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NVIDIA looks to strengthen its position in the mobile sectors with Tegra 4

With smartphones and tablets taking over the computing world and putting traditional PCs and notebooks on the back burner, a number of companies are jockeying for position to deliver the highest performing SOCs on the market. NVIDIA has been in this game for a while with its Tegra line of processors, and its most recent Tegra 3 has scored a slew of design wins over the past year.
NVIDIA is looking to build upon that success with its next generation Tegra 4. While we're sure that NVIDIA was looking to surprise everyone at CES, most of the details on the new chip leaked in mid-December. The Cortex-A15-based Tegra 4 is built on a 28nm process, continues the 4+1 design (quad-core + companion core), and features 72 NVIDIA GeForce GPU cores.

NVIDIA says that the move to 28nm help the Tegra 4 consumer 45 percent less power than its predecessor and would allow mainstream phones to deliver 14 hours of continues HD video content.
However, Tegra 4 doesn't have integrated LTE onboard. Instead, NVIDIA is hyping up its optional Icera i500 processor for LTE functionality. Although the move to 28nm is likely to improve battery life across the board, not having LTE integrated on-chip isn't going to do it any favors either.
We’re likely to see a number of Tegra 4-based products at CES, and we’ll be sure to keep you informed of the ones that really catch our eye.

Source: NVIDIA

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By theapparition on 1/7/2013 10:36:34 AM , Rating: 5
I disagree with your comments.

The Tegra 3 was actually more powerful CPU wise and competitive GPU wise with Apple's A5. So using the term "smash" was a bit incorrect. The A5X brought superior GPU capability by adding the SGX543MP4 quad core GPU. But CPU wise, it was basically still OMAP or Tegra 3.

The A6 upped the ante, certainly. A custom core based on the ARM instruction set rather than the reference A9/A15 design has it's benefits (and a few drawbacks). They actually downgraded the GPU to the SGX543MP3 but with a higher clock.

The A6 is the benchmark for newer SoCs, and kudos to Apple for that and setting a benchmark. But there's certainly a lot of upcoming competition. OMAP 5, Exynos 5, and Qualcomm's newest, along with the Tegra 4.

As to your question about GeForce cores, each Tegra 4 will come with 72. I have no knowledge of them custom making dies for customer applications. However, depending on yields, it may be possible that there will be chip fallout and binning will occur. In that case, there may be different binned versions. From past NVidia history, this isn't a difficult chip for TSMC to make and yields should be quite good.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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