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It's the middle ground between mobile computing and supercomputing

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014 started off with a bang as NVIDIA unveiled a monster chip with 192 cores. 

NVIDIA announced its fifth generation Tegra K1 chip, which has 192 CUDA cores and is meant to bridge the gap between Kepler-based desktop cards and the mobile-based Tegra chips. That means one small chip that packs a lot of punch. 

The Tegra K1 has a 32-bit quad-core (4-Plus-1 ARM Cortex-A15 CPU) configuration, but another version will support dual Denver CPUs (two 64-bit configurations for up to 2.5GHz). 

Other specs include 2.3GHz max clock speed, DDR3L and LPDDR3 memory types, 8 GB max memory size (with 40-bit address extension) and support for 3840x2160 LCD displays.

NVIDIA's CES presentation for Tegra K1 said that it puts a "console in the palm of your hand." A slide showed a side-by-side comparison of the CPU and GPU features of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Tegra K1.


Tegra K1 [SOURCE: AnandTech]

For GPU features, both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 had support for DirectX 9 while Tegra K1 has support for DX11. GPU horsepower for the Xbox 360 was 240 while PlayStation 3s was 192 and Tegra K1s came in at 365. CPU horsepower was 3600 for Xbox 360, 1200 for PlayStation 3 and 5600 for Tegra K1 all while both the 360 and PS3 used 100W of power and the Tegra K1 came in at only 5W. 

The Tegra K1 is expected to benefit a range of areas like lighting systems and photorealism. Some exciting news is that Epic Games is bringing Unreal Engine 4 to the Tegra K1 for a realistic and beautiful gaming experience. 

It will be coupled with Android devices, and while NVIDIA didn't specifically mention which ones, it was previewed in many thin, 7-inch tablets. 

This is a big win for NVIDIA's Tegra unit, as the company's recent outlook was a bit gloomy in that area. In November 2013, when NVIDIA's third quarter earnings report was released for fiscal 2014, many said that NVIDIA's Tegra mobile business was taking development money and margins away from NVIDIA's core PC GPU business (even if Tegra was driving revenue). Analysts even said that spinning off or selling Tegra would allow NVIDIA to become a higher margin company that would continue to return capital to shareholders. 

There's no set release date for the Tegra K1, but previous reports have estimated a Q2 2014 timetable. 

Source: NVIDIA



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Comparing against older hardware
By KC7SWH on 1/6/2014 9:33:56 AM , Rating: 2
Now let's use real world numbers and compare it against Xbox one and PS4.




RE: Comparing against older hardware
By retrospooty on 1/6/2014 10:09:43 AM , Rating: 4
Meh, I wouldn't believe anything Nvidia says anyhow. It's not that some of their products aren't good (many are), but their pre-release expectations are often crap/lies/over-estimates.

When it actually comes out and is available on real products, wait until those real products are independently reviewed and IF they are as fast as they claim and aren't having power/efficiency issues then its OK to buy. I don't listen to a damn thing Nvidia says period.


RE: Comparing against older hardware
By nafhan on 1/6/2014 11:40:50 AM , Rating: 3
To be fair to Nvidia, that's a reasonable stance to take with any vendor. Even the ones that don't lie still gloss over the negatives.


By retrospooty on 1/6/2014 12:07:01 PM , Rating: 2
True, but from what I have seen over the years, Nvidia seems to have alot more of that backpeddling once its final syndrome than most companies. They hype it up and when it comes out, its always something. They have to lower the clock speed to make it fit the thermal envelope, or it has really poor battery life or simply doesn't perform the way they expected due to some issue or another.


By Flunk on 1/6/2014 10:10:06 AM , Rating: 2
How about PSVita and 3DS?

Right... they'd lose horribly.


By bug77 on 1/6/2014 10:55:34 AM , Rating: 2
Why? It's not aimed at anything that big. The comparison is just meant to say we should expect the graphics of the last gen consoles on the mobile devices of tomorrow (I was about to say today, but since one of the announced chips won't see the light of day until the latter half of the year...)


Horsepower..?
By nikon133 on 1/6/2014 3:36:11 PM , Rating: 3
I'm failing to understand this horsepower thing. X360 has 3600, PS3 has... 1200... of what?

Yes we all know that X360 has 3 cores and PS3 one comparable core... but it also has 7 vector cores in it's Cell processor, which can be utilised to offload both CPU and GPU in PS3.

The article sounds a bit immature, and I'm being extremely diplomatic here...




RE: Horsepower..?
By ritualm on 1/6/2014 6:40:09 PM , Rating: 2
The whole deal is fishy.

No official approximate release date is a big red flag.

Comparing the latest SoC to those used in an outdated generation of consoles, then claiming how it's better - it's deliberately skewed in Nvidia's favor.

Instead of sitting amongst the bleeding edge of highly mobile graphics performance, the K1 is barely adequate by the time it actually finds design wins - and it is still behind Apple when it comes to actual GPU performance in this generation. Unlike the desktop and laptop GPU lines, the Tegra line has just too many unfulfilled promises.


RE: Horsepower..?
By BSquared on 1/6/2014 11:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
Seemed like the numbers were meant to be read with lower being better, which makes sense. Puts PS3 at top, then XB360, followed by the K1. So they're just saying this chip puts up a decent amount of processing at 5W that's almost as good as an XB360, but using 1/20th the power.


Um
By Ammohunt on 1/6/2014 1:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
But i don't want to game in 3D on my handheld or tablet with their inferior control interface WASD+Mouse for life!




great!!
By cokbun on 1/6/2014 11:31:11 PM , Rating: 2
Great ! now we can play angry birds at 60 fps on Ultra High quality with 16xAA !!




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