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Friday, 03 December 2010 13:56

Nvidia keenly promotes multi-core Tegras

Written by Nermin Hajdarbegovic

We have yet to see single cores, but hey

In a recent whitepaper Nvidia went out of its way to promote the benefits of multi-core mobile processors and we have to agree that upcoming Tegra processors are quite promising.

Despite the fact that Tegra and Tegra 2 processors did not have much impact on the market, or should we say they had next to none, the time of high performance mobile processors is just coming. The green team could and should have much more luck with Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 processors.

The introductory segment of the whitepaper tries to dispel concerns about power consumption on dual-core processors. Although they pack more transistors, they can deliver equal or superior performance to single cores at lower clocks and voltages, practically making dual-cores more power efficient than single-core designs. In fact, Nvidia claims that dual-core processors can deliver up to 40 percent lower power consumption in certain usage scenarios.

Although we are a bit skeptical about dual-core support in older operating systems and apps, Nvidia claims that Tegra 2 can easily outperform all currently available ARM-based processors. What’s more, it scales great as well. With both cores enabled, the processor is nearly twice as fast as with a single core enabled and in one test the speed advantage even goes over 100 percent. However, in real-life tests the extra core is expected to deliver a performance boost of about 50 percent.

In the Moonbat benchmark Tegra 2 wipes the floor with the DroidX, Galaxy S and Nexus One, based on OMAP 3630, S5PC 110 and QSD 8250 processors respectively. Tegra 2 is apparently 2.5 times faster with both cores enabled and even in single-core mode, it manages to outperform the competition by about 45 percent.

Interestingly, much of the whitepaper deals with gaming performance and emphasizes the fact that all current game engines support multithreading. Coupled with Nvidia graphics, dual-core and upcoming tri-core Tegras could offer an unparalleled gaming experience on mobile devices.

It’s a rather interesting read, all 21 pages of it. You can check it out here. (PDF)

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