Nvidia unveils new quad-core Tegra 3 processor to challenge Apple's A5

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Chipmaker Nvidia has taken the wraps off its new Tegra 3 mobile processor, a quad-core chip three times faster than its predecessor, with ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet the first device to sport it.



The new chip, code-named Kal-El, features a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU and a 12-core GeForce graphics processor, as well as a fifth "companion" processor for improved power management, as reported by Wired.



Nvidia is touting the chip as "the world's first mobile quad core." The CPU reaches speeds of 1.4GHz in single-core mode and 1.3GHz in quad-core. The companion core runs at 500 megahertz, ready to take over for simple tasks such as light web browsing and music playback.



The company claims that, when matched up against Apple's custom A5 chip, the Tegra 3 is two times faster at video transcoding and photo stitching.



New Tegra chips will arrive at the pace of one per year through 2014. The fourth-generation Tegra, code-named Wayne, will be ten times faster than the Tegra 2, VentureBeat reports.







More than meets the eye



Asus has revealed that its Transformer Prime tablet will be the first to feature the Tegra 3. As an upgraded version of the original Eee Pad Transformer tablet, the device will sport an 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, 1GB of RAM and a 10-inch, 1280 x 800 screen. As for battery life, Asus promises 12 hours of HD video playback on the tablet.



32GB and 64GB versions of the tablets will cost $499 and $599, respectively, when they arrive next month. The device will launch first with Android Honeycomb 3.2, with an over-the-air update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to arrive shortly after launch.



Asus' Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet is the first to feature the Tegra 3.



Leaked reports suggest that HTC will be the first to put the Tegra 3 to use in a smartphone. The so-called HTC Edge is expected to be the first quad-core phone when it arrives in early 2012.



Apples to Apples



For its part, Apple is said to be readying its own quad-core A6 CPU for release early next year. Varying reports have pegged either Samsung or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company as the supplier. The A6 will reportedly be based on 28-nanometer processing technology.



Earlier this year, quad-core ARM CPU support was discovered hidden inside Apple's Xcode developer tool. Apple's current chip, the dual-core A5, which is also based off of ARM's Cortex 9 processor, offers graphics processing up to nine times faster than the A4.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 82
    ImgTec is on-hand to make a major announcement next week with Khronos on OpenCL, in Tokyo, along with AMD and Nvidia.



    http://www.khronos.org/news/events/p...ference-opencl



    Nothing Nvidia will present can touch the combination from ImgTec/ARM that Apple licenses and produces their own combined SoC solution(s).



    The A6 is obviously targeted at the A-15 processor. The next version of the ImgTec will most likely be 32 cores for GPGPU processing and then their is better OpenGL support along with a newer version of OpenCL--the same technology that Nvidia continues to dream CUDA will become the superior offer.



    Apple doesn't even bother with Nvidia anymore.



    Desktop is OpenGL/OpenCL with AMD GPGPUs.



    Embedded is OpenGL/OpenCL with ARM/ImgTec GPGPUs.



    By the time Nvidia's Tegra is ready to be released Apple will be gearing up for the iPad 3 ramp up.
  • Reply 2 of 82
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    12 hours for the ASUS Transformer for HD video gives me hope that the next iPad will also increase its battery usage times. I say this because ASUS has been accurate with their battery ratings and also close, though under, Apple in this category.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    For its part, Apple is said to be readying its own quad-core A6 CPU for release early next year. Varying reports have pegged either Samsung or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company as the supplier. The A6 will reportedly be based on 28-nanometer processing technology.



    Something to consider about the next iPad release?
    Looking purely at historical evidence it would seem likely that we'd get a 32nm dual-Cortex A9 design at higher clocks first. If Apple wants to release an iPad update early next year, that's likely what we'll see. That still doesn't preclude a late 2012 release of a dual-Cortex A15 solution, perhaps for use in the next iPhone.
  • Reply 3 of 82
    When Apple upgrades a processor, we find out AFTER its introduction in a machine that ships.



    Nvidia's Quad Core Tegra has only been announced at this point.



    Time will tell...
  • Reply 4 of 82
    a Quad Core to Challenge a Dual Core LOOL
  • Reply 5 of 82
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by techpr View Post


    a Quad Core to Challenge a Dual Core LOOL



    If I am remembering correctly the dual-core Tegra 2 barely beats out the single-core A4 in the first iPad.
  • Reply 6 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VanFruniken View Post


    When Apple upgrades a processor, we find out AFTER its introduction in a machine that ships.



    Nvidia's Quad Core Tegra has only been announced at this point.



    Time will tell...



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaporware



    Quote:

    Vaporware is a term in the computer industry that describes a product, typically computer hardware or software, that is announced to the general public but is never actually released nor officially canceled.



    Nope.

    Quote:

    Vaporware is also a term sometimes used to describe events that are announced or predicted, never officially cancelled, but never intended to happen.



    Nope.

    Quote:

    The term also generally applies to a product that is announced months or years before its release, and for which public development details are lacking.



    Nope.



    I've never understood the obsession with calling pre-announced products "Vapor". It screams of people with their head in the sand or acting like a child with its eyes shut and fingers in its ears screaming to try to ignore what is happening.



    Kal-El is due out in December. It's very much real.
  • Reply 7 of 82
    jnjnjnjnjnjn Posts: 588member
    " ... The company claims that, when matched up against Apple's custom A5 chip, the Tegra 3 is two times faster at video transcoding and photo stitching. ..."



    But is it faster for games than the A5. So how many polygons per second?



    J.
  • Reply 8 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post


    " ... The company claims that, when matched up against Apple's custom A5 chip, the Tegra 3 is two times faster at video transcoding and photo stitching. ..."



    But is it faster for games than the A5. So how many polygons per second?



    J.



    Surely you mean "But is it faster for games than the PowerVR SGX543MP2"? That's what's pushing those polygons.
  • Reply 9 of 82
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaporware



    Nope.



    Nope.



    Nope.



    I've never understood the obsession with calling pre-announced products "Vapor". It screams of people with their head in the sand or acting like a child with its eyes shut and fingers in its ears screaming to try to ignore what is happening.



    Kal-El is due out in December. It's very much real.



    You are the one who called it vaporware, not him. He makes a good point to question its performance, especially considering how the claims of the Tegra 2 ended up not being as grande as Nvidia claimed.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post


    Surely you mean "But is it faster for games than the PowerVR SGX543MP2"? That's what's pushing those polygons.



    Which is part of the A5. There is nothing wrong with his statement.
  • Reply 10 of 82
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Just finished reading the review about ASUS Transformer Prime (on another website), a truly fantastic device! I have played with the current Transformer in BestBuy and it was the tablet I enjoyed most. IMO, with the keyboard, the upcoming Prime offers usability somewhere between iPad2 and the Air.



    The fifth core in the Kal-El chip is an interesting feature. Reportedly, it will offer great battery savings upon lower usage, including audio (and even video, although I suppose not HD) playback.
  • Reply 11 of 82
    bsenkabsenka Posts: 799member
    Hooray! It's the megahertz war all over again!
  • Reply 12 of 82
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Are Android devices still going to be shit? Plagued by lag and choppiness that comes from using a shitty and inferior OS?



    At the end of the day, the specs don't mean much. Quad-core, schmad-core, what matters is how a device actually works and operates. And if a device is not silky smooth, then who gives a crap about how many cores it has?



    Fandroid: My new Android tablet is so fucking amazing! I just bought it today!

    iPad user: Oh yeah, what's so great about it?

    Fandroid: It's much better than your iPad 2!

    iPad user: Oh really, why is that?

    Fandroid: It has a new octo-core chip, 1.8 Ghz!

    iPad user: That's nice, but I notice that the UI on your tablet is still very choppy. Why is that?

    Fandroid: Ever since my mother dropped me on my head when I was an infant, I lost the ability to see more than 10 frames per second, so to me, I can't really tell the difference. And besides, did I mention that it has a new octo-core chip, 1.8 Ghz?

    iPad user: Yeah, you did. Are you leaving already?

    Fandroid: Yep, I have to split. I just got a tweet and I found out that they're releasing a newer model of my tablet in 3 weeks time, 1.9 Ghz! So I'm going to try and sell mine before it becomes obsolete. The new model is going to be running the newest OS, sweet vanilla yogurt muffins mixed with drunken puke, I have to get me that! It's not easy being a Fandroid!
  • Reply 13 of 82
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsenka View Post


    Hooray! It's the megahertz war all over again!



    It's not a war, just a very well known trend in the evolution of technology.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law
  • Reply 14 of 82
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,573member
    The A5 is clocked at 800mhz and performs better than dual core 1.4ghz cpus on Android due to the operating system. Android is the weak link making the silicon look bad. Until this is addressed nothing is going to change.
  • Reply 15 of 82
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,888member
    Most people can't make use of four cores on a desktop machine -- what are four cores supposed to do in a tablet or phone? I think it's telling that nvidia used "video transcoding" as their benchmark (who doesn't rip DVDs on thei phone?)



    I trust that if apple comes out with a quad core chip that it will actually have some practical use/benefit and that otherwise they will come out with a faster dual core chip.
  • Reply 16 of 82
    sipadansipadan Posts: 107member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Fandroid: My new Android tablet is so fucking amazing! I just bought it today!

    iPad user: Oh yeah, what's so great about it?

    Fandroid: It's much better than your iPad 2!

    iPad user: Oh really, why is that?

    Fandroid: It has a new octo-core chip, 1.8 Ghz!

    iPad user: That's nice, but I notice that the UI on your tablet is still very choppy. Why is that?

    Fandroid: Ever since my mother dropped me on my head when I was an infant, I lost the ability to see more than 10 frames per second, so to me, I can't really tell the difference. And besides, did I mention that it has a new octo-core chip, 1.8 Ghz?

    iPad user: Yeah, you did. Are you leaving already?

    Fandroid: Yep, I have to split. I just got a tweet and I found out that they're releasing a newer model of my tablet in 3 weeks time, 1.9 Ghz! So I'm going to try and sell mine before it becomes obsolete. The new model is going to be running the newest OS, sweet vanilla yogurt muffins mixed with drunken puke, I have to get me that! It's not easy being a Fandroid!



    Not bad
  • Reply 17 of 82
    shompashompa Posts: 340member
    Nvidias solution with a companion core is interesting.



    Nvidia also finally have included NEON SIMD extensions into their ARM platform. This is the first "good" Tegra chip.



    Apples A6 will be much more elegant. At least it will be 28nm. They will probably use ARM 15 cores instead of Cortex9. This means that the raw CPU performance will be 100% more per clock cycle.



    Tegra 3 would have been interesting if it had been released on time 3-6 month ago. Now it only have 1-2 month lead before 28 nm ARMS are started to be manufactured.



    HIstory also have shown that Android is not good on using the power in their SoCs. Since Google don't control the graphical layer, they can't accelerate the OS with GPU/SIMD. This is why single core A4 was only 3-8% slower then Dual core Tegras.

    Maybe Ice cream sandwich will be great, but todays Android 2.3 for example: the default Android browser only support one core.
  • Reply 18 of 82
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sipadan View Post


    Not bad



    Jeez, you didn't need to quote the whole thing. Kind of defeats my ignore list...
  • Reply 19 of 82
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsenka View Post


    Hooray! It's the megahertz war all over again!



    It almost seems that way...but I think it is just the technology is evolving on get this TABLETS!! Who would have guessed that since the last true megahertz processor war!!!
  • Reply 20 of 82
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,271member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    The new chip, code-named Kal-El...





    Chuckle
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