Friday, July 06, 2012

Speculation: Wii U's GPU based on AMD Radeon E6760

The following is speculation based on some interesting findings from Nintendo & Green Hills Software:

As many of you know, just a few days ago I posted a story that confirmed that the specs of the Wii U dev kit that was leaked earlier last month were true. What maybe was not made clear enough in that post was that those specs were from a dev kit from late last year and some of the things were to change. It is nice though that we can at least confirm what developers were using at the time. 

Now, some things have happened over the last few months while Nintendo has prepared the final dev kits to be mass produced for the Wii U. Back in March Nintendo signed a deal with Green Hills Software, the largest independent vendor of embedded software solutions. The Wii U will be using Green Hills Software's MULTI integrated development environment to maximum reliability, maximum performance, and minimum code size. You can read more about it at the link below:

Back in May of this year it was announced in a different press release from ALT Software that the first Embedded GPU from AMD to use Green Hills Software will be the AMD Radeon E6760. 

The older dev kit's for the Wii U were using GPU's that were basically the AMD Radeon 4850, which Nintendo was telling developers that the performance would be roughly equal to in the Wii U's final GPU. To put this into perspective though, the HD 4850 would have never been what the final Wii U GPU would be using anyway since it pulled between 130-240 watts of power consumption and was built on the 55nm process. Also, some of the features of the 4850 are already 4 years old with better and more efficient standards being used today (DirectX 11 for example). So where does the AMD Radeon E6760 fit in all this? Take a look at the specs of this GPU: 

The E6760 scores a 5870 in 3D Mark Vantage which is higher than the HD 4850 despite the card only running at 35 watts! Now of course the final Wii U GPU will still be custom made with other features made specifically for the system, but it would make a lot of sense if the GPU ends up being heavily based on the E6760 especially with the power consumption being so low. 

So is all of this just a strange coincidence or do we finally have a good idea of what GPU will be powering the Wii U?  


I have taken out the part stating that Nintendo announced a 40nm GPU, they actually did not officially announce what the final size of the GPU would be but did announce that the CPU would be 45nm in size. I apologize for any misleading caused by that. If Nintendo decides to go smaller they could get more performance going to a 32nm or even a 28nm. Cost would be the deciding factor of course. The AMD Radeon E6760 does pretty much fit the criteria that the Wii U would need to run at low power consumption and have great graphical effects & performance. Since it was stated at the outset that this is a speculation article, I'm still going with the Wii U's GPU being based on the architecture of the E6760. There are way to many connections and coincidences with Nintendo, Green Hills and AMD for there not to be something related to how the final GPU will function in the Wii U. 


Anonymous said...

Wow This Does Sound Very Impressive Indeed!! If they make a Custom Chip using the AMD Radeon E6760, then for sure i would be Satisfied With the WiiU with its Power. As long it can use DX 11 and use Unreal Engine 4 and Luminous Engine, Then I am Good =]

Anonymous said...

didnt nintendo say 45nm not 40nm also nintendo will be using a custom ONLY FOR THEM GPU so it can be based on any gpu core at all a pc cards watts usage dosent apply to a embedded system on chip version were its a refined gpu core on a chip

not a unrefined core on a massive hot pc card CONSOLES DONT HAVE CARDS it infuriates me when gaffers say WHAT GRAPHICS CARD consoles dont have graphics cards there retarded

but if this gpu is there first HIGH END yet embedded gpu then it makes sense to use a version of it18

Anonymous said...

well iv been saying wiiu will likely be around 40watts say gamecube and wii combined about xbox 1 level heat and watts consumption,, with this gpu at its standard settings being 35watts maybe there is something in it and its still a AMD/ATI 7 family gpu opencl and comput shaders seems about right E6460 I HOPE NOT THAT'S A WEAK GPU...

A E6760 with EDRAM will be a powerful processor

maybe 600mhz gpu 1200 bus and a 2.4ghz cpu

Stewox said...

Either it's something else or a much faster version of this kind.

500 GFLOPs is not nearly enough for WiiU

We're targeting over 1 TFLOP

Metaldave said...

The E6760 is closer to 600 GFLOPs and it actually scores better than a HD 4850 in 3DMark Advantage and that card is 1 TFLOP. Nintendo is looking for performance with the least amount of power consumption.

35 watts would definitely get the job done.

Anonymous said...

GFLOPS LOL LTFOL this aint neogaf my buddy old pal, we actually have brains here!!!!!!!

4850 is near 800Gflops yet it scores lower than the E6760 IN BENCHMARKS !!!!!!!!!

SO IV JUST PROVEN ""WHAT"" il explain your brain probably turned to mush by now, its a lower GFLOPS GPU but it performs higher DOES THAT COMPUTE !!!!!

compute shaders opencl gpgpu processing its far more efficient and up to date than the older R7 48xxx family gpus im guessing its 12 pixel pipes rather than 8 or 16

with a fast high bandwidth EDRAM it will be a monster vs xbox 360s GPU

Matt Ro said...

The power of a GPU in the form of GFLOPS, is usually calculated, making it a more theoretical nature. Fact is that it can be improved by better implementation of instruction sets the efficiency markedly, without changing the actual raw performance. As an example we can mention here the implementation of DX11 that gives same results as DX10, only faster. Therefore, a modern E6760 is preferable to an old 4850 design.
Whether E6760 or 4850, the performance is more than adequate. Much more interested in me, how is the compatibility to the classic Wii retained. Does the GPU additionally TEV stages, or a seperate chip soldered to the first PS3?

Matt Ro said...

The power of a GPU in the form of GFLOPS, is usually calculated, making it a more theoretical nature. Fact is that it can be improved by better implementation of instruction sets the efficiency markedly, without changing the actual raw performance. As an example we can mention here the implementation of DX11 that gives same results as DX10, only faster. Therefore, a modern E6760 is preferable to an old 4850 design.
Whether E6760 or 4850, the performance is more than adequate. Much more interested in me, how is the compatibility to the classic Wii retained. Does the GPU additionally TEV stages, or a seperate chip soldered to the first PS3?

Anonymous said...

It could also be a 67XXM gpu since its excentialy the same exact chip (memory an clocks speeds aside).


Anonymous said...

Wow, that would be great! I am sure they are holding back tech specs/info and other news because of competition. And you make a strong case for the E6760. I hope it is!! I could see Nintendo with plans to fully reveal capabilities later and little by little because of the headstart.

Metaldave said...

What's hilarious is that the guys at NeoGAF are calling this article "fake"....

I never said this was confirmed news, this just speculation based on some very interesting things that took place between Nintendo & Green Hills Software & AMD. Amazing what can happen from word of mouth without people actually reading the title of the article. LOL

Anonymous said...

we all know AMD is just rehashing the 48xx chips there all bigger or smaller versions of each other in pc card form its just usually clock and ram THATS IT

even the new high end cards are the same JUST DOUBLED UP PIXEL/TEXTURE pipes to 32 pixel pipes


this is the latest version both more powerful but also embedded something like this with EDRAM will be great

the version for wiiu could have a lot of differant things due to the custom nature and the fact it aint a computer/pc its a nintendo

Anonymous said...

metaldave great job and its clear you are on to something the puzzles almost complete,

i wouldn't be shocked if the specs come as a big shock and the cpu and gpu take us by surprise,but i still think embedded MAYBE system on chip or system on board like ion/ion2

the above video shows a gpu and ram maybe a gpu and cpu and edram with wiiu then the ram sits separately

Anonymous said...


metaldave has put together great obvious points the gpu is the first to use this embedded software by this other company then nintendo themselves also sign up to the software company that is more than a coincidence its clear metaldave has put 2and2 together and come up with a lot of what nintendo are doing it wont be this exact processor but i bet its the closest anyone has come yet

Anonymous said...

Lol. Clearly Metaldave, some people are uncomfortable with the idea of a powerful console from Nintendo. Oh the humanity! The horror! How dare they not reveal everything to us! Lol

Anonymous said...

could we be seeing a 60watts max wiiu

a gpu like this or even at 800mhz would come in at no more than 45 50 watts a bunch of broadway 2 cpus maybe a max 10 watts if even that high and then a disc drive etc....

a x360 destroying machine at only 60watts is clearly doable

powerpc 32 bit at 45nm only consumes about 1.5watts at 1.6ghz 3 of them would be less than 10watts even with 2.0ghz clocks

cpu and gpu could hit only 50 watts something like that theres rumors the power brick is 75watts so a 60 watts console could be around the watts being used by wiiu

this gpu is only 8 rops but obviously far more efficient

Anonymous said...


they are obsessed with the idea of this really weak gpu with like 3 stream processors, there calling really poor gpus far more powerful than nintendo would use and constantly look for excuses to call wiiu a sub x360 machine the level of stupid there is beyond neogaf nevermind beyond 3d lol

they even go on about how there superior to neogaf as the place to be if your COUGH COUGH CORE

they even suggested a 3xcore broadway at 1.6ghz would be weaker than xenon LTFOL XENON IS A JOKE OF A CPU

Anonymous said...

I don't want to rain on any parade but a 4850 scores around 7000 points in Vantage P score for the GPU, so what is there to be actually exited about if true?

Anonymous said...

I worked for AMD up until two months ago. The Wii U GPU is based off the AMD E6760 GPU without the onboard memory supplied. At the time I left, I was aware that it will draw from a shared RAM pool of 1.5GB from the Wii U (DDR3-1800) and run at a clock speed of 824 mhz. The main CPU is a IBM power architecture quad core (with one disabled for yield, making it a tri-core) running at 3.0 ghz. The size of the eDRAM was not finalized before I left, nor was the clock speed of the main CPU. I got to work with two different engineering units, one had 3GB ram with the CPU clocked at 3.4 ghz and the other had 1.5GB ram with the CPU clocked at 3.0 ghz. I was told the 3.0 ghz unit was closest to production specs.

Metaldave said...

If what you say is true, isn't the GPU still based on the architecture of the R700 chips? Nintendo started development in 2009 before the E6760 even existed. Obviously the GPU can't be the E6760 just with different memory since the GPU will be heavily customized. My speculation is leading me to believe that Wii U's GPU will share a lot of similarities to the E6760 but it won't use it as a base. If you'd care to be more specific I'd appreciate it (if you're telling the truth of course).

Anonymous said...

the guy who send the email first is a spanish guy called "xbicio" from spanish forum.

here is the link of the post where this informations stared:

hellojustinr said...

People are missing the point here, now that a true eight generation console has come out, video game devs will have a lot more overhead for super high end game engines which were typically reserved for PCs.

Since 2008, the PC gaming industry has really stalled when it comes to PC game and game optimization, MSAA performance is horrible, while GPUs are a lot more powerful now than they are then, devs still tend to port from console first before PC and this will heavily benefit us PC gamers as this will be the first console to make use of a more recent, advanced platform.

Before now, most game developers had to make do with an X1850 and 7800GT-era GPU and add whatever was left as extra for PC gamers.

Now they will have much more to work with. A 4850 is more than enough of a performance jump from the X1850 and 7800GT. Think about it this way, think about what you were seeing on the PS3 and Xbox 360 now and how they make do with it with that obsolete GPU, try running the same game on a PC with the same GPU it won't run as good, not even close(GTA IV for example).

Truth is, GPUs back then, even the 8800GTX was more than enough to run games that we have now, but poor optimization has led us to believe the contrary. I'm not saying the graphics cards we have now are not powerful, I'm saying there's a lot of wasted potential for even graphics cards as old as the 4870, which frankly, isn't even that old. If you think about it now, the 4870 is still around, they have a graphics card similar in performance, the HD 6770. It still provides ample performance to be marketed as a gaming card.

Scaling is way different on console in terms of performance vs PC since nowadays its console optimization first then PC ports.

So hopefully we benefit from this more now as we devs can get their hands on PC-like graphics to a consumer gaming console.

hellojustinr said...

A 4850 is more than enough of a performance jump from the X1850/7800GT-era GPUs game developers were having to make do with.

I'm happy enough as it is as it will also give devs a much greater overhead to work with, possibly make better PC ports when they're done with the Wii U versions of the game.

Before Wii U, most devs had to make do with the X1850 and 7800GT and just add on to that for what they wanted to give as "extra" for PC users, yes naturally it will look sharper, naturally it will look better, but there's nothing spectacular about it when it comes to the core engine, and with most games built ground-up with the console in mind this will undoubtably help devs make better PC ports.

Anonymous said...

i think its around a 4670 to a e6760 like dave says it makes sense but anyone can use any amd 8 rop gpu name and its right there all give or take the same thing just newer or older versions

e6760 or hd 4670 is the basic fabric of the gpu give or take vgleaks specs looks so hd4670 ish yet a lot fits e6760

a 40nm remake of a hd4670 with edram ram way in at about 25 to 40 watts depending on the clock speeds etc

i dont see any links for that software firm and other gpus