Forums - Nintendo Discussion - New Switch Tegra X1 "Mariko" Chip Details

How will the new Switch Chip be leveraged?

Better Battery Life 11 28.21%
 
Better Battery Life & Fanless 15 38.46%
 
More POWER! 3 7.69%
 
All 3! 7 17.95%
 
There won't be a revision with a new chip. 2 5.13%
 
Don't care. 1 2.56%
 
Total:39

Links have been made between the t214 "Mariko" chip mentioned in Switch Firmwares back in March 2018 and the new chip in the upcoming Nvidia Shield, suggesting they are the same chip. (TL/DR is at the bottom)

Highlights from article: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2019-switch-new-tegra-x1-silicon-comes-into-focus

"The Switch hardware upgrade story starts last year - specifically around March 2018 - when Nintendo released the 5.0 version of its system software, known internally as Horizon. Support for the standard 't210' version of the Tegra X1, codenamed Logan, was joined by a new, hitherto unknown revision: t214, also referenced as Mariko. Nvidia's Tegra codenames are based on the real names of superheroes (Parker being Tegra X2) but Mariko is something different. Back in the day, she was a love interest for Logan/Wolverine in the Marvel comics - the obvious inference being that this is a partner chip, not a new product."

"The Google Play Developer Console Device Catalogue is listing a new Shield, based on a t210b01 chip. So what's the connection between this and the t214 Mariko? For answers, we looked to ResetEra's Thraktor, whose short post managed to link the dots between the two chips, with the evidence all but confirming that both processors are actually one and the same. Github commits like this one and this one both replace t214 with t210b01 with the commit message, "Should use t210b01 in any code/comment". There are other smoking guns linking the two processors too - here, here and here, for example - where commit messages refer to t214 while the code or filenames reference t210b01 instead. Another piece of evidence Thraktor points out to us is that Nvidia uses the MAX77812 voltage regulator for the new t210b01, and the exact same component is used for t214 within the Switch firmware."

"DVFS tables for the t210b01 are available, and they can be compared to the standard t210. Operating voltages are indeed reduced, and while CPU and GPU frequencies supported by t210 are retained, faster clocks are also available. The GPU limit of the Tegra X1 - specced at 1GHz but with a max 921MHz on Switch - is increased to 1.267GHz on the new processor. It's worth noting that the frequency data for the new processor is rather old and may reference an incomplete engineering sample chip, and things may be different in the final production chip"

"Limiting clocks improves battery life and reduces heat, putting less strain on the active cooling assembly within the hybrid console. Regardless, the option is there for Nintendo to use the presumed process advantages not just for improved efficiency and battery life, but performance too. It's important to note is that the evidence does suggest that t210b01 is fully compatible with the original Tegra X1 - the DVFS table for the new chip lists all of the clock speed modes available, not just the maximums, and the modes used in existing Switch games are all in the line-up"

"standard Switch performance could likely be achieved with no cooling assembly required at all, meaning that a prospective Switch mini wouldn't just be smaller with more battery life, it could be silent too. Meanwhile, a decent performance uplift on the GPU side could obviously improve frame-rates and image quality in a range of games using dynamic resolution scaling. Based on the clocks in Nvidia's documents (though again, this may be outdated info) there wouldn't be a revelatory increase in system performance - nothing like a generational leap as such, or even anything as profound as the jump from 3DS to New 3DS"

"In short, a refresh at this point allows the Switch to potentially produce more performance, less heat, extending battery life while being cheaper to manufacture."

TLDR

Tegra X1 revision in the new shield console has been linked to a chip first referenced in Switch Firmware 5.0 (Mariko).

New chip could support GPU clocks of up to 1.276ghz compared to 1ghz of the current. (1ghz chip used at 921mhz on Switch).

New chip would have improved efficiency at same performance as old chip meaning higher battery life and could potentially be cooled without the need of a fan, meaning a silent switch.

If used for a performance increase it would be a minor improvement.

With the new chip the Switch would be cheaper to produce, have better battery life, be quieter and potentially have a modest increase in power.

Personally I'm not sure increased power will be leveraged with the new chip, and I'm ok with that. Longer Battery life and a fanless switch would be great.



LTD: PS4 - 125m, Switch - 110m, XBO - 51m

2020: PS4 - 9m, Switch - 22.5m, XBO - 2.5m, PS5 - 4.5m, XBX - 2.8m

Around the Network

Would you rather:

A) +20-30% performance improvement from clockspeed increases, but still has same battery life + active fan.

or

B) Same performance as current switch, but now doesnt need to have a active fan cooler, and has better battery life.


Situation B) makes more sense if their aiming to do a Switch Mini, imo.

Also the TL:DR version should be:
Same chip (X1) shrunk from 20nm->16nm finFet, now could clock higher or use less power.



JRPGfan said:
Would you rather:

A) +20-30% performance improvement from clockspeed increases, but still has same battery life + active fan.

or

B) Same performance as current switch, but now doesnt need to have a active fan cooler, and has better battery life.


Situation B) makes more sense if their aiming to do a Switch Mini, imo.

Definitely B for me. From what I can tell the performance increase would likely only result in something like a resolution bump from 1280x720 to about 1408x792 or equivalent. Could be good for hitting 30/60fps more consistently in titles that can't at the moment, but i'm more interested in battery life and less heat/noise.



LTD: PS4 - 125m, Switch - 110m, XBO - 51m

2020: PS4 - 9m, Switch - 22.5m, XBO - 2.5m, PS5 - 4.5m, XBX - 2.8m

Well it would automatically help in games with dynamic resolution...



Barkley said:
JRPGfan said:
Would you rather:

A) +20-30% performance improvement from clockspeed increases, but still has same battery life + active fan.

or

B) Same performance as current switch, but now doesnt need to have a active fan cooler, and has better battery life.


Situation B) makes more sense if their aiming to do a Switch Mini, imo.

Definitely B for me. From what I can tell the performance increase would likely only result in something like a resolution bump from 1280x720 to about 1408x792 or equivalent. Could be good for hitting 30/60fps more consistently in titles that can't at the moment, but i'm more interested in battery life and less heat/noise.

*fistbump*

I whole heartly agree.
Think its smarter for nintendo to aim to improve the handheld aspect of the switch.
A cheaper+smaller Switch, that has passive cooling, and better battery life, sounds like a good way to go.



Around the Network

A power increase of only 30% wouldn't really be worth it, better off sticking with current performance levels and boosting battery life.

Honestly the biggest benefit here would be bringing down production costs by moving to a smaller fabrication process, as it gives them room for a price drop without cutting into their profit margins.

It's selling great at $300 for now, but reducing cost over time is essential for any system to maximize sales over a long lifespan.

Last edited by curl-6 - on 29 June 2019

curl-6 said:

A power increase of only 30% wouldn't really be worth it, better off sticking with current performance levels and boosting battery life.

Honestly the biggest benefit here would be bringing down production costs by moving to a smaller fabrication process, as it gives them room for a price cut without cutting into their profit margins.

Ye, but I'm not convinced that there will be a price cut with the new revision straight away. I think they'll just sell the new "Silent, longer lasting" switch at the same price. For the first few months anyway, and make more profit per console sold.

Maybe if they launch it for the holidays this year they'll drop the price around march/april, though they'll have deals over the holidays anyway.



LTD: PS4 - 125m, Switch - 110m, XBO - 51m

2020: PS4 - 9m, Switch - 22.5m, XBO - 2.5m, PS5 - 4.5m, XBX - 2.8m

curl-6 said:

Honestly the biggest benefit here would be bringing down production costs by moving to a smaller fabrication process, as it gives them room for a price drop without cutting into their profit margins.

It's selling great at $300 for now, but reducing cost over time is essential for any system to maximize sales over a long lifespan.

Smaller Design without the joycons being removeable things (fused into the design),
no need to add a fan,
cheaper chip shrunk down to 16nm,
not sold with a dock.

They could probably sell it 100$ cheaper than current model.

It would just be a Switch focused at the handheld segment, and it would have vastly better battery life.

I think theres a market for such a device.



Barkley said:
curl-6 said:

A power increase of only 30% wouldn't really be worth it, better off sticking with current performance levels and boosting battery life.

Honestly the biggest benefit here would be bringing down production costs by moving to a smaller fabrication process, as it gives them room for a price cut without cutting into their profit margins.

Ye, but I'm not convinced that there will be a price cut with the new revision straight away. I think they'll just sell the new "Silent, longer lasting" switch at the same price. For the first few months anyway, and make more profit per console sold.

Maybe if they launch it for the holidays this year they'll drop the price around march/april, though they'll have deals over the holidays anyway.

Oh i didn't mean immediately, the way it's going I don't think it'll need a price cut til the second half of 2020.



The most credible rumor talked about two upcoming Switch revisions. One of them being a smaller, cheaper version, so naturally the new chip would be used for more battery life on a revision that already aims to improve the portable aspect of the Switch. Likely launches at $250 because $200 would be too drastic under the current circumstances where Switch sales are going at a great pace.

The other one being a modest upgrade, not something like the PS4 Pro was to the PS4. This SKU can be expected to replace the current Switch which will be phased out. The MSRP remains the same, but the new SKU offers better battery life and improves games that use dynamic resolution (hardly visible to the average gamer, if at all), but there won't be a general performance boost to all games. It's more likely that the increased capabilities of the chip merely result in less usage of the fan inside the console when it is docked.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club