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NVIDIA Atlan SoC: An Arm “Grace” CPU Paired w/ Ada Lovelace GPU that will Likely Power the Next-Gen Nintendo Switch

NVIDIA announced a ton of new products during its GTC live stream today. One of them was the Atlan SoC featuring the next-gen Grace CPU and Ada Lovelace GPU (codename not final yet). This is the first SoC featuring a CPU completely custom-designed by NVIDIA (there was Denver, but that was a much simpler affair), likely a prelude to the Arm-acquisition by the Santa-Clara based chipmaker. While Atlan is primarily aimed at Autonomous Vehicles, similar to Orin, we’re likely going to see a different implementation of the same SoC in the next-gen Nintendo Switch console.

We already know that the Switch Pro (or whatever it’ll be called) will feature the successor to Ampere with support for DLSS and a new CPU architecture. An Arm-based design is no surprise as all of the company’s previous Tegra chips were also based on the same. However, there is a very strong possibility that we’ll see a new Tegra chip with certain features of Atlan such as the Bluefield DPU, the accelerators, and the FSI unit disabled which aren’t needed in a gaming console.

In terms of specifications, Atlan will come with a performance rating of 1,000 TOPs, an increase of more than twice as much over Orin. Keep in mind that this refers to the AI-related performance and the actual single-precision gains will be much lower, although still a significant gain over the Tegra X1.

Along with the new Grace CPU based on the Arm Neoverse core architecture and the Ada Lovelace GPU, we’re also looking at LPDDR5x memory which is expected to be 10x more efficient than LPDDR4x, with a projected bandwidth jump of 2x. As for the actual launch, since Orin production is slated for 2022, Atlan is expected to start sampling in 2023, with production in the year after. Considering that the Switch Pro is going to launch in 2022, we’re likely looking at a hybrid SoC with features of both Orin and Atlan. I’m willing to bet that the GPU will be from Atlan paired with A78 cores from Orin along with LPDDR5 memory.

Areej

Computer Engineering dropout (3 years), writer, journalist, and amateur poet. I started my first technology blog, Techquila while in college to address my hardware passion. Although largely successful, it was a classic example of too many people trying out multiple different. Left late 2019 and been working on Hardware Times ever since.
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