As expected, Nvidia launched the fourth generation of its Tegra mobile processor this week at CES 2013, and the chip maker is billing the Tegra 4 as having "record-setting" speed and battery life.
The Tegra 4 processor, codenamed "Wayne," features a whopping 72 GPU cores, which is roughly six times the graphics horsepower of the previous Tegra 3 edition, and four ARM-based Cortex-A15 cores. According to Nvidia, those specs deliver 2.6-times-faster Web page loading as well as improved performance for mobile apps.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang introduced the company's newest product during a press event and demonstrated a Tegra 4 prototype tablet, pitting it against a Nexus 10, which uses the Samsung Exynos 5250 processor. During the demo, the Tegra 4 tablet loaded 25 unique Web pages in 27 seconds, whereas the Nexus 10 took 50 seconds to load the same number of pages.
"We took the lead in building faster and faster mobile processors," Huang said. "How much performance does anybody need in these mobile devices? Well, if you ask us, we need a lot more performance."
In addition to speed improvements, the Tegra 4 also boasts a new feature called Computational Photography Architecture, which improves the quality of camera phone pictures. The feature automatically delivers "one-shot" high-dynamic range (HDR) photos and video by speeding up the HDR process, thanks to a dedicated engine within the Tegra 4 processor. As a result, the Computational Photography feature helps improve color contrast and lighting for smartphone pictures.
The Tegra 4 also comes with 4G LTE voice and data support via the optional Nvidia Icera i500 chipset, which Nvidia says is more efficient and 40 percent smaller than conventional modems, and it delivers four times the processing capability of earlier Icera i500 editions.
And lastly, Nvidia touted the Tegra 4's improved power efficiency; the chipset includes a second-generation battery-saving core plus Nvidia's Prism 2 display technology to reduce backlight power consumption. Overall, Nvidia says the new processor consumes 45 percent less power than the Tegra 3 in common use cases and offers up to 14 hours of HD video playback on phones.
PUBLISHED JAN. 8, 2013