Nvidia unveils Tegra 4: ‘world’s fastest mobile processor’

Nvidia unveils Tegra 4: ‘world’s fastest mobile processor’CES 2013 officially opens its doors tomorrow, so it’s time for the big boys to do their usual pre-show stuff ahead of, like, the actual show.

Nvidia, for one, was eager to show off its CES-themed beaver, lifting the lid on its Tegra 4 processor yesterday.

Unsurprisingly, we’re told that the Tegra 4 is the “world’s fastest mobile processor”, with the familiar Nvidia 4-plus-1 setup.

Specifically, the Nvidia Tegra 4 is a Cortex-A15-based beast, with four cores plus a fifth battery-saving core, and 72 custom GeForce GPU cores.

One of Nvidia Tegra 4’s key features is something called Computational Photography Capability, which “automatically delivers high dynamic range (HDR) photos and video by fusing together the processing power of the GPU, CPU and the camera's image-signal processor.”

Somewhat disappointingly, there’s no integrated LTE on the Nvidia Tegra 4. Faster data speeds are instead achieved via the optional Icera i500 chipset.

In terms of power consumption, Nvidia reckons the Tegra 4 consumes 45% less power than the Tegra 3 in “common use cases”. That supposedly means up to 14 hours HD video playback on smartphones.

And that’s about all we know for now, but we expect we’ll learn more as the week goes on. In the meantime, check out the official Nvidia Tegra 4 press release.

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10 comments

SpeedyG  Jan. 7, 2013 at 12:05

Is this Big.Little combo we've been hearing about for the 4+1 config?

Pondlife  Jan. 7, 2013 at 12:13

When I read about this earlier elsewhere it said it did have inbuilt lte...

mrew42  Jan. 7, 2013 at 12:17

When I read about this earlier elsewhere it said it did have inbuilt lte...
Yep, that's what I read too
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-07/nvidia-unveils-fastest-mobile-chip-to-spur-smartphones.html

Pondlife  Jan. 7, 2013 at 12:24

Turns out that being late to publish means you get to see others corrections, site I read it on has since been updated.

http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/01/06/ces-2013-nvidia-officially-announces-the-tegra-4-quad-core-a15-cpu-72-gpu-cores-and-onboard-4g-lte-modem/

barrybarryk  Jan. 7, 2013 at 12:26

Yeah I watched it, he did say it would have LTE, and banged on and on about the SDR modem for ages. It being an optional chipset makes no odds, modems are never part of the main SoC, for one they wouldn't fit, it's just whether or not they're supported by it.

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 7, 2013 at 12:40

Yeah I watched it, he did say it would have LTE, and banged on and on about the SDR modem for ages. It being an optional chipset makes no odds, modems are never part of the main SoC, for one they wouldn't fit, it's just whether or not they're supported by it.

Huh? A lot of QM SoC have build-in modems.

Are you saying that LTE modem is not part of SoC? I thought that was more of price thing. LTE is no widespread and one can make SoC cheaper in markets where it's not supported.

barrybarryk  Jan. 7, 2013 at 12:50

I think you're confusing the SoC with the reference spec or 'on board'. The SoC is just the CPU and GPU cores on one dye and RAM sandwiched on top. Modems are too big and I can't imagine being shoehorned in there would do the signal any favours.

But yeah they're normally optional for all sorts of reasons, price would be a big one I'm sure but some devices just don't need them so an OEM isn't going to pay for them.

Even their Shield gaming thing is without a LTE/GSM modem at the minute and it apparently launches in Q2

Edit: Actually you're right, QM Snapdragons have the modem on the dye, first I've heard of it lol

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 7, 2013 at 18:10

I could not find an extra chip on Xperia board, so I figured everything has to be integrated.

I would think SoC would be CPU, GPU, Memory Controller, L1/L2 cache + modem (baseband processor + transmitter/receiver). Would that be correct?

I've noticed that none of LTE devices have LTE as part of SoC and rather use separate chip as modem. I wonder if Terga 3 has a modem integrated or it's separate.

barrybarryk  Jan. 7, 2013 at 19:16

Well the modem would be unusual to be integrated (I didn't know any that had it on the SoC until today) but the processor caches and memory controllers would all be integrated.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tegra
All the Tegra platforms have used a separate modem chipset, same as all TI's OMAP, Samsungs Exynos and Apples Ax SoCs

Pretty much the only thing I can find on the snapdragons about it is straight from their Wikipedia page:
Compared to System on chips from many competitors, Snapdragon SoCs have been unique in that they have had the modem for cellular communication on-die. That is, they do not require a separate external modem on the PCB.

The only other chipset that I can find that have them integrated are "NovaThor" SoCs and even more bizarrely only some of those include them on the dye which just makes no sense to me lol

Pondlife  Jan. 8, 2013 at 11:56

The only other chipset that I can find that have them integrated are "NovaThor" SoCs and even more bizarrely only some of those include them on the dye which just makes no sense to me lol

Maybe it upped the price so they'd rather use external, weird that the u9500 with the better radio doesn't seem to have been used anywhere. From that table looks like the Ace 2 is being underclocked rather than having a dual 800mhz cpu too.

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