Considering how AMD hardware already powers the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, it’s easy to believe that Nintendo’s next console will come with an AMD processor as well. Aside from the fact that it’s codenamed the NX, we know next to nothing about Nintendo’s upcoming console, but if the rumors that the AMD processor will be x86 are true, then that would make backwards compatibility on the NX pretty unlikely.
Yesterday, on AMD’s conference call, CEO Lisa Su announced that the company had recently added a new embedded design win to its portfolio, though without a firm date on when the company might recognize revenue from the win. One potential candidate for a hypothetical new device is Nintendo, which announced earlier this year that it would launch a new hybrid mobile device in 2016, codenamed the NX. Dean Takahashi has laid out the reasons why he thinks Nintendo has contracted with AMD to build its next-gen console chip. There are multiple reasons to think this is a plausible match. AMD provides designs for every current-generation console on the market, including the existing Wii U’s GPU. The difference between Nintendo and Sony/Microsoft, however, is that Nintendo appears to have licensed an AMD GPU design that’s built by a third-party, Renesas, and the GPU they licensed — by all accounts, a derivative of AMD’s HD 4000 family — was already quite dated even when the Wii U was new.