Rumor: Nintendo Switch Graphics and Hardware Specs Leaked

A possible leaked Nintendo internal document from July 2016 shows a full rundown of what hardware will be providing the Nintendo Switch's graphics, processing, sound, and other capabilities. The specification listing not only lists the capabilities of the Nintendo Switch's hardware, but what functionality of that hardware will be available to developers.

Nintendo Switch CPU

The CPU powering the Nintendo Switch CPU is a quad-core ARM Cortex-A57 with a top speed of 2 GHz, an L2 cache of 2 MB, and capable of running the ARMv8 64-bit instruction set. However, only three cores will be available to developers with the fourth presumably being reserved for system-level functions.

Nintendo Switch GPU

The GPU powering the Nintendo Switch's graphics will be a second-generation NVIDIA Maxwell processor. The processor will have 256 CUDA cores running at a maximum for 1 GHz and capable of 1024 GigaFLOPS per cycle, a texture rate of 16 pixels per cycle, fill rate of 14.4 pixels per cycle. As of the publication of this document it had yet to be determined what functionality game developers could access from the GPU.

Nintendo Switch Portable Built-In Display

The Nintendo Switch is equipped with a 6.2" IPS LCD screen with 720p resolution. The screen has 10-point capacitive multi-touch capability and a built-in brightness sensor. Developers can use the built-in display with no limitations.

Nintendo Switch Video Decoder and Output

The video decoder and output stats for the Nintendo Switch bode well for 4K UHD adopters. The Switch is capable of decoding H.265, H.264, VP9, and VB8 at 60fps at 4K. At launch, the Switch will also have the capability to output not only 1080p at 60fps but also 4K at 30fps. While developers currently only can design their games to output in 1080p at 60fps, there's always the possibility that the Nintendo Switch might someday be updated so that 4K gaming is a possibility.

Nintendo Switch Audio Output

The Nintendo Switch is capable of outputting 192 kHz, 24-bit 7.1 channel surround sound. However, developers are limited to a max of 48 kHz, 16-bit, 5.1 channel sound.

Nintendo Switch Portable Built-In Speakers

The speakers built into the Nintendo Switch unit are capable of Stereo sound at 48 kHz, 16-bit, and 2 channels. Developers have no contraints on the output for these speakers.

Nintendo Switch RAM

The Nintendo Switch is equipped with 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM with a bandwidth of 25.6 GB/s. The VRAM is shared with the GPU, though system architecture details aren't available to make a guess on whether that will be a detriment to developers or not. When the Nintendo Switch launches only 3.25 GB of the total 4 GB capacity will be available for developers to use. However, in the future, Nintendo states that updates will make the full size available.

Nintendo Switch Storage Compatibility

The Nintendo Switch will support microSD, SDHC, and SDXC cards. However, developers cannot access the SD card from their applications. The Switch also has 32 GB of built-in internal storage available for saves or downloaded applications.

Nintendo Switch Networking

The Switch Wi-Fi has an IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compatible Wireless LAN chip that can be used on the dock or in portable mode. The dock can use Wired LAN via USB for speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second. Developers can make use of both of these connections when designing games, but cannot use the built in Bluetooth 4.0 + LE connection in applications.

Nintendo Switch Connectivity

The Switch features two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports and uses a USB Type-C connector to both power the Nintendo Switch when it's in portable mode, and to provide power to the Switch Dock when playing on TV. The dock is connected to a TV or monitor via a standard HDMI Type-A cord.

These hardware specifications, while compelling, are dated July 15, 2016, and still reference the Nintendo Switch as the Nintendo NX. We've not been able to confirm the veracity of these documents independently, and they're from NeoGAF so please take them with a grain of salt. However, these hardware specs are in line with rumors we've already heard. We'll find out for sure just what makes the Nintendo Switch tick when it releases on March 3.

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