The Nvidia Tegra 4 is successor to the company’s incredibly popular Tegra 3 chip, which can be found in most half-decent Android tablets and many phones – including the popular Google Nexus 7, Asus Transformer Infinity, Microsoft Surface RT and HTC One X.
Tegra 4 Specs
As we already reported, Nvidia’s 28nm Tegra 4 sports a quad-core next-gen ARM Cortex A15 design as also found in the Samsung Exynos 5440 that’s rumoured to be the heart of the Galaxy S4, and similar to the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU architecture which powers the Google Nexus 4.
Accompanying this quad-core powerhouse is a unique fifth ‘companion core’, which Nvidia calls a “second-generation battery saver core” for light processing, video decoding and standby tasks. This gives Tegra 4 potentially the best of both performance and power-efficiency worlds, making it a fast yet frugal mobile solution which may well hold a battery life advantage over rival SoCs (System on a Chip). In fact, Nvidia claims its latest quad-core Tegra chip consumes up to an impressive 45 percent less power use than its already frugal predecessor.
Helping the new CPUs along, Nvidia has added dual-channel DDR3 memory support to Tegra 4, while super-speed USB 3.0 takes care of faster connectivity – again giving Tegra 4 the edge over rival systems.
Tegra 4 Graphics
The GPU side of things is where it gets really exciting. Nvidia Tegra 4 uses no fewer than 72 GeForce graphics cores, to which no other mobile graphics architecture even comes close. Still, as the Apple A6X processor in the iPad 4 proved, the number of cores aren’t everything. Just to put Tegra 4’s GPU power into perspective though, Nvidia claims its newest mobile chip offers six times the graphics grunt of its previous Tegra 3 GPU. This should make for far prettier mobile games – especially since Nvidia can use its gaming clout from the PC graphics card industry to aid developers in programming titles to take full advantage of its Tegra 4 chip.
Tegra 4 Computational Photography Capability
Thanks to the union of its powerful quad-core ARM Cortex A15 CPU and GeForce 72-core GPU along with its camera signal processor, Tegra 4 offers a unique feature which Nvidia calls Computational Photography Architecture. This gives you HDR (High Dynamic Range) in photo and video, which will give more creative options to those who like to take snaps with their smartphone or tablet and ideally bring out more detail in both the light and dark parts of images.
Tegra 4 Video
Thanks to all this extra power, Tegra 4 can handle resolutions of up to 2,560 x 1,440 (also known as 1440p or 4k) for encode and decode, which is the resolution found on 27-inch monitors like the ViewSonic VP2770-LED. It can also play 1080p video at 120Hz, meaning proper stereoscopic Full HD 3D is potentially on the cards.
Tegra 4 LTE/4G/Mobile Broadband
Nvidia Tegra 4 offers world-wide, super fast 4G mobile broadband support through an optional fifth-gen Nvidia Icera i500 CPU, which is up to 40 percent smaller than “conventional modems”. According to the graphics card and mobile SoC company, the i500 also offers four times the processing capabilities of its predecessors.
Tegra 4 Launch and Availability
Nvidia Tegra 4 will be making its way into next-gen smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs, consoles and even cars running the latest flavour of Android Key Lime Pie or Windows RT. Nvidia has also announced its own Nvidia Project Shield Android games console, which will of course have a Tegra 4 chip at its glorious heart. Needless to say, we can’t wait for the “world’s fastest mobile processor” to make its way into electronic devices and gadgets of all types.