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Samsung and AMD could power Nintendo's Switch successor.

IbizaPocholo

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ibiza

When Nintendo attempts to replace its Switch console, the company will likely opt to create a new handheld/home console hybrid. While sourcing chips from Nvidia will be an option for the company, Nvidia's minimal efforts on consumer-grade ARM products leaves them in a position where they might not be able to create silicon that's sufficiently "next-gen" enough for Nintendo's next console, at least on the CPU side.

Nvidia hasn't updated their Shield tablet line with new silicon since their Tegra K1, which contains a Kepler-based graphics chip, while their Shield TV series of components has not been enhanced with updated chips than their Maxwell-based Tegra X1, the same chip the Switch uses. As it stands, if Nintendo wanted to create a next-generation Switch console, Nvidia doesn't have a new off-the-shelf SoC to sell them, a factor which will force Nintendo to look at alternative suppliers. This is where AMD's partnership with Samsung comes in.

Last week, AMD and Samsung entered a strategic punishment which was designed to deliver "low-power, high performance" graphics tech to the masses, merging AMD's RDNA graphics with Samsung's already capable ARM SoCs. Together, both companies plan to deliver "groundbreaking graphics products", though this deal will take years to start bearing fruit.

While AMD has made ARM processors in the past, their focus with ARM was never on mobile platforms, making the mobile market an area which is practically inaccessible to the company. While AMD's new Zen 2 series of x86 processors are incredibly efficient, ARM-based CPUs are still the leaders of the mobile market, which means that AMD either needs to invest in ARM components or find a partner that can handle the ARM side for them. In this regard, Samsung is an ideal partner for AMD, as it enabled the company to get its graphics components into more areas of the market and secures additional funding for future GPU developments.

With Samsung acting as one of the world's leading producers or ARM processors and AMD acting as a world leader in consumer graphics, both companies are poised to take the world of high-performance, low-power graphics by storm. With Nvidia seeming uninterested in console design wins, Samsung's AMD partnership places them in the perfect position for a potential Switch 2 design win, assuming Radeon's graphics tech transitions well to mobile platforms.

Nintendo has shown no signs of replacing their Switch console anytime soon, a factor which will give Samsung and AMD plenty of time to create a new gaming-ready mobile SoC. Alongside Samsung, AMD/Radeon has the opportunity to power the entirety of the next-generation console market.
 

Zannegan

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If this is what happens, then Nintendo will have lucked into the ideal hardware (for their vision) twice in a row. As I understand it, NVidia just happened to have a lot of X1s to offload when Nintendo needed to put out the Switch, so Ninty got a deal. They won't get a the same deal with AMD/Samsung, but they would get reasonably cutting edge hardware based on timing alone.

Almost makes up for the absolutely abysmal timing of the WiiU's hardware design (though their vision was more than half the problem then anyway).
 

xGreir

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Apr 1, 2019
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But didn't have Nintendo some type of 10 years contract with Nvidia?

Is it possible to do the change?
 

Zannegan

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But didn't have Nintendo some type of 10 years contract with Nvidia?

Is it possible to do the change?
I believe NVIDIA said they would like to keep working with Nintendo for the next two decades, but there's no way either company would sign an exclusivity contract like that.

Here's what I think you're thinking of:

For the record, with how well the Switch has turned out, I'd love to see Nintendo and NVIDIA keep working together. But if NVIDIA doesn't have the designs they need, then it would certainly be cheaper to go with someone who had an off-the-shelf part.
 
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FStubbs

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Who is to say nVidia hasn't been working on a custom chip for Nintendo? That they could then remarket as the next Tegra? Having a major console using nVidia graphics is important to them.
 

FStubbs

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So that would make Backwards Compatibility non-existent.
I think you'd still have BC as long as they stuck with ARM.

I can't see how anybody only has a switch as game console anymore in this day of age. It's more a addition rather then the norm.
Eh, you've got that backwards. The Switch is the norm for me and the PS4 is for those games that stubbornly refuse to come to Switch.
 
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Sycomunkee

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NS have BC with WiiU?
No, but Nintendo of all people should be providing this. Meanwhile, Sony and Microsoft are all over it. Don't give me yet another reason not to buy something from Nintendo. I love their first party games, but sometimes they are few and far between and at such a shitty resolution. graphics aren't everything, but at the same time, don't make me play something that doesn't feel like an upgrade.
 
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~Fake

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No, but Nintendo of all people should be providing this. Meanwhile, Sony and Microsoft are all over it. Don't give me yet another reason not to buy something from Nintendo. I love their first party games, but sometimes they are few and far between and at such a shitty resolution. graphics aren't everything, but at the same time, don't make me play something that doesn't feel like an upgrade.
Nah they make money. They care so little about BC. I agree with you, 'they should', but thats don't means they will.
Business.
 

Sycomunkee

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Nah they make money. They care so little about BC. I agree with you, 'they should', but thats don't means they will.
Business.
I know, I just wish they would make a product enticing enough for me to pull the trigger on. I'm always at the edge, but then just find myself thinking I'd not be happy with the purchase because of all it's aliasing.
 

~Fake

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I know, I just wish they would make a product enticing enough for me to pull the trigger on. I'm always at the edge, but then just find myself thinking I'd not be happy with the purchase because of all it's aliasing.
Just look at Pokemon Moon/Sun. Instead of making a DLC called 'Ultra Moon/Sun', they create another same game at full price with little changes, zero graphic modifications...
If people really want BC they need to make their wallet speak.
Until there happens, Nintendo have little interess of doing that.
 
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Jun 9, 2012
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Who is to say nVidia hasn't been working on a custom chip for Nintendo? That they could then remarket as the next Tegra? Having a major console using nVidia graphics is important to them.
I kind of doubt Nvidia is all that interested in low-margin custom SoCs for consoles. I totally believe the rumor that Nvidia overproduced Tegra X1 and sold them to Nintendo for super cheap.

We’ll see. I’m sure NVidia would do it if the price is right, but I don’t exactly think they’ll do much to try to win Nintendo’s business.
 

LordOfChaos

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I think you'd still have BC as long as they stuck with ARM.

ISA isn't everything, for consoles with bespoke graphics APIs they're also tuned to the GPU architecture, and the Switch uses NVN, an Nvidia developed API.

A Tegra successor would still be the easiest move, whether or not other SoCs offer better value.
 
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SonGoku

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I wish Nintendo would just license the latest imgtech PowerVR GPUs
They should have done that from the start, instead of going with nvidia
 
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ethomaz

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Who is to say nVidia hasn't been working on a custom chip for Nintendo? That they could then remarket as the next Tegra? Having a major console using nVidia graphics is important to them.
I doubt that.

nVidia business is not to make custom design to their consumers and when they accept that they are hella expensive... way more than others players in the market.

nVidia like to sell their own designed products... like they sold the X1 in stock do Nintendo.

And looks they are not interested in a new version of Tegra for the X1 segment because they didn’t find it good enough to them... if Nintendo didn’t brought the stock of X1 from them they probably had a mico in hands because the sales of X1 was really bad.

But who knows maybe they are waiting some big leap in process to make a new Tegra... the move from 20nm (X1) to 16nm (X2) was basically a side step... very little gain.
 
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ultrazilla

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Nvidia in now way, shape or form wants to lose the business they're in with Nintendo. The Switch is a huge hit and it'd be crazy to think Nvidia wouldn't work
closely with what Nintendo wants for a new SOC. Also, I think people are getting confused. I believe the Nintendo Switch is the perfect platform to iterate on.
It simply needs more power, etc.

So when there's talk of Nintendo's "next gen" after Switch, I think it's Nintendo simply looking to iterate on the Switch to add more power, features, etc to it.

It is the perfect platform on the go and if they can get the docked performance up with future iterations, it has a long life ahead of it.
 
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