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Sunday March 19, 2017

Standard Tegra X1 "Confirmed" as Switch's Processor

This is interesting when you consider Nintendo’s past claims of the Switch processor being a custom chip. Teardowns reveal that it is an off-the-shelf designآ—in fact, you can find the exact same configuration in the newest Shield Android TV. While this discovery doesn’t really affect anything in the long run, there may be some gamers out there who feel cheated because Nintendo and NVIDIA arguably alluded to something a little more cutting-edge.

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If the physical configuration of the chip is a match for an established design, how has the processor been customized - if at all? All we have to go on is NVIDIA’s blog post on the subject, proclaiming that its inputs amount to "500 man-years of effort across every facet of creating a new gaming platform". And yet the physical evidence points towards a match with an existing design, so what's the deal? Well, to be fair, NVIDIA’s blog post talks about a lot more than just hardware - it covers system design, system software, APIs, game engines and peripherals. Maybe what they mean by a custom Tegra is the result of adapting an existing piece of technology to work as a dedicated console - and in that respect, clearly Switch is a significant achievement.

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