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.