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NVIDIA Tegra inside next-gen Nintendo DS

Posted on Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 16:51:41 CEST by

NVIDIA's Tegra SoC already found its way into the Zune HD, and it appears one of the other major design wins the company was hinting at is the next-gen Nintendo DS handheld console.

Bright Side of News heard from their sources that NVIDIA's Tegra has won the contract for the successor of the Nintendo DSi. Given that the Nintendo DS series has been sold over 110 million times since 2004 this is a pretty major design win for NVIDIA, the site estimates this one deal may bring in profits of half a billion dollars over the span of several years.
Given the fact that Nintendo DS hardware is based upon 16-bit and 32-bit ARM cores, it looks like Next-Gen DS could be backwards compatible with the DS application library. According to our sources, all of the apps that came for old DS could run on a single ARM11 core, yet alone the next-gen CorTex-A9-based Tegra, leaving graphics subsystem to do "something smarter".

Currently, we have no information what exact chip is being used [just that nVidia won the contract], but with the debut set for February 2010, the second generation of Tegra chips could make an excellent base. Next year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona could be a milestone for nVidia, with the company showing that they mean business in annual multi-billion unit business. Thus, it is not hard for us to imagine that Tegra could outship GeForce boards just like Intel's Atom CPU shipped in more units than expensive Nehalem processors. Naturally, the profit ratio is significantly different, but something in the range of $4-5 per chip would mean nVidia could earn half a billion USD from a single deal [over the course of life for the Nintendo's next-gen part].



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