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Nvidia Tegra 4 details leak suggests a GPU performance bump

CPU core count remains the same
Tue Dec 18 2012, 14:22
Nvidia Tegra 3 processor

PURPORTED DETAILS of Nvidia's upcoming Tegra 4 system-on-chip (SoC) have surfaced in a slide showing that the quad-core chip will sport 72 graphics cores.

Nvidia's Tegra 3 has enjoyed success during the tail end of its career thanks primarily to Google's decision to use it in the Nexus 7 tablet. However Chip Hell has leaked a slide that suggests Tegra 4 is not far off and will deliver six times the graphics cores of its predecessor.

If Chip Hell's leaked slide is correct, and the formatting certainly seems consistent with Nvidia presentations, the company has focused on bumping up the graphics performance of Tegra 4, codenamed Wayne. While the firm seems to have stuck with the four-plus-one CPU cores design, there's no information to determine whether it is the ARM Cortex A15 architecture, as has been rumoured.

Nvidia's apparent decision to focus on graphics performance makes sense, since that is an area where Nvidia has proven talent and intellectual property that isn't available to the firm's larger rivals that rely on ARM's Mali or Imagination Technologies' PowerVR graphics cores. The slide shows that Nvidia's Tegra 4 will support 2560x1600 displays and offer VP* and high-profile H.264 support.

With Samsung expected to put out a major update to its Exynos chip in 2013, Nvidia needs to iterate its product design lifecycle quickly in order to build upon the momentum of Tegra 3. While Nvidia failed to win much business beyond the Nexus 7, given its apparent focus on graphics power, it might find more tablet and smartphones makers turning to the Tegra 4 to drive high-resolution displays. µ


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