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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 10:39

Nvidia officially rolls out Tegra 3

Written by

Whips up some Kool-Aid, too

Nvidia has finally introduced the new Tegra 3 processor and the first products based on the new processor are not far behind.

There’s really not much to say about Tegra 3 that hasn’t already been leaked and confirmed ahead of the official launch, but here is a brief recap. Tegra 3, aka Kal El, is the first and only 40nm quad-core ARM chip, but it also features a fifth “companion” core that helps keep power consumption down, so one might call it 4.5-core.


Nvidia’s cunning plan is to use the companion core, clocked up to 500MHz, to handle less intensive tasks, including video playback, leaving the main four cores free to bask in the sun. The end result is that Tegra 3 is actually more power efficient than Tegra 2, despite the extra cores. Thanks to the new variable SMP architecture, Tegra 3 can push all four cores or just two cores to 1.3GHz, but in a single core scenario it clocks up to 1.4GHz.

Nvidia claims the new chip is much faster than its predecessor and in some benchmarks it can hold its ground against an Intel Core 2 Duo T7200, which sounds pretty impressive. In terms of sheer CPU power, the new chip is about two times faster than Tegra 2, while the graphics subsystem is about three times faster.


It all looks great on paper, but software development is simply not keeping up with the latest hardware. Basically there are few if any Android apps that can harness the immense power of the new chip and the Android platform still lacks games that can make use of the additional GPU muscle. Nvidia is hoping to change all this with the aid of its TWIMBP team and its considerable clout with game developers. Gaming should be Tegra’s main selling point and Nvidia claims it will have more than 40 Tegra Zone titles by the end of the year, with 15+ Tegra 3 games in the pipeline.

Other ARM designers are gearing up to introduce their first quad-core chips in 2012, once the new 28nm process becomes available. Nvidia will also jump the 28nm bandwagon next year, with Tegra 4, codenamed Wayne.

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 November 2011 11:19
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+2 #1 eddman 2011-11-09 11:37
Slides don't really mean anything. I'd wait for transformer prime's reviews. The 2x CPU performance is obvious, 3x GPU performance seems to be right too but I still have doubts about nvidia's lower power consumption claim, at least when it comes to under-load scenarios.

Nvidia will also jump the 28nm bandwagon next year, with Tegra 4, codenamed Wayne.

That'd be too late. What about kal-el+? I thought that would be the first 28 nm tegra.
-1 #2 notbiased 2011-11-09 17:42
android seems to be TWF since Microsoft will not be supporting multi-threaded OS in the future.. android does this better than others. AMD has already ported android apps on windows, now it needs to do the reverse, so we can play real games on android
+1 #3 eddman 2011-11-09 18:25
Quoting notbiased:
Microsoft will not be supporting multi-threaded OS in the future..

What?!! Where did that come from? Windows IS a multi-threaded OS and 8 is no exception. As a matter of fact it'd be a better multi-tasker than 7.

Samsung already has a tegra 3 tablet running windows 8. I guess you missed that.
+1 #4 mathiasr 2011-11-10 00:46
Ahhh... Flash benchmarks the day Adobe announced that Flash for mobiles is dead in the water.

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