TSMC has confirmed that NVIDIA is one of its main customers for both the 7nm manufacturing process, which is already well matured, and the 5nm process, which is currently at an earlier stage.
It was a surprise, and the truth is that it has left us puzzled, I explain why. NVIDIA has been immersed in the development of its next graphics architecture, known as Ampere and successor to Turing, for some time. The case is that said architecture will use the 7nm process, and not the 5nm process.
Why then does NVIDIA need to resort to TSMC’s 5nm process? There are many possible answers. The simplest is that the company could combine 5nm and 7nm processes to create your next GPUs, as you did, for example, with Pascal, an architecture that used the 16nm and 14nm processes.
Another possibility is that the company is preparing a new chip aimed at a specific sector, and that it has a relatively low complexity to ensure a good success rate per wafer under said process, which, as we have said, is not as mature as the 7nm process. It makes sense, but what kind of chip would we be talking about?
New from NVIDIA could be the SoC of Nintendo Switch 2
It is one of the most interesting possibilities, and curiously it is also one of the most meaningful. I know the big N you have no reason right now to launch a Nintendo Switch 2, but keep in mind that Xbox Series X and PS5 are just around the corner, and that developing a new console It is not something that is done overnight.
By this I mean that we should not fall into the error of thinking that Nintendo is going to launch a new console this year or next year, but we do It is a project that they obviously have in mind and that is totally necessary to respond, sooner or later, to the arrival of new generation consoles, and that the heart of that new console could be designed by NVIDIA and cooked by TSMC at 5nm.
Well, why choose NVIDIA? It’s not a difficult question to answer, because using an NVIDIA Tegra chip in its next-gen console would make it easier for Nintendo. offer full or partial backward compatibility with the original Nintendo Switch, and would even allow the coexistence of both consoles for a certain time.
As for the specifications of this new chip we do not have any details yet, but I must say that it would be impressive to see a Tegra SoC based on Turing or Ampere with tensor cores and RT cores.