Digital Foundry (also on Eurogamer) recently posted an interesting video that talks about NVDIA’s T239 processor specs. Why is this important? Evidence suggests that the Nintendo Switch follow up will use this chip.
A hack and data leak from early 2022 revealed the existence of the T239. Coincidentally, back in 2021, kopite7kimi on Twitter bizarrely predicted that NVDIA would create a customized variant of the T234 processor for Nintendo, the T239.
This is a preliminary picture of T234 in Wikipedia. Very clear.
So why do we always guess?
Nintendo will use a customized one, T239. pic.twitter.com/Qp5Im5udlQ
— kopite7kimi (@kopite7kimi) June 11, 2021
Needless to say, the reported T239 specs seem to line up with the rumors suggesting that developers were shown a preview of the Nintendo Switch follow up at Gamescom 2023.
More specifically, it’s been claimed that this Nintendo Switch follow up was showcasing an enhanced version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Matrix Awakens, featuring Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling technology, higher frame rates, and higher resolutions than what the Switch is normally capable of.
It was also said that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was able to operate with virtually no load times on this enhanced console. As noted in Digital Foundry’s video, the T239 has a File Decompression Engine (FDE) which basically “allows for ultra-fast decompression of assets from storage into memory.” This FDE is not found in the original T234 processor.
Additionally, it’s believed that the T239 will have eight CPU cores, suggesting the usage of ARM A78C Cores. The GPU will likely use a 128-bit memory interface as it’s said that the 256-bit memory interface of the T234 process is “wildly extravagant” for a gaming device.
The absolute maximum memory bandwidth is said to be set at 102.4 GB/s, though it’s believed that Nintendo may downclock that for improved efficiency. For comparison’s sake, the Nintendo Switch has a memory bandwidth of 25.6 GB/s.
Ultimately, according to the hack, the T239 is a significantly cut down version of the T234, though this is due to the removal of features that would be redundant for gaming consoles. The T239 also has the aforementioned FDE that the T234 does not.
However, there still isn’t any viable way on speculating about the expected clock speeds of the CPU or GPU of the Nintendo Switch follow up. We also don’t know how fast the memory will run.
It’s also unknown if the T239 has the Deep Learning Accelerator (DLA) of the T234. A DLA is important for optimizing increased speed, efficiently and accurately for a computer utilizing deep learning algorithms — a form of artificial intelligence in which processing is handled in such a way that is inspired by the human brain.
Experts seem to believe that these type of specs may not be power efficient enough for a handheld console like what is believed to be the Nintendo Switch follow up. Check it all out below:
Click images for larger versions