Nvidia poised to revolutionize gaming handheld devices

Asus ROG Ally displaying Starfield running powered by Nvidia

Whispers in the wind suggest that Nvidia is in the works of a system-on-a-chip (SoC) capable of fueling PCs and potential future handheld gaming gadgets. The conjecture originates from Dan Nystedt, who suggests that Nvidia is collaborating with MediaTek to craft an AI processor set to unveil as early as June.

Adding substance to the hearsay is XpeaGPU, who also asserts that Nvidia is developing a handheld SoC. The informant reveals that Nvidia perceives the chip as possessing promising market potential. This isn’t the first instance where we’ve caught wind of Nvidia exploring the expanding realm of handheld gaming PCs. In March, informant Moore’s Law is Dead voiced Nvidia’s concern about potentially missing the boat in this niche.

Indeed, Mediatek is also delving into crafting a gaming-centered SoC with Nvidia GPU, spurred by Jensen’s disappointment in Nintendo and identifying substantial market potential. Side note: this project differs from the new NV semi-custom division’s endeavor to venture back into the console space (some Chinese clients have already shown interest) https://t.co/sBuYVLJILc

— AGF (@XpeaGPU) May 15, 2024

It’s worth noting that this is just speculation, with scant details and nothing substantiated. Nonetheless, Nystedt insists that chip manufacturer TSMC will produce the SoC on its 3nm process node in the first half of 2025. The erstwhile journalist also reports that the SoC’s price tag will be steep at approximately $300, with MediaTek anticipating it to play a significant role in its business.

The strategic focus of both Nvidia and MediaTek on PCs is logical. Currently, the landscape is dominated by AMD and Qualcomm, with anticipation surrounding products like the Snapdragon X Elite processors and AMD’s offerings such as the Ryzen Z1 Extreme nestled in the ROG Ally. MediaTek primarily caters to energy-efficient Chromebooks, while Nvidia has steered clear of the handheld market since the Nintendo Switch.

Conversely, AMD chips feature in devices like the ROG Ally, Lenovo Legion Go, Steam Deck, and even current-gen gaming consoles. Qualcomm-backed laptops are poised for a prominent presence, set to hit the market this year. The surge in popularity of handheld gaming PCs is undeniable, and Qualcomm-powered laptops could follow suit. Notably absent from this narrative are Nvidia and MediaTek.

Nvidia could potentially hold a significant advantage in this arena. Their recent GPUs have showcased impressive efficiency, with features like DLSS Frame Generation providing a substantial performance boost, even on less robust hardware. Integrating Frame Generation and enhancing battery life in a handheld gaming PC could revolutionize the market.

However, it’s crucial to bear in mind that all of this remains conjecture. We might catch a glimpse of Nvidia and MediaTek’s forthcoming strategies at Computex in June, but it could be a year or more before any of this materializes — if it materializes at all.

Robert White

Robert is a dedicated tech journalist who thrives on uncovering the human stories behind technological advancements.

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