The Nintendo Switch has been a smash hit since its introduction to the public five years ago. Now, an Nvidia employee has confirmed the existence of a new Nvidia Tegra chipset, T239, which is expected to be used on next-generation Switch consoles.
With technology advancing further and heading into the realm of ray-tracing and deep learning-powered image upscaling techniques, Nintendo needs to play catch-up as well. Rumors about a Switch successor have been swirling around the internet for a while and the Nvidia employee seems to have confirmed them.
Elusive Nintendo Switch successor slowly coming into picture
The original source of the Tegra-related information is an update made at linux.org by an Nvidia employee, which states:
"Adding support for Tegra239 SoC which has eight cores in a single cluster. Also, moving num_clusters to soc data to avoid over allocating memory for four clusters always."
Tegra 239 was suggested to be the Switch Pro chipset by another leaker last year who claimed that the upcoming SoC (system-on-a-chip) will be derived from an existing Nvidia product, the Tegra Orin, also known as T234.
Knowing that the Tegra Orin is made for use in self-driving vehicles, the T239 will likely be a cut-down version of the same and used to facilitate not just a small handheld format but also a more reasonable power draw. The result of compiling all leaks thus far suggests the new Switch will boast:
- An octa-core (eight core) CPU, assuming its Orin-based design, could be ARM Cortex A78.
- Nvidia Ampere GPU with some features from the latest Lovelace architecture.
Additionally, there have been leaks related to the NVN2 API (application programming interface) in the past. An API allows for communication between different software, and NVN is a proprietary one from Nvidia, which Switch games employ. The leaks mention NVN2 supporting ray tracing and DLSS.
Even if the next-gen Switch hardware has support for these features, there is no guarantee Nintendo will put them into action, however. Regardless, all of this further paints a pretty interesting picture regarding what the Japanese game developer has in store for its hybrid gaming console's future.
The current Switch uses the Tegra X1, which is fairly dated now, being seven years old. All things considered, there is enough evidence that a new revision is coming. Now, it is just a matter of when and not if.