Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core chip stokes tablet wars

November 10, 2011 by Nancy Owano report

(PhysOrg.com) -- Nvidia has launched its Tegra 3, the quad-core chip designed for mobile devices. Tech and investor blogs were busy yesterday assessing what this means for upcoming tablets and smartphones as to performance and power efficiency. The Tegra 3 processor provides up to three times the graphics performance of Tegra 2, and up to 61 percent lower power consumption, according to the Santa Clara-based company.

Its design is based on the ARM Cortex-A9 processor, an that addresses the need for better control over power consumption in . As ARM has said in its A-9 white paper, "Consumers don’t just expect their products to do more; they also expect longer battery life for portable products. To achieve all-day use, which is now a minimum requirement, phone, smart phone and PDA manufacturers must deliver extra performance and features more efficiently than before."

Similarly, while there is good reason to be enthusiastic about the performance features of the Tegra 3, a potentially attractive feature for mobile business users of tablets and smartphones will most likely center on what Tegra 3 can promise in battery savings.

The video will load shortly

The Tegra 3 uses what Nvidia calls “Variable SMP” (Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing) for low power and high performance. All five CPU cores are individually enabled and disabled based on the work load. Nvidia in its press release refers to its “aggressive power-gating.”

The four main cores are specifically designed for work requiring high performance, During tasks that require less power consumption -- listening to music or playing back video-- the Tegra 3 processor shuts down its four performance-tuned cores and instead uses the companion core. This adds up to the big battery savings, up to 61 percent. The Tegra 3 also has a 12-core GeForce graphics processing unit, for enhanced multimedia performance.

The video will load shortly

First to the plate for the Tegra 3 is Asus, which has announced its new tablet that will use the quad-core Tegra 3 chip. This is the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, a device with a pricetag of $499 for the 32GB version and $599 for 64GB. An optional keyboard is priced at $149.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is the first quad-core tablet with Tegra 3.

The Asus tablet, with Tegra 3 processor’s power-management features combined with its own optimizations, Is reported to have a battery life of up to 12 hours. This 10.1-inch tablet will appear in stores by the end of the year.

As exceptional as both the Nvidia and Asus debuts are, observers note the competitiveness of the tablet market. Nvidia will not be the one and only player in the quad-core arena for a very long time. Reports point to Qualcomm, an competitor, which is expected to bring out its quad-core processors early next year.

The video will load shortly

Explore further: NVIDIA And Opera Team To Accelerate The Full Web On Mobile Devices

More information: Nvidia press release, Asus press release


Related Stories

LG Optimus 2X -- world's first dual-core smartphone

December 16, 2010

LG Electronics today unveiled the LG Optimus 2X, the world’s first smartphone with a dual-core processor. Along with more powerful multimedia features, the LG Optimus 2X’s high-performance Tegra 2 processor makes ...

Nvidia releases the Kal-El quad-core mobile chip

February 16, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Nvidia has announced their brand new quad-core mobile processor at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The new processor was given the interestingly superheroic name Kal-El. Just in case you did not ...

Rumor: Asus to make Eee Pad Transformer 2 with Windows 8

June 14, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Asus Eee Pad Transformer is one of the most popular models of tablet PCs on the market. The Android Honeycomb-based tablet is expected to become the second most popular tablet on the market, second only ...

Nvidia says Kal-El chip will have five cores

September 22, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Nvidia says its upcoming Kal-El chip (Tegra 3) will have five cores, not four. The news appeared this week when the Santa Clara company announced a white paper describing the architecture of this system-on-a-chip ...

ASUS unveils Eee Pad Transformer Prime at AsiaD

October 21, 2011

ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih introduced the Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet at the AsiaD: All Things Digital in Hong Kong. The event, featuring Wall Street Journal journalists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, takes a close look ...

Recommended for you

MIT's flea market specializes in rare, obscure electronics

September 25, 2016

Once a month in the summer, a small parking lot on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's campus transforms into a high-tech flea market known for its outlandish offerings. Tables overflow with antique radio equipment, ...

Indonesia struggles to tap volcano power

September 25, 2016

Columns of steam shoot from the ground at an Indonesian power plant sitting in the shadow of an active volcano, as energy is tapped from the red-hot underbelly of the archipelago.

Hyperloop pushes dream of low-cost futuristic transport

September 23, 2016

Is it a plane, is it a train? No, say supporters of Hyperloop, a futuristic mode of transport floated by Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk that promises high-tech, high-speed and cheap travel over long distances.

First test of driverless minibus in Paris Saturday

September 24, 2016

The French capital's transport authority will on Saturday carry out its first test of a driverless minibus, in the hope that regular routes for the hi-tech vehicles will be up and running within two years.

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jeffpinkham
4.8 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2011
WOW
Can't wait to have a smartphone with that king of power inside
Ricochet
not rated yet Nov 11, 2011
I've been desperately needing to trade out my Droid 1 as it and its battery has been heat-damaged (not from overclocking, thank you, but from the freakin' hot Texas summer and forced to use it during limo runs), but I'm gonna wait for this to come out. I can limp along until then, and it'll be well worth the wait. Hopefully they'll be out before Hanuchrismaquanzakah.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.