Along with countless number of gadget launches at CES 2013, world's leading chip maker Nvidia also came up with its next-gen Tegra chips that would power up the upcoming devices including high-end smartphones and tablets this year and beyond. The talk is about Tegra 4 - Nvidia's much talked about mobile processor is finally here - which is designed to handle devices with over 2560 x 1600 pixels resolutions, and has the brawns to accelerate 4K "ultra-HD" video playback.
Key Features Explained
Four ARM Cortex-A15 Cores
To begin with, as the name suggests, Tegra 4 uses four ARM Cortex-A15 cores, with a fifth power-saver core that keeps the device running at lower battery-saving power states while gating power to the four main cores. The CPU component, according to NVIDIA, is designed to offer 2.6 times faster web-browsing (rendering).
GeForce ULV Graphics Processor
Further, Tegra 4 has upgraded GeForce ULV graphics processor, which packs 72 CUDA cores, and is capable of display resolutions well beyond 1080p. The GPU is said to feature "six-times" the compute power of its predecessor.
Computational Photography Architecture
Not to forget, Nvidia introduced the "Computational Photography Architecture," a feature-set for which applications need to be specially coded for, which combines the computational power of the CPU, GPU, and the camera's image processor to deliver higher quality HDR photos. Tegra 4 optionally ships in combination with the company's Icera i500 baseband chip, which is capable of 1.2 trillion IOPS. Its obvious impact on the feature-set is addition of 4G LTE.
Prism 2 Display Technology
Tegra 4 is claimed by Nvidia to consume 45 percent less power than its predecessor in common usage scenarios, as it is built on the 28 nanometer silicon fabrication process. Moreover, the Prism 2 display technology wires the chip to the device's display backlighting, dynamically adjusting brightness of individual backlight LEDs to both conserve power, and produce better images.
The first notable device to feature Tegra 4 is the company's own "Project Shield" portable game console, which offers up to 38 hours of HD gaming on a full-charge. Other devices, such as tablets, sub-notebooks, and smartphones based on the chip should begin rolling out later this year in the second half.