Nintendo's Switch runs on a custom NVIDIA Tegra processor

NVIDIA customized hardware, tools, and more for Nintendo's next system.


Following this morning's unveiling of Nintendo's Switch console/handheld amalgamate, NVIDIA shared details on its custom Tegra processor that powers the platform.

"Nintendo Switch is powered by the performance of the custom Tegra processor," per NVIDIA's announcement. "The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards."

That scalability extends to custom-designed physics, development libraries, and a brand-new API dubbed "NVN" that NVIDIA wrote "specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses."

Additionally, Switch will boast custom software libraries for audio rendering and effects, as well as hardware-accelerated video playback.

"We’ve optimized the full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases. This includes custom operating system integration with the GPU to increase both performance and efficiency."

Nintendo confirmed that Switch will launch in March 2017. For more info, check out Shacknews' comprehensive summary of today's unveiling.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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  • reply
    October 20, 2016 7:30 AM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Nintendo's Switch runs on a custom NVIDIA Tegra processor

    • reply
      October 20, 2016 10:58 AM

      David can you guys get the actual specs for the Switch?

      That be cool, thanks.

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        October 20, 2016 11:03 AM

        I don't think they are publicly available yet :(

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          October 20, 2016 11:20 AM

          That sucks :( well I am sure if they do you guys will be all over it :)

          I really hope this time they actually release the full specs. For both the WIi and the Wii U never actually disclosed what was in them to this day by Nintendo. For reference

          Its so weird they only say basically it has a AMD GPU and IBM mulit core CPU you never get the ram amount, CPU specs or GPU specs, etc. It is just so weird that they are the only ones in the industry that don't tell you the ingredients to what you are buying.

          Its actually odd that no one has called them out on that practice yet, I hope it will be different this time. I guess people just love Nintendo so much that they can do what ever they want and no one questions it.

          Here is the current Shield specs: * the Switch has to be way more powerful than this or that be insane *

          PROCESSOR: NVIDIA® Tegra® X1 processor with a 256-core GPU
          MEMORY: 3 GB RAM
          OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) powered by Android TV and Google Cast
          AUDIO: 7.1 and 5.1 surround sound pass through over HDMI
          High-resolution audio playback up to 24-bit/192 kHz over HDMI and USB
          High-resolution audio up-sample to 24-bit/192 kHz over USB
          Supports: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, WAVE, AMR, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, PCM, WMA, WMA-Pro, WMA-Lossless, DD+/DTS (pass-through), DTS-HD MA (pass-through), Dolby TrueHD (pass-through)
          STORAGE: 16 GB and 500 GB (Note: portion of storage occupied by system software) Expandable with microSD card or USB drive.
          WIRELESS: 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
          Bluetooth 4.1/BLE
          INTERFACES: Gigabit Ethernet
          HDMI: 2.0 with HDCP 2.2
          Two USB 3.0 (Type A)
          Micro-USB 2.0
          MicroSD slot
          IR receiver (compatible with Logitech Harmony)

          I really hope the Switch is way more powerful than this(it has to be), that new Mario looked really awesome like double the quality of whats on the Wii U in my opinion so it must be more powerful than a Wii U right... I really hope so.

          Just tell me not to worry.

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      October 20, 2016 11:10 AM


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        October 20, 2016 11:11 AM


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          October 20, 2016 11:20 AM

          ATi bought the company ArtX that was going to supply the GCN chips and AMD bought ATi years after that, I think before the Wii.

          ArtX went on to help make the 9700 GPU which was bad ass.

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        October 20, 2016 11:12 AM

        well the ps4 and xbox one kind of do that :)

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        October 20, 2016 11:22 AM

        Does AMD even have a product in the tablet/mobile segment?

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      October 20, 2016 1:38 PM


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