There’s an incredible new rumor right now about the power of Nintendo’s successor to the Switch. While we’ll discuss the possibilities, we’ll also talk about the reasons not to jump to conclusions wholesale.
There is a Twitter account named Connor / 코너 / コナー, who uses the handle OreXda. Connor posts a lot about Samsung and mobile and isn’t really a Nintendo or gaming focused account. Connor also doesn’t seem to be that fluent in English. However, Connor tweeted this out yesterday:
“Another NVIDIA Tegra for Nintendo Switch will manufactured from 5LPP.
I will keep uploading this info in Twitter as soon as i can.”
What Connor is claiming here is that the main CPU or SOC for the Nintendo Switch, which is still supposedly an Nvidia Tegra chip, is a 5LPP node. 5LPP is a node that can only be manufactured by Samsung in their own foundry.
Z0m3le on Famiboards explained why this 5LPP node is such a big deal:
“The 5LPP Samsung node rumor from ~5 hours ago, found on the last page, offers a ~50% power consumption reduction over 8nm found in Orin.
There were clocks found in the Nvidia hack’s NVN API, a DLSS test using an Ampere GPU, it had 3 clocks, 660MHz “4.3w”, 1.125GHz “9.2w” and 1.38GHz “12w”…
- I believe these are 3 separate tests for 3 separate modes, “handheld”, “docked” and “stress test”
- Handheld mode would offer 2TFLOPs (better than steam deck) + DLSS
- Docked mode would offer 3.456TFLOPs (same tier as Xbox Series S) + DLSS
- I tracked Orin’s estimated power consumption via Nvidia’s power estimation tools. 624MHz with Drake’s configuration requires ~8.5w on 8nm, and the name of this DLSS test’s clock was “4.3w”, this lines up extremely well with the rumor that Drake is on 5LPP, these numbers are estimations, and the GPU is different, but it falls in the realistic range, as does 1.125GHz from what I’ve been able to extrapolate from the tool.
- Orin’s CPU power consumption for 8 cores @ 1.881MHz is 4.5w, considering only 7 cores would be used for games, with one being reserved for the OS, this would give 3.94w on those 7 cores, and a reduction of power consumption to half is 1.97w. TX1 on 20nm was 1.83w for the 4 cores on A57 which could not be individually down clocked for the 4th core on the OS.
Thanks to Thraktor’s digging, OLED model seems to have been designed to output 4K image, possibly via upscaling (non-tensor core accelerated). This remains unrealized, we also know that the GPU clock for Mariko goes as high as 1.267MHz offering 648GFLOPs, compared to OG’s 393GFLOPs, the CPU also was similar enabled for higher clocks, short of 2GHz. This is likely the canceled Switch Pro model that Digital Foundry mentioned. It makes sense why the OLED model is so different even though the internal specs remain the same.”
The original Nintendo Switch had a 20nm Tegra CPU, and the updated Switch version 2.0 from 2019 had a 16 nm CPU. While consumers only experienced an increase in battery life, the change in nm, or nanometers, actually indicates an increase in the power of the CPU.
PC enthusiasts already know the general rule that the smaller the nanometer of the chip, the more powerful the chip is. That rule has to be tempered with the knowledge of if the chip manufacturer, AKA the foundry, has a good process of making the chips, because it is possible for smaller nm chips to have poor performance.
Samsung, of course, is more than reputable for their own chips. They are among the best chip manufacturers in the world, particularly for mobile chips. Their own Galaxy S23 Ultra, their latest flagship phone, features a 4 nm CPU, and can be used as a professional grade video camera.
So if the rumor is true, if it is even warm, it’s a significant upgrade for Nintendo. They have no moved even closer to the power of current console generation hardware, as that CPU is better than what is on the Steam Deck now, and is comparable to the Xbox Series S. Nintendo have not done this since the Gamecube era over twenty years ago.
But here we now we have to acknowledge the update Connor shared a few hours later:
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 seems to have taken back their earlier rumor, claiming that Nvidia changed their 5LPP order from Atlan, which was what was expected to be the Nintendo CPU order, to Thor, which is a known automobile CPU.
Connor is not the only person who has been observing and talking about these rumors. Tech_Reve AKA Revegnus, another Samsung tech account, also shared a correction to this earlier rumor. But Revengus himself shared a rumor that explains why Connor was on the lookout for any Nintendo related information in the first place:
“Nvidia in talks with Samsung to produce graphics cards. May take 4000 units back to Samsung.”
So this earlier rumor may not be entirely accurate, but there may be something to it. If Nintendo isn’t ordering a 5nm CPU, they may still be looking for upgraded chips that are manufactured at Samsung.
Nintendo since the Gamecube has indicated that they aren’t as concerned about power, as they are about technology that powers their game ideas. However, with new management under the helm, they could change course again, as Nintendo’s tradition is actually not to be rigid, but to keep experimenting and taking risks. This goes as far back as Hiroshi Yamauchi’s failed ventures before gaming for Nintendo, in car rentals and love hotels. One could even argue even Nintendo’s original card business was characterized in this way.
So Nintendo’s future console may not quite be a 5LPP chip, but they could still be looking at that direction. It would not be a bad idea for Nintendo to use the Xbox Series S, a current generation console that is also power efficient, as reference for their next platform at all.