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NVIDIA Tegra 2 to be used by next-gen Nintendo DS

Posted on Monday, November 16 2009 @ 16:07:58 CET by

About a month ago Theo Valich from Bright Side of News broke news that Nintendo is planning to adopt the NVIDIA Tegra processor for its next-gen Nintendo DS, and today the same story can be found at Eurogamer. The site predicts the DS successor may arrive by late 2010, and heard from credible sources that the new handheld console will use the NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset. You can find all the details and a comparison with the Sony PSP2 in the Eurogamer article.
So, how does the Tegra 2 we expect to see in the new Nintendo handheld stack up? Let's just say that it is a significant improvement, and a colossal jump in performance compared to the current DS. While the amount of vertex shader units remains the same, TMUs and pixel shaders are doubled, and as the chip will be manufactured at a physically smaller size (40nm perhaps, versus the current Tegra's 65nm), we can expect a reasonable bump in clock speed too. Our sources can only speculate at this point, but suspect anything up to 300MHz is possible, depending on just how much the platform holders want to concentrate on battery power. The faster the chip, the more impact it has on battery life.

NVIDIA is on the record as saying that Tegra 2 offers four times the power of its predecessor. The specs might disagree with that, but it's worth pointing out that the chipset also includes an ARM 11 CPU - NVIDIA's claims are most likely based on a similar bump in the capabilities of this part of the chip, but there's nothing to stop Nintendo opting for its own choice of CPU component (though ARM is used in the current DS).



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