Graphic chip maker has apparently been awarded a contract to provide its mobile-centric system-on-a-chip, Tegra, to a new Nintendo DS, which will be announced in late 2010.

Insiders tell IT news outlet BSN that a single chip Tegra will supposedly power the new DS; the Tegra was developed for use in mobile devices like Microsoft's Zune HD as well as smartphones.

Nintendo has had huge success with the DS console; three hardware revisions later the big N is probably looking towards a true successor to the original DS unit. Today's news suggests that there is already a contract in place to supply the core unit, Tegra, to Nintendo for a new handheld system. If this is true there would be little chance of yet another slightly-better DS - it'd be a whole new unit.

We strongly suspect that whatever Nintendo come out with next would be completely backwards compatible with the current crop of DS/DSiWare software and might even continue the DS brand... DS+ anyone? Virtual Console in your pocket? Win!

Obviously there's nothing "official" in this story, but it's going to happen sooner or later.