified T254 for their next console.
Finally, Necro Felipe from Universo Nintendo posted a rumor in January of this year that the upcoming console was using Nvidia’s T239, on a 4nm die. As you may note, these rumors contradict each other, but all are in agreement that Nintendo is commissioning a custom Nvidia chip.
And it is really the only rumor that makes sense. Nvidia claimed that future mobile devices would be more powerful than the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2013, and then, they made it a reality, showing off an Unreal demo on a mobile CPU that same year. After years of relying on AMD giving them low power CPUs, for the promise of a cheaper selling price, Nintendo bet on Nvidia delivering on that promise, and getting them caught up in the console market power wise.
Today, the Switch is known for its ‘impossible’ ports of games like Doom Eternal and The Witcher 3: Wild