Confirming many details rumoured previously, an Nvidia Tegra 4 specs leak has today detailed just what we can expect from the new mobile device chipset.
The mobile chip, codenamed Wayne, is the sequel to the monumentally successful Tegra 3 SoC, 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
Tegra 4 is still a quad-core CPU design with a unique fifth companion core, but it uses next generation CPU cores and there are now a whopping 72 graphics cores – more than any other chip currently on the market. Considering Tegra 3 already performed well enough to make for an excellent all-purpose mobile solution, this may well put it at the head of the class. Indeed, Nvidia claims six times the performance in Tegra 3 vs Tegra 4 comparisons.
According to the leaked Tegra 4 slide on ChipHell, Nvidia’s new 28nm ‘Wayne’ chip uses ARM’s 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.
So all four of these cores ought to rip through pretty much anything you’d care to throw at them. One of the things that will set Nvidia’s Tegra 4 quad-core above rivals on the processor side of things is a unique fifth ‘companion core’, which can run background tasks and play HD video without taxing your device’s battery life too much. This means potential battery life on Tegra 4 tablets and smartphones should be at least as good as (if not better than) the best of the rest.
Tegra 4 Graphics
To further boost all this processing grunt, Nvidia has added dual-channel DDR3 memory support to its Tegra 4 quad-core SoC, along with other niceties like native support for USB 3.0.
Where Nvidia’s latest ARM chip really has the potential to stand out though is on the graphics side of things. There are now a whopping 72 graphics cores, six times as many as Tegra 3. This means that Tegra 4 should give even the mighty 32nm Apple A6X a run for its graphical money, which in turn means 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 Video
Thanks to all this extra power, Tegra 4 can handle resolutions of up to 2,560 x 1,440 (or 1440p) 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 also on the cards.
Tegra 4 Launch
Roadmaps for Wayne indicated that Nvidia’s Tegra 4 chip would have a release date early next year. We expect that we’ll see Tegra 4 launch at MWC, where we might also see some of the new tablets and smartphones using it.