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Nvidia labels the Tegra 3 five-core design 4-plus-1

Tegra with a bit on the side
Thu Feb 23 2012, 14:52

CHIP DESIGNER Nvidia has reminded everyone that its Tegra 3 chip contains five cores by renaming its VSMP technology "4-plus-1".

Nvidia's Tegra 3 system-on-chip (SoC) was initially known as Kal-el, with the firm opting to formally call it Tegra 3. The Tegra 3 chip is commonly referred to as a quad-core processor but technically it has five processing cores, something the firm has tried to highlight by labeling its five-core design "4-plus-1".

Nvidia's Michael Rayfield said the introduction of the cumbersome 4-plus-1 name, "the more popular this technology became, the more our customers wanted a name for it that's unique and descriptive. A name they could put on a box or a store sign that immediately represents its value."

Since Rayfield is talking up the marketing value of Nvidia's latest attempt to promote Tegra 3, Nvidis couldn't have been very happy with the world and dog labeling the Tegra 3 a quad-core chip. The so-called "battery saver core" might be the ugly duckling of the five CPU cores but it is a fully functioning core, albeit one that isn't used for heavy lifting.

Nvidia's attempt to try to get hacks to acknowledge Tegra 3's fifth core is unlikely to be helped by using such an uninspired moniker, and as for trying to inform punters, we find it hard to imagine most will bother working out that "4-plus-1" relates to the number of cores powering their shiny new device. Further, we doubt that anyone will spell the label in Nvidia's preferred all-caps manner. µ


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