Nintendo Switch to Use a Custom Tegra ARM Processor

Nintendo Switch to Use a Custom Tegra ARM Processor

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While Microsoft and Sony have moved to an x86 CPU for their latest consoles, Nintendo has chosen to go a different route. We’ve seen rumors over the last year or so that claimed Nintendo’s next console would be some sort of tablet device, with some even suggesting the software would be built with the Android OS. The Japanese console maker finally revealed the product yesterday and now we know how these rumors got started.

So no, the Nintendo Switch will not be running a modified version of Android, but it is indeed a tablet style device. The side controllers are removable, and you can even pair a wireless controller to the device if you’re looking for a more traditional control setup with the console. We even learned that the new console from Nintendo is being powered by a custom Tegra processor from NVIDIA and this is where things get interesting.


Nintendo nor NVIDIA has confirmed the details of this Tegra chip though, but there rumors back in July that claimed it would use the Tegra X1 SoC. We are told that the processor includes an NVIDIA GPU that is based on the same architecture as the company’s “top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards.” This would lead us to assume it’s based on the same tech as the company’s GTX 10 series chips.

NVIDIA tells us the Nintendo Switch runs on completely custom software with a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries. Along with the fact that NVIDIA has created some new APIs for the software to take advantage of the hardware. I think the real takeaway here is the fact that it’s running on an ARM chip. So while we’re unlikely to see Nintendo release full ports of their games on Android, it should allow them to make mobile games much easier than before.

Source: NVIDIA