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WiiU "Latte" GPU Die Photo - GPU Feature Set And Power Analysis

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Mr Swine

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They're not confused about the CPU? :)


Weird. Although as we know Wii U isn't SoC, so would Nintendo go to expense of customising it. And of course the question has to be asked, why use 45nm above others?!

Maybe so they can make the Wii U cheaper when they make the console on 28nm? Has Nintendo ever done like MS and Sony and shrunken all the parts on their consoles?
 

wsippel

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So it seems conversation has died down/been diverted in here over the past few days. I suppose I may as well let loose a little tidbit that has been passed on to me.

I have heard that Latte is manufactured on a 45nm (not 40nm) process at Renesas. I have not been able to get 100% confirmation, but I do trust the source. I have my own thoughts but will save them for later. Feel free to make of this info as you will.
As far as I'm aware 40nm and 45nm is essentially the same thing. Same node I mean. It's used interchangeably. Same thing with 32nm and 28nm.
 

bgassassin

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Hm. Could that explain the odd sizes of certain components?

Yes. That's the same thing I was thinking.

It's all speculation, but what are people now saying about the GPU? I've been out of the loop.

I know people all have conflicting theories but I'm curious.

I posted a summary a little while back.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=60375381&postcount=6141

They're not confused about the CPU? :)


Weird. Although as we know Wii U isn't SoC, so would Nintendo go to expense of customising it. And of course the question has to be asked, why use 45nm above others?!

I would think an MCM is a simpler design.

45nm would actually make perfect sense. I made this post a long time ago, but I was looking at it from a 32nm perspective.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=41423579&postcount=19624

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_shrink#Half-shrink

Gamecube CPU/GPU - 180nm/180nm

Wii CPU/GPU - 90nm/90nm

Wii U CPU/GPU - 45nm/?


So far five out of the six components in their recent consoles have used a main node process with the GPU still unannounced. This is why I believe 32nm is the most likely as that would allow them to get their desired GPU as cool as possible within the available main nodes. And not announcing something like that (a 32nm GPU) screams Nintendo feeling they need to be secretive even though it's unnecessary. Also IBM started work on their 32nm eDRAM years ago.

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/28428.wss

Nintendo loves their main nodes. Just based on that alone I would believe the info Fourth just posted.

While I'm not a very techie guy like most of you here, I really enjoy this discussion. Keep up the good work guys and hopefully you'll be able to comment a bit more on all this after we've seen what Wii U games at E3 are going to look like. :)

Yeah. Hopefully we'll see just how much Wii U "punches above its weight".
 

Smurfman256

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Maybe so they can make the Wii U cheaper when they make the console on 28nm? Has Nintendo ever done like MS and Sony and shrunken all the parts on their consoles?

I think they did a die shrink to 45nm on the Family version of Wii, but I'm not sure.
 

Donnie

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The fuck?

Back then that was the kind of performance a lot of people thought we'd see from the likes of PS4 and XBox One. In fact even much more recently than that a lot of people expected that kind of performance.
 

Raist

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Back then that was the kind of performance a lot of people thought we'd see from the likes of PS4 and XBox One. In fact even much more recently than that a lot of people expected that kind of performance or more.

Really? I doubt there were "so many" people thinking the PS4/XB1 would sport what is essentially the equivalent of a Geforce Titan. Because that's insane.
 

Ryoku

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Really? I doubt there were "so many" people thinking the PS4/XB1 would sport what is essentially the equivalent of a Geforce Titan. Because that's insane.
Oh man, there were quite a few people on both sides of the debate. Some being sure of a 3.5-4TFLOPS GPU vs others being sure it wouldn't be past 2TFLOPS.
 

Raist

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Oh man, there were quite a few people on both sides of the debate. Some being sure of a 3.5-4TFLOPS GPU vs others being sure it wouldn't be past 2TFLOPS.

Yeah, skimming through the big PS4 dev kit thread, looks like there were a few people buying into that APU + discrete GPU BS going for 4+TF. But the whole "4TF GPU" was quite a minority...
 

Log4Girlz

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Do you guys think there is enough horsepower to run the current NFS on Wii U at 1080 p 60 fps at some later date hypothetically speaking? I'm not saying if they'd release a patch, just if with familiarity with the hardware one of the more impressive games could conceivably run at a greater fidelity?
 

Lonely1

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Do you guys think there is enough horsepower to run the current NFS on Wii U at 1080 p 60 fps at some later date hypothetically speaking? I'm not saying if they'd release a patch, just if with familiarity with the hardware one of the more impressive games could conceivably run at a greater fidelity?
No.
 

Donnie

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Really? I doubt there were "so many" people thinking the PS4/XB1 would sport what is essentially the equivalent of a Geforce Titan. Because that's insane.

I'm talking about 2011 here by the way, that's when the whole 1Tflop WiiU GPU rumour was flying around. At that time plenty of people were expecting 4Tflops or more from XBox One/PS4.
 

lightchris

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All these pictures show is the size of the package changed. There's nothing you can deduce from that about the chip process. You'd have to at least pop off the heatspreaders and look at the bare chips for that.

What would be the reason to change the size of the package if the die size didn't change?
I agree that these pictures are no proof, but they seem to make a die shrink more likely.
 

Fourth Storm

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Hm. Could that explain the odd sizes of certain components?
Probably, in combination with other factors that I've mentioned in previous posts, such as adapting the Radeon components from TSMC (which they were specifically designed for originally) to Renesas. Also, "bc bloat" and different design targets could come into play.

Heard where? The guy from Chipworks said an advanced 40nm process.

40nm was Jim's educated guess at a glance of the chip. 40nm, 45nm, and even 55nm are apparently close enough that to tell for sure you need to precisely measure the transistor gates. Even if it is 45nm Renesas, he wasn't much off base. The nodes are very close and it appears to be using a similar CMOS bulk silicon process to TSMC's.

They're not confused about the CPU? :)

Weird. Although as we know Wii U isn't SoC, so would Nintendo go to expense of customising it. And of course the question has to be asked, why use 45nm above others?!

Nope, definitely talking about Latte. As for being a SoC, Latte kinda is. It's got what: an ARM cpu, gpu, AHB on-chip bus, DSP, eDRAM. Pretty much all the components a SoC has are also found in Latte.

Why? I speculate that it's a matter of pricing, reliability (as bg said, Nintendo like their main nodes, and 45nm is quite mature at this point), and Renesas' current position in the market. I'm not sure that Renesas have the capacity to mass produce 40nm SoCs at this point. Doing a quick search turns up many stories of them outsourcing 40nm production to TSMC. Meanwhile, another interesting article spoke of them putting priority on getting their 90nm and 45nm production lines back up after the Great Earthquake. These mature nodes account for a great deal of Renesas' current revenue.

Also interesting is that the 40nm eDRAM is still listed as "Under Development" on their website. Makes you wonder if they ever got there...

Doesn't the size of the eDram match Renesas numbers for 40nm? Or is this another size not matching up thing that we're just going to ignore?

Nobody has ignored any size discrepancies. The block sizes do seem to be somewhat of an outlier amongst all the data we have, though. When I did some measurements of the eDRAM a while back (which I can't seem to find now. ugh), it did seem pretty much in line with their 40nm cell sizes. That is if I measured correctly (I did it as accurately as I could, but there was some rounding involved). We should probably take into consideration that Renesas gave those numbers years ago. It seems possible that they got the cell size down a bit so that 45nm cells end up being the same/similar to their previous 40nm quotes.

As far as I'm aware 40nm and 45nm is essentially the same thing. Same node I mean. It's used interchangeably. Same thing with 32nm and 28nm.

Interesting. I'd like to hear more on this.
 

AlStrong

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All these pictures show is the size of the package changed. There's nothing you can deduce from that about the chip process. You'd have to at least pop off the heatspreaders and look at the bare chips for that.

The electrical components nearby changed quite a bit though.

Someone might try hitting up CW, because they've already torn apart a Wii Black. *ahem* :p

edit:
http://www.chipworks.com/blog/technologyblog/2013/02/04/looking-at-the-wii-u-graphics-processor/
ChipWorks said:
...compared with ~117 sq. mm. for the earlier Wii Black.

This at least seems to indicate that something changed with the Wii over the years. Hollywood was 72mm^2 with a 95mm^2 24MB off-die chip @90nm, so...
 

Rolf NB

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What would be the reason to change the size of the package if the die size didn't change?
I agree that these pictures are no proof, but they seem to make a die shrink more likely.
The reason to shrink the package is the exact same if you don't shrink as it is if you do shrink: raw materials, assembly cost and secondary savings effects on board real estate and routing.
 

Arkam

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You may get an answer to that on Frozenbyte's website.



In the case of Arkam, it was the way he initially presented the info that cause most of the negativity towards his character and sources. He did mellow out, though, and we eventually had enough pieces of the puzzle to understand what was going on.

In any case, changing opinions of unleashed (or released) hardware is common. You can just look at the recent rise and fall of the opinions with the Xbox One to see that.

Glad to see I mellowed out :p
But yes looking back I did come off a bit doom and gloom about the reality.
But that is because honestly we all expected more.
So when we got the first kits our TD was literally like "WTF is this?"
Because until then we were expecting it to be significantly more powerful than the HD twins and that we would have plenty of room for making a quick and enhanced port of our games. So when they saw the hardware they all kind were thrown through a loop.


Now that time has passed and sober minds have ad time to play with the hardware I imagine they have warmed up to it a bit. Though until the user base grows I wouldn't expect too much from my old team :(

Here is hoping Nintendo's E3 offerings light things on fire and get some WiiUs moving!
 

The_Lump

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Glad to see I mellowed out :p
But yes looking back I did come off a bit doom and gloom about he reality.
But that is because honestly we all expected more.
So when we got the first kits our TD was literally like "WTF is this?"
Because until then we were expecting it to be significantly more powerful than the HD twins and that we would have plenty of room for making a quick and enhanced port of our game. So when they saw the hardware they all kind were thrown threw a loop.


Now that time has passed and sober minds have ad time to play with the hardware I imagine they have warmed up to it a bit. Though until the user base grows I wouldn't expect too much from my old team :(


Here is hoping Nintendo's E3 offerings light things on fire and get some WiiUs moving!

This unfortunately seems to be a reality we saw coming a mile off.
 

jblank83

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Oh man, there were quite a few people on both sides of the debate. Some being sure of a 3.5-4TFLOPS GPU vs others being sure it wouldn't be past 2TFLOPS.

That's hilarious. Were they also predicting it would cost $1000?
 

lwilliams3

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Glad to see I mellowed out :p
But yes looking back I did come off a bit doom and gloom about he reality.
But that is because honestly we all expected more.
So when we got the first kits our TD was literally like "WTF is this?"
Because until then we were expecting it to be significantly more powerful than the HD twins and that we would have plenty of room for making a quick and enhanced port of our game. So when they saw the hardware they all kind were thrown threw a loop.


Now that time has passed and sober minds have ad time to play with the hardware I imagine they have warmed up to it a bit. Though until the user base grows I wouldn't expect too much from my old team :(

Here is hoping Nintendo's E3 offerings light things on fire and get some WiiUs moving!
Thanks for personally explaining your perspective, Arkam. :) With the higher expectations with hardware and the subpar dev tools, I'm sure things were not going that smoothly during the first few months of game development. Since Nintendo is in a tight spot, I believe that they will have to get something going at E3.

That's hilarious. Were they also predicting it would cost $1000?
There has been a lot of reality checks going on with next-gen consoles. Unfortunately, the pricing for the consoles may not be resolved at E3.
 

Smurfman256

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There has been a lot of reality checks going on with next-gen consoles. Unfortunately, the pricing for the consoles may not be resolved at E3.

yeah, remember how long after E3 we had to wait for the Wii U to get priced? A good 3 months and a good two months before the thing was released.
 

Aizu_Itsuko

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Most of the speculation about the Wii U was around 500-600 Gflops or lower. Most of the speculation around PS4/X1 was lower than 2 Tflops, with people hoping it would be a little higher so it would be a closer match to Epic's Samaritan demo.

Focusing on the most ridiculous claims made over the last couple of years is not a faithful representation of those speculation threads, especially when many people on the forum don't know much about computer tech.


This thread keeps going off-topic.
 

v1oz

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Not sure you can answer this question. So are you saying that now that all the tools are available for the hardware it is significantly more powerful than HD twins? What exactly are you saying about the hardware.
No
 

v1oz

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So when we got the first kits our TD was literally like "WTF is this?"
Because until then we were expecting it to be significantly more powerful than the HD twins and that we would have plenty of room for making a quick and enhanced port of our games. So when they saw the hardware they all kind were thrown through a loop.
When you got your early beta or alpha kits did Nintendo ever ask you for feedback? And did you tell them the hardware sucks compared to what you expected.
 

StevieP

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Not sure you can answer this question. So are you saying that now that all the tools are available for the hardware it is significantly more powerful than HD twins? What exactly are you saying about the hardware.

It's certainly not significantly more powerful than the HD twins and I think he meant that the initial kits made the console seem really bad. Which, considering the tools prior to launch, would line up.
 

pulsemyne

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It seems like people were just expecting for the WiiU to be a very powerful, compete with sony and MS, console. Nintendo have had a mindset over the past seven or eight years of diminishing returns. To them it's not so much how the games look as to how they play and offering new experiences. So they set out to make a machine that could produced nice graphics but nothing ground breaking.
The system itself seems like it was in quite a state of flux during development. They knew they wanted a touch screen controller etc but as for the machines power they seemed unsure. The recent revelation that a third core was only activated on very late dev kits and CPU speed was given a minor bump seems to indicate this.
 

tipoo

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As far as I'm aware 40nm and 45nm is essentially the same thing. Same node I mean. It's used interchangeably. Same thing with 32nm and 28nm.

What? No, they aren't. 28nm and such could be considered half-nodes, but it's definitely not the same thing as 32nm. You are mistaken.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_shrink#Half-shrink

In CPU fabrications, a die shrink always involves an advance to a lithographic node as defined by ITRS (see list at right). For GPU and SoC manufacturing, the die shrink usually often involves shrinking the die on a node not defined by the ITRS, for instance the 150 nm, 110 nm, 80 nm, 55 nm, 40 nm and more currently 28 nm nodes (an expected subsequent half-node is 20 nm), sometimes referred to as "half-node". This is a stopgap between two ITRS defined lithographic nodes (thus called a "half-node shrink") before further shrink to the lower ITRS defined nodes occurs,

It's not as big a difference as a full node, but the difference is there and it's sizable.
 

tipoo

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So shall we call the split between 32 and 28 a "quarter node jump" or an eighth node jump. Or just near enough.....

Where are you getting that? 28 is a half node, 32 is the full node above it, 22nm would be the full node below it. Not quarter, not eighth, half. There is absolutely no such thing as a quarter or eighth node, this is not how fabrication plants work.

90 nm — 2004
65 nm — 2006
45 nm — 2008
32 nm — 2010
22 nm — 2012

See where 40nm and 28nm would fit in? Don't be fooled by the absolute numbers, if that's what was tripping you up. As they get smaller the absolute differences would also get smaller, but the nodes are no more or less full or half, and can only be either.
 

Arkam

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When you got your early beta or alpha kits did Nintendo ever ask you for feedback? And did you tell them the hardware sucks compared to what you expected.

Not that I know of. But I am only midway up the totem pole. But prior to actually receiving the hardware, all internal talks expected more. Not sure if NOA had promised more or if our own expectations were just off.

Not sure you can answer this question. So are you saying that now that all the tools are available for the hardware it is significantly more powerful than HD twins? What exactly are you saying about the hardware.

I am actually not saying anything new. Just adding some perspective to what i said when I first talked about the WiiU last year. My team abandoned our WiiU project and I am now on a PC only project so I have no new info really on how tools have progressed.
 

soulx

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While Sniper Elite V2 on the Wii U might be missing out on some of the content found in the other versions, I did ask which version the Wii U port was based off of and if the Wii U version looks and runs better than the other console versions.

Mr. Kingsley replied, "We can't really go into specifics, but all versions of Sniper Elite V2 are running off our powerful in-house engine - Asura - which is very adaptable. We even use it to power our mobile games. The game also runs at a higher resolution on Wii U than it does on Xbox 360 and PS3 due to the platform's hardware strengths."
http://www.coffeewithgames.com/2013/06/interview-sniper-elite-v2-wii-u-what.html

Any truth to this?
 

Jrs3000

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Based on what we saw today with Nintendo does the graphic fidelity of the games showed change or confirm your theory on the number of shaders and power?
 

Smurfman256

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I heard in the Wind Waker HD Developer Nintendo Direct that the whole ocean is loaded all at once, which allows them to have the speed boost for sailing.
 

Hermii

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Based on what we saw today with Nintendo does the graphic fidelity of the games showed change or confirm your theory on the number of shaders and power?

In my unedicated opinion, there was nothing in the direct that screamed 350 gflop GPU.
 

Van Owen

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Based on what we saw today with Nintendo does the graphic fidelity of the games showed change or confirm your theory on the number of shaders and power?

I think Retro's game along with 3d Mario shows Wii U is quite more powerful than current gen, as predicted all along.
 
Feb 5, 2009
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I think Retro's game along with 3d Mario shows Wii U is quite more powerful than current gen, as predicted all along.
Haha, nice one. XD

There were lots in here counting on them to deliver that "next gen" moment.

So we are here, where most of us with sense, knew after the console size was shown, it is a slight improvement over this gen. The optimist here were expecting the machine to be closer to PS4/X1 than to PS3/360 and it is not.
What? Exactly what do you mean here? I think it's been explained most of the visual improvements are the DLC ones but applied to the whole campaign.
 

Van Owen

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Haha, nice one. XD

There were lots in here counting on them to deliver that "next gen" moment.

So we are here, where most of us with sense, knew after the console size was shown, it is a slight improvement over this gen. The optimist here were expecting the machine to be closer to PS4/X1 than to PS3/360 and it is not.

What? Exactly what do you mean here? I think it's been explained most of the visual improvements are the DLC ones but applied to the whole campaign.

The most offensive thing is EVERY game has horrible use of bloom. From Zelda to Mario to Kart. Visually they all look really similar and not very good.
 
Feb 5, 2009
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oh, I thought it was X?
Hmnnn.... Problem with X as i see it, is that image quality holds it back. So i can understand where Log4Girlz is coming from. In the case of Mario Kart it seems the Wii U hardware is doing at better job at realizing the potential of the art style, contrary to what happens in Monolith Soft's game.
 
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So what do you guys have to say about smash bros. Running 1080 60fps? Looking at media you may want to watch the developer e3 direct for it as it looks best in that video.
 

Frankfurter

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Nothing screamed 176Gflops either, though. Keep in mind that this is 1st/2nd year games for Wii U (compared to 7+ for PS360) and that Nintendo is "new" to developing in HD.
I wouldn't say that anything that was showed at the Direct or at the show is proof that the console is closer to 352Gflops than to 176, but the same goes vice versa imo.
 
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