Nintendo NX: Nvidia Is Involved With The Console’s Future – Rumor

The plot thickens.

Posted By | On 22nd, May. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


nintendo nx

The current console market is dominated entirely by AMD- they are, after all, the chipmaker who provide the hardware that powers the Xbox One, the PS4, and the Wii U. Nvidia, by contrast, have never done well with the console market- the original Xbox was based on their hardware, but things got ugly between them and Microsoft, leading to Microsoft being forced to rush out the Xbox 360 ahead of time (fun fact- the rushed schedule as a result was what caused the RRoD fiasco).

Meanwhile, with Sony, Nvidia was involved with the PS3, leading to one of the most infamously difficult consoles of all time to work with. And with Nintendo, Nvidia were involved in the early stages of the Nintendo 3DS, a deal that fell apart, leading to Nintendo going with their current, custom design.

In short, Nvidia don’t have the best track record with consoles, and they haven’t exactly endeared themselves in any of the Big Three’s books- and yet, it seems as though for the Nintendo NX, Nintendo may be making a clean break from AMD, who have powered all of their consoles since the Gamecube, and partnering with Nvidia instead.

According to NeoGAF poster NateDrake, Nintendo insider Emily Rogers has confirmed that Nvidia is involved with the future of the NX in some way- this was as specific as she would get, so it’s hard to extrapolate any more information from the statement. But if this is true, then it would be interesting to see how Nvidia will partner with Nintendo on the new system- especially since the latest rumors peg the NX to be a rather weak machine, and Nvidia is traditionally all about providing the highest end performance possible.

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  • Mark Wither

    In what way do the rumours point to the nx to be a rather weak machine?? Mist rumors point at the machine being more powerful than the ps4/xbone a rumour that has been backed up by several 3rd party devs.

    • Johnn Miller

      The same article writer that wrote this piece, posted one the other day about this topic.
      http://gamingbolt.com/nintendo-nx-gpu-wont-be-powerful-than-ps4-wont-compete-with-ps4k-neo-for-raw-power-report

    • Johnn Miller

      But that is the only article i read claiming the NX will not be as powerful as ps4.

    • Psionicinversion

      the problem is anybody that is even slightly reputable could mis hear info or be fed misleading info but end of the day i highly doubt nintendo is going to release a powerful console. I think its more gimmicks that no ones going care about

  • Mexor

    The dispute between Microsoft and NVIDIA over the XBox was a pricing dispute. The PS3 was difficult to program for because of the Cell processor, wasn’t it? Not because of NVIDIA’s graphics contributions.

    Neither of those things suggest “NVIDIA has troubles with consoles” as the article tries to put forward.

  • Junk Box

    I doubt this will turn out to be true. AMD have a great track record for helping companies embed customised chips, and multiple reports claim the NX is designed to be super easy to port PS4 / XBONE games to, so yeah, I doubt it.

    • drthsons Dot

      From what I understand, Nvidia is desperate to have a console contract and need to get rid of their 20nm wafers because if they don’t they’ll lose billions in a dispute with TSMC. So the idea is they’re offering to co-design, support and produce these chips with Nintendo for a low cost to avoid this giant fine with TSMC.
      Bear in mind that the T X1 shield PRO is only $199 and is a whole system in itself, Nintendo could get a more powerful chip using the newer architecture on 20nm and build the full system for around the same cash and still have room to add gimmicks.

      From what Nintendo president has said to investors, they want to make a profit on each console but still be reasonably priced, so $250 sounds like a potentially powerful system and still provide a small amount of profit on each system.

    • Mexor

      NVIDIA doesn’t sign wafer supply agreements so NVIDIA “losing billions due to a dispute with TSMC” doesn’t make sense. The only way I can inagine they’d lose billions is if they had billions in TX1 inventory built up, which I can be pretty confident they don’t (would be visible on their SEC filings but it’s not even worth checking).

      I doubt NVIDIA is desperate to get into consoles. They have already branched out into non-gaming high growth areas with their chips, and they are doing quite well at the moment. Basically, they aren’t desperate for anything. They would only get involved in the Nintendo NX if they thought it was a good opportunity for them. That’s why it makes sense if Nintendo would be using NVIDIA’s Tegra or GeForce Now technologies. Those are areas of the company they’d probably like more volume. They’ve moved away from the OEM business more and more. I just don’t see them going out of their way to provide a GPU (GeForce grade) unless something else is involved too (like Tegra or GeForce Now).

      And would Nintendo be looking for a TX1 in 2017? I’d imagine if they are getting a Tegra chip it would be a new Pascal-based Tegra. EDIT: I reread your post and notice you do mention Nintendo using a “new version” and not the TX1, but that contradicts what you wrote just before that about NVIDIA needing to use up old chips. Obviously a “new version” wouldn’t use up old chips. It wouldn’t even be on 20nm unless it were a new Maxwell version, and what would be the sense of that? (not that being on 20nm really matters because, as I wrote, NVIDIA doesn’t have a wafer supply agreement in place.)

    • drthsons Dot

      Nvidia signs agreements with TSMC to provide wafers and renting processing nodes, the contracts says if TSMC is putting money down to manufacture 20nm wafers, Nvidia will buy them. If Nvidia doesn’t keep to that agreement, TSMC will lose money.
      You make a fair point on Nvidia’s desire for console contracts, it just comes with the rumor, and it can be assumed as well. There’s money to be made in console deals, Nvidia tried to re-jam their foot in the door with the Shield. It’s not doing great but not bad either, it’s just kind of there.

      As for Nintendo after TX1, all of their consoles since GC have relied on old tech in a new, concise package, engineered to work together. So I wouldn’t put it past them to use a TX1 in 2017. What could be more likely is they can use the Pascal architecture on a 20nm wafer if the “20nm deal” rumor is true, as Architectures and node sizes are independent. So Nintendo and Nvidia could either work together to create a more powerful TX1, somewhere around .8-1.2Tflops or do a weird deal of using a Tegra Pascal design on a 20nm wafer, wouldn’t be the first time this happened.

    • overlord
    • Mexor

      From NVIDIA’s latest 10-K filing:

      ” We do not manufacture the silicon wafers used for our GPUs and Tegra processors and do not own or operate a wafer fabrication facility. Instead, we are dependent on industry-leading foundries, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., to manufacture our semiconductor wafers using their fabrication equipment and techniques. Similarly, we do not assemble, test or package our products, but instead rely on independent subcontractors, such as Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Inc., BYD Auto Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., JSI Logistics, Ltd., King Yuan Electronics Co. and Siliconware Precision Industries Co. Ltd. We do not have long-term commitment contracts with these foundries or subcontractors.
      As a result, we face several significant risks which could have an adverse effect on our ability to meet customer demand and/or negatively impact our business operations, gross margin, revenue and/or financial results, including:

      • a lack of guaranteed supply of wafers and other components and potential higher wafer and component prices due to supply constraints.”

      The relevant parts are:

      “We do not have long-term commitment contracts…”

      and

      “…we face several significant risks … including … a lack of guaranteed supply of wafers and other components…”

      Therefore if NVIDIA was on the hook for Tegra TX1 production it would show up in their inventories. But it doesn’t. I’ve compiled the inventories lines of their last 7 quarters, which goes back to the 3rd quarter of calendar year 2014, before the TX1 was in volume production. All figures are in millions of US dollars, and the date listed is the closing date of a quarter.

      Oct 26, 2014: 408
      Jan 25, 2015: 483
      Apr 26, 2015: 438
      Jul 26, 2015: 441
      Oct 25, 2015: 425
      Jan 31, 2016: 418
      May 1, 2016: 394

      So, as you can see, NVIDIA’s inventories have not been building up throughout the Tegra TX1’s production. In fact, for the latest quarter they were the lowest they’ve been for the last 7 quarters.

      As discussed above, there’s no “20nm deal”. And NVIDIA designed Pascal specifically for the 16nm process node. It would be a lot of work and expense to move it to 20nm. They would have to re-optimize paths and thermal characteristics, among other things. A Pascal-based Tegra would have peak single precision performance of about 1 TFLOPS on the 16nm node. This can be gleaned from NVIDIA’s Drive PX 2 information.

    • loguerto

      So you are saying that nintendo is willing to rise again after the wii u cleaning others garbage?
      Seriously?!

  • PepesMemeMagic

    Doubt this rumor is true unless Nintendo is willing to use a stock Tegra chip in a handheld type device. Nvidia likes their margins and aren’t compelled to turn tricks for console vendors like AMD is.

    Also, the PS3 was difficult to program for because of the CELL. The GPU Nvidia provided was almost a stock 7800GTX, the same part the ended up on the desktop.

    • Psionicinversion

      well nvidia ha successfully got developers to port games to the shield console which is arm based so has to run under its own power when not connected to Grid service. its hopelessly underpowered but theyve got them to do it all the same

  • Socius

    Um. The problems with coding for the ps3 had nothing to do with the nvidia gpu. They had to do strictly with the cell CPU that Sony developed.

  • stephendeo

    Nintendo Sheild

  • loguerto

    “Nvidia is traditionally all about providing the highest end performance possible”
    The nvidia RX chip on the PS3 was constantly weaker than the nearly two years older AMD’s xenos chip on the xbox 360.
    Nvidia’s gpu architectures on the other side get old faster even on their main market, the PC, this weakness on consoles is FATAL, and this is why AMD shines in the console market.

  • Matt

    Maybe the NX will have X2 which is major more powerful then X1 and will put it around Neo power….


 

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