Nintendo Switch to get NVIDIA Lovelace based GPU?

Posted on Wednesday, Mar 24 2021 @ 15:59 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Yesterday, news hit the wire about Nintendo's Switch refresh. Just in time before the 2021 end-of-year holiday season, Nintendo is expected to release its next-generation Switch console. The new model is expected to feature 4K support as well as an implementation of the NVIDIA DLSS technology. DLSS is a technique that significantly improves framerates at a minimum image quality cost -- something that will come in very handy for the Switch. It will be a significant hardware upgrade versus the current model, which was launched in 2017, but the console is expected to cost about $100 more than today's $299 selling price.

Next Switch to get NVIDIA Lovelace GPU?

Today's big news comes from Twitter leaker Kopite7kimi, a known source of reliable NVIDIA leaks. He suggests the next-gen Switch will feature a GPU based on NVIDIA's Lovelace architecture. It's a codename that's been circulating on the web since last year. We know very little about it but it's believed Lovelace, named after mathematician Ada Lovelace, is the successor to the current Ampere generation.
NVIDIA Ada Lovelace architecture would be a direct successor to Ampere. NVIDIA is also working on Hopper, a multi-chip module (MCM) design compute architecture. Lovelace is expected to be strictly gaming-oriented architecture, possibly bringing further upgrades to GPU built-in Tensor and RT cores.
VideoCardz speculates NVIDIA may reveal details about Lovelace at the next GTC, which is scheduled on April 12.

Qualcomm prepping its own Nintendo Switch rival?

In slightly related news, a rumor is spreading about a Nintendo Switch rival from Qualcomm. The chip designer is reportedly working on an Android 12-based console that will feature the firm's Snapdragon SoC. This device is expected to hit the market in Q1 2022 and will have detachable controllers -- just like Nintendo's Switch.

Android Police claims the console will get a 6000mAh battery with Quick Charge technology and a 6.65" screen. It will be able to use the device as a portable console -- and it will also be possible to output to a TV.
The device, which we were able to view non-final images of but cannot share, is immediately familiar to anyone who owns a Switch. Detachable "joycon" style controllers are on the left and right sides of the core console, which resembles a thicker, bulkier smartphone. There's a good reason for that: the company believes that the added thermal headroom a thicker design affords will make its processor run faster and significantly more efficiently than a modern ultra-thin smartphone. Qualcomm is also using that space to pack in a large 6000mAh battery that will be equipped with its Quick Charge technology. According to our source, Qualcomm is using a premium supplier in the controller space to design and manufacture the gamepads, though we were unable to verify the name of that supplier. The exact dimensions of the console and its display also weren't made available to us (though friend of AP and XDA EIC Mishaal Rahman has reason to think the screen is 6.65" across).
It will be interesting to see whether Qualcomm can break into the console market with these Android-based devices. A lot of firms have tried to commercialize similar products -- but it's really hard to compete with Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony. With a rumored retail price of $299, the Qualcomm console may be a tough sell versus other, more versatile Android gaming devices like a smartphone or a tablet.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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