The Nintendo Switch Pro could launch with a low-power Nvidia Orin SoC and Lovelace GPU
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There have been several rumours about Nintendo launching an upgraded version of its popular handheld, tentatively called the Nintendo Switch Pro or Super Switch. Among other things, it is expected to support Nvidia DLSS technology, which will help it output 4K video to a TV. However, that requires a GPU with Tensor cores. None of Nvidia's Tegra chips has it, so one couldn't help but wonder just what would power the Nintendo Switch Pro.
Twitter user @kopite7kimi (via Videocardz) seems to have some insider knowledge of the matter. The leaker says that it will use Nvidia's upcoming Lovelace architecture for the Nintendo Switch Pro. This sits in line with another of Kopite's Tweet from January 2021, which predicted that there was a new Nvidia Orin chip in the works that would be manufactured on an 8nm node and a Lovelace-based GPU. On a similar vein, a report from last year stated that a Nvidia Tegra Xavier SoC would power the Switch Pro.
It will very likely be a scaled-down version of the Nvidia Orin automobile SoC launched back in 2019. Nvidia neglected to mention just which process node it was based on, but it was presumed to be either 5nm or 7nm. Among other things, Orin has over 17 billion transistors, 200 TOPS of INT8 DL performance, twelve ARM Hercules CPU cores and a TDP of 70W. The Nintendo Switch Pro SoC will not require so much firepower and will have to scale that down significantly. We're probably looking at a modified version of the Orin S 1-camera variant, which has a rated TDP of 15W, similar to that of the original Switch's Tegra X1 T214 SoC.
Very little is known about Lovelace, other than the fact that is will power Nvidia's next-generation RTX 4000 series of graphics cards. If the aforementioned rumour is true, the Nintendo Switch Pro could give us a glimpse into the performance of Nvidia's next-generation hardware almost a year before they're due to be launched (H2, 2022). Although Kopite has been right about a lot of Nvidia-related leaks, we must treat this information with a healthy dose of scepticism, more so because it involves yet-to-be-announced hardware.