Nvidia Tegra 4 SoC Officially Announced at CES 2013, Boasts 72-core GPU

Nvidia Tegra 4

If its January, then it’s Consumer Electronics Show, and Nvidia is one of the companies that didn’t waited for the official opening event and announced its latest products ahead of the competition.

By far, the most interesting one was the Tegra 4 chipset, which promises a series of major improvements compared to the current generation that underpins many of the Android tablets.

Now at the fourth generation, the Tegra chipset by Nvidia is world’s first chipset based on a quad-core ARM Cortex A15 CPU. Just like the previous generation, Tegra 4 sticks to the 4-PLUS-1 core configuration, the auxiliary core using the same Cortex A15 architecture, but with less processing power and significantly less battery consumption.

Manufactured using Low Power High-k Metal Gate process on 28 nm, Tegra 4 will deliver clock speeds of up to 1.9 GHz, the processing cores being accompanied by a DDR dual-channel memory controller.

Courtesy of the aforementioned enhancements, Nvidia Tegra 4 will be 2.6 times more powerful than the previous generation of mobile chipsets developed by the Santa Clara-based company.

The GeForce ULP graphics processing unit now has 72 cores (yes, it’s not a mistake, there are seventy two cores), but it’s still not bringing unified architecture for shaders. According to Nvidia, the new GPU provides 6 times more processing power than the one installed on Tegra 3, now being capable of decoding 4K video content.

Besides 3D or video processing, Nvidia also focused on image processing, Tegra 4 now including a series of features that were grouped under the name of Computational Photography Architecture, providing better speeds for HDR capture and processing.

Just like the previous Nvidia chipsets, Tegra 4 doesn’t come with a radio modem, which is offered at request using a solution developed by Icera engineers, a company that was acquired by Nvidia a while ago.

Nvidia i500 is compatible with 2G,3G, and 4G networks, with LTE UE Cat 3 support for the latter one, which promises download speeds of up to 100 Mbps. The company also promised an upgrade to LTE UE Cat 4 and support of up to 150 Mbps.

Tegra 4 is slightly bigger than its predecessor, Tegra 3, the silicon pill having an area of 80 mm².

Nvidia claims that the power efficiency was improved compared to the last generation, the new Tegra 4 now being with up to 45% more battery friendly, promising 14 hours of video playback.