Immediately after Nintendo dropped the reveal video for the Nintendo Switch in October, which would later be released early March, Nvidia jumped in and announced that one of its chips, which was customized in tandem with Nintendo, powers the hybrid console.
Nintendo Switch Found To Be Using A Tegra X1 Chip
Now that the Switch has landed in the hands of many, with teardown videos popping up here and there, nearly every detail regarding the console has made their way online, and that wealth of information includes details of the console's internals.
Now, thanks to an in-depth analysis by Tech Insights, the Switch chip conundrum has been solved. Per a die-shot photography of the Switch performed by the site, it has been discovered that the configuration of the chip matches that of the Tegra X1, which is the same chip loaded onto Nvidia's Shield Android TV. It appears that Nvidia's "custom" labelng of the chip used for the Switch doesn't really hold water.
"After subsequent processing of the GPU from the Nintendo Switch, we have determined that the processor is the NVIDIA Tegra T210. The T210 CPU features 4 Cortex A57 and 4 Cortex A53 processor cores and the GPU is a GM20B Maxell core," according to the report.
Nintendo Switch's 'Custom' Chip
EuroGamer notes that if the physical configuration of the chip used for the Switch is a match for an already established one, what sort of customizations were done, if there were any at all?
For its part, Nvidia might not have been just referring to hardware alone. Maybe the customizations stemmed from retrofitting an already established chip design to power a newer system dedicated to playing console games. If this is true, then the Switch, the aftermath of that customization process, proves Nvidia was successful.
Nvidia stated that the chip used inside the Switch, in terms of architecture, parallels top-rank GeForce graphics cards. By this very description, speculation ran that the Switch used a Tegra X2 Pascal-based processor, though it seems now that it's actually based on the Maxwell architecture.
The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid console offering traditional home console play and a handheld mode, with its selling pitch being the instant and seamless "switching" between two modes. It is Nintendo's next console after the Wii U, its sequel to the Wii, failed to garner significant footprint in the broad gaming market. It has only sold under 15 million units to date, and it has now been discontinued.
The Switch was launched on March 3, retailing for $299. It has reportedly already sold off 1.5 million of its 2 million units allocated for March, just halfway into its launch month. Because of the demand, reports say that Nintendo is doubling on Switch production, with the company poised to produce 16 million consoles by the end of the fiscal year. If it manages to sell all those units, the Switch will have already outsold the Wii U's lifetime sales in its first year alone.
Released alongside the Switch was Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a hotly anticipated first-party launch title, which has garnered glowing acclaim across publications.