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CES 2013 | Nvidia unveils Tegra 4 SoC

As expected, NVIDIA has taken the wraps off the quad-core Tegra 4 processor. The company's newest SoC features 4 Cortex-A15-based cores and offers faster graphics performance as well as optional 4G/LTE.

It was no secret that NVIDIA planned to unveil the Tegra 4 processor at CES this year, and they have done just that in Las Vegas. Codenamed "Wayne", the new Tegra 4 is supposedly the "Fastest Mobile Processor" and is based on a 28nm manufacturing process. The new System-on-a-Chip also features an ARM Cortex-A15-based, 4-core processor with ULP GeForce graphics and optional 4G/LTE. 

At the CES event, NVIDIA demonstrated the Tegra 4 going head-to-head with the Samsung Exynos dual-SoC 5250, and the Tegra 4 easily came out on top as far as web browsing is concerned. In addition, the graphics performance of NVIDIA's latest is expected to be 6 times as powerful as the Tegra 3 thanks to its 72 GPU cores. The SoC will reportedly consume 45% less power due to the addition of a 2nd-generation Power Saver CPU Core.

The Tegra 4 also ushers in NVIDIA's new Computational Photography Architecture, which allows real time processing of HDR photo and video. Unfortunately, NVIDIA still hasn't managed to integrate a LTE modem onto the chip directly, but voice and data are supported through an optional Icera i500 chipset. Direct integration is expected some time in 2013, but details and an exact timeframe have yet to be made available.

Tegra 4 Key Features:

  • GeForce GPU with 72 custom cores
  • Quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU, plus additional Battery Saver Core
  • Computational Photography Architecture
  • LTE capability via optional Icera i500 chipset
  • 4k ultra-high-def video support
  • 45% less energy consumption than Tegra 3 processors


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Ronald Tiefenthäler/Omar Al-Qudsi, 2013-01- 7 (Update: 2013-01- 8)