Jan 19 AT 11:45 AM Taylor Wimberly 42 Comments

NVIDIA to announce Tegra 3 next month at Mobile World Congress?

A new report by Scott Bicheno of Hexus suggest that Tegra 3 is primed for a MWC launch in Barcelona next month. I have no information to confirm this, but based on the public statements of NVIDIA’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang and our interview with Michael Rayfield, I believe the time has come for the next generation of Tegra processors.

Last year at NVIDIA’s GTC show I asked Jen-Hsun what Tegra meant to the Android ecosystem. Little did I know that he would reveal Tegra 3 is almost done, Tegra 4 is underway, and there would be a new Tegra every year.

NVIDIA announced Tegra 2 at CES 2010 so I had a small hope we might see Tegra 3 at CES 2011, but I think they didn’t want to overshadow all the Tegra 2 product announcements that took place.

When we interviewed Michael Rayfield at CES 2011 and asked him about when new details on Tegra 3 might emerge he responded, “It will be pretty quick. I believe I will have my next generation Tegra in production probably before my competitors have their dual-core in production. And so that talks a lot about velocity.”

We don’t know what competitors he was referring to, but Qualcomm has yet to show us any dual-core Snapdragon smartphones (only demos). Texas Instruments also revealed that their dual-core OMAP4430 was in BlackBerry Playbook, but we have yet to see any smartphones get announced.

I believe that Qualcomm and Texas Instruments will finally get their dual-core processors inside some Android phones at MWC, so NVIDIA has the chance to rain on their parade with a next-generation Tegra announcement.

Little is known about Tegra 3, but NVIDIA shed some light on it at CES. Michael Rayfield said, “We have to continue to do more with less power. When my next generation of Tegra comes out, it will do everything that Tegra 2 does and I’ll have more headroom. So I will continue to push that.”

NVIDIA also hinted that quad-core mobile processors were “coming in the near future” in their recent whitepaper on Tegra 2. I have a hard time believing that a quad-core Tegra 3 will be announced next month, but NVIDIA is the only computer technology company that continues to surprise me.

What do you think NVIDIA has up their sleeve for MWC next month? Could we really see a quad-core mobile processor in production this soon?

Source: Hexus

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://twitter.com/freekyfrogy chaz

    I think it’s more likely that the tegra 3 will be either a faster dual-core, or a tri-core like the armada chipset announced a while back. Although I do think there’s a strong possibility of the tegra 4 chipset being quad-core.

  • SprintStrikesSwimmingly

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

  • http://Website Mark

    I bet it will be able to mow my lawn, wash the dishes, make my bed as well all while I’m playing dungeon defenders with a 20 min track playing and the GPS nav pulling directions and maps on the fly…without being connected to a charger.

    • http://Website brookmarin

      yes it will do all that when you sign your contract… but the fine print says you have to sell your soul and all your earthly belongings to the devil.

      • geniusdog254

        But don’t all of us in the US already do that when we sign a contract for cell service?

  • http://Website dagamer34

    I think I remember reading somewhere that Tegra 3 would be in products in the Q3/Q4 time frame.

    • http://Website Lucian Armasu

      I believe Tegra 3 will be in products in summer or early autumn. Why? Because Tegra 2 was already available in some noname products in early autumn, and that was with some technical issues they had for like 2 months.

      But why haven’t we seen Tegra 2 in some “real” tablets and phones until now and we’ll see them this spring? Because the software wasn’t ready to take advantage of it. So I think Tegra 2 is already at half of its life cycle. We’ll see Tegra 2 tablets in March and April, but we’re probably going to see Tegra 3 tablets and phones in July-September. The software should be ready for it this time around.

      There’s a low chance it will be a quad core because I don’t think they moved that fast to 28 nm manufacturing process, and a quad core at 40 nm might use too much energy (unless they found a way to dramatically reduce energy consumption through other ways). Also 4 40nm cores on same chip might make the chip too big and eat into the battery space. But if they do manage to make Tegra 3 a quad core, it will definitely blow away anything else on the market and SHOCK its competitors who will only get out 1-1.5 dual cores around that time or later. The Nvidia CEO seems crazy enough to want to pull something like this off.

      But like I said, it’s a little unlikely. The safe bet would be that it’s a 1.5 Ghz dual core with support for OpenCL and CUDA, which would stil come out before its equivalent competitors, like they’ve already said.

      My only hope is that Tegra 3 will be used in Nexus 3, because it would be the perfect way for Google to set the hardware standard for the next 12 months, the way they did with Nexus one, and UNLIKE they did with Nexus S. I hope Google doesn’t disappoint once again. I also hope this chip (and the other upcoming dual core chips) will enable hardware acceleration (and WebGL) the way we’ll have it in Chrome 10, Firefox 4 and IE9. Anything to make the mobile browser render faster.


  • http://Website AceoStar

    I think they’ll keep it dual core, improve the speed a bit and announce some radical improvement in power usage. If they market it right and could produce them cheaply enough they could stand to wipe out at least TI’s OMAP :p

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      TI is not going anywhere. RIM will use them for the Playbook and I would expect to see their dual-core CPUs in the next generation of BlackBerry phones.

      • http://Website Lucian Armasu

        We’ve already seen most of their roadmap for 2011. They won’t make a dual core phone until 2012. And knowing RIM they’ll release a dual core 1 Ghz “flagship phone” when everyone else has moved to dual core 1.5 Ghz or quad core chips.

    • http://Website TareX

      I agree. It will probably be an Armada equivalent. We should see it in phones by holiday season 2011; maybe in the next Nexus….

      As for myself, Tegra 2 will satisfy my needs till I upgrade to a Glasses-free 3D phone (done right) by the time Tegra 4 (or its equivalents) are in phones….

      It does, however, sound like something NVIDIA would do (announce Tegra 3 to overshadow all the other dual-core announcements at MWC)

  • http://Website J-Man

    Wow, they just released the first T2 phone and already the talk about T3 starts? This thing’s going way too quickly.

  • http://Website Anthony

    What’s with all the “my next generation of Tegra”? I realize Mike is a key player for the Tegra chip over at NVIDIA, but him labeling Tegra as his just kind of struck me as odd.

  • WickedToby741

    I often wonder if Android and its hardware are advancing maybe a little too quickly. I mean I love how new features and hardware are always coming, but right now you can buy a phone and in two months its obsolete. A good chunk of new apps are developed are for the newest hardware and software and those who just recently bought their phones are left out in the cold. Most people sign two year contracts and have no intention of upgrading before the subsidy kicks in. Its these people who get shafted when half a year into their contract, all of the sudden their phone can’t download the latest and greatest apps. This is one area where Apple really has it figured out. One OS and hardware update a year and the OS update gets pushed to the most recent device (launched one year ago) so that you’re phone only becomes obsolete after precisely two years, or when you can upgrade. Android needs to implement some similar app development requirements (your app must run on the most two recent OS updates) and maybe slow down Android versions to once a year. Hardware manufacturers may be able to better keep up with that too as far as updating devices.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Generally speaking, any phone’s hardware will be outdated in just six months. However, software updates continue to expand the life of a device by adding new features.

      • http://Website 4G or Not To 4G

        @Taylor Wimberly only if you can get the upgrade…just ask Sony and Samsung:)

    • http://Website Jorge

      My 1 year old nexus one can download and run any new app…

  • http://Website UniqueNate

    I wish they wwould slow down sometimes.

    Taylor, do you see Tegra 3 in phones before the year is over?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I expect we will see a next-gen Tegra in phones before the end of the year.

      And why do you want them to slow down? NVIDIA is actually making Qualcomm and TI speed up their slow release cycle.

      Don’t you want faster phones that use less power?

      • http://Website trdracer21

        i want less power faster phone but damn should i wait or should i buy

      • http://Website UniqueNate

        Reason I want them to slow down is because it puts everything out of sync. That’s one reason why Amdroid is so fragmented. Just make certain things yearly. Let Tegra 2 shine this year and Tegra 3 next year. Even when they show something one year, they’ll show something going right into the next year making it seem like it was a feell year when it was months ago. It’s power over quality performance now a days in this mobile game. Believe me I will get the latest thing out. Hopefully it satisfies me and I won’t be like ugh when Tegra 4 comes or whatever else. I was just saying.

        • http://Website ian

          Why would you want them to slow down there release cycle if they can be as fast as they are? Screw fragmentation, just dont buy shitbrick phones that obviously will never be updated. Nvidia is shaping up to overtake the other mobile chip manufacturers which is absolutely incredible given their slow start. tegra ftw

        • http://Website 4G or Not To 4G

          I am pretty sure that a Tegra 2 today should be good at least for two years…unless your on Verizon, then you better hope it is better longer:)

  • http://HEXUS Scott B

    Rayfield has stressed how pleased he is that Tegra 2 made it into devices a year after launch, so he’ll certainly be aiming for that with Tegra 3. My guess would be Tegra 3 devices at MWC 2012.

    Thanks for the link Android and me :)

    • http://Website LeoZ

      I actually think we wont have to wait that long. It took a year for us to finally see Tegra 2 devices because the manuafacturers were hesitant to put a new SoC in their devices. Before Tegra 2 the only major design win was the Zune HD with the original Tegra chip and that wasn’t that much of a hit. So now that Manufacturers see what NVIDIA is all about and what their Tegra chips can do, they will adopt a lot faster

    • http://Website LeoZ

      I actually think we wont have to wait that long. It took a year for us to finally see Tegra 2 devices because the manuafacturers were hesitant to put a new SoC in their devices. Before Tegra 2 the only major design win was the Zune HD with the original Tegra chip and that wasn’t that much of a hit. So now that Manufacturers see what NVIDIA is all about and what their Tegra chips can do, they will adopt a lot faster.

  • http://Website Jorge

    Buy the phone you want and when you can, don’t let the manufacturers decide for you by slowing down, all you have to do is put some thought on your purchase.

  • kwills88

    I haven’t even owned a tegra 2 phone yet, now i gotta think about owning a tegra 3 phone…you can’t be involved in the tech world without money or having a job, but this is the life we choose, at least i did….can’t wait to hear more about this.

    • http://Website LeoZ

      If Tegra 3 really is announced at MWC I wanna see how soon we can see devices with it. If a Tegra 3 phone is going to be released before the end of this year, I’m just gonna skip Tegra 2 altogether and go to T3

      • kwills88

        idk if my g1 will survive waiting for a tegra 3 phone, i can’t even use it for 15mins with it just dying on me…and i literally mean 15mins.

  • http://Website gad

    No hiding it Taylor, you LOVE nvidia. The passion with which you write about nvidia is infectious

  • http://Website Omair

    I think we will see this before 2011 ends and i think its most likely going to be a 1.5 Ghz tri-core as that would make the most sense however as Lucian said the safe bet is a 1.5 Ghz dual-core.

  • http://Website UniqueNate


    Do you still want the Atrix 4G or, will you wait? It’s not set in stone yet. If you do get the Atrix 4G will you get a Tegra 3 phone if available this year?

  • HackNet

    One thing I do not understand….Why do majority of the people on this planet have “herd mentality?”

    These companies control your annual income. They will feed you bits and pieces of technology, and you will pay in hundreds for them. They will feed you in bits like your a crack head working the streets for a quick puff of that “magical smoke.”

    The government was talking about inserting microscopic sized chipset that includes your personal and financial data into your hand. So wherever you go, like tagged chickens, you will be located.
    People got pissed and the government brushed it off to some unknown electronic company that the US government created behind closed doors and called it a “Suggestion.”
    People were praying and singing and dancing once they story left the news channels. They thought it was over. (hurray jesus walks…but no. if jesus walked, nasa would of found a footprint)
    Then they came up with a better idea that is as brilliant as the atomic bomb, gps on cellular phones which is being used by 7 out of 10 people in the United States of Israel…I mean America.
    Guess what kids??? More and More and More phones will be thrown out to the public like candy. Onces the party is over. You are all addicted and tagged. Good Bye.

    • http://Website ian

      someone wants attention…

    • http://Website Tinfoil HAT

      STHU crazy man !

      • http://www.avaqom.com HackNet

        i’m crazy because you’re too stupid to comprehend? ok sure. it’s people like you that keep the rest of us down. stupid zombies.

  • http://Website mohammed al-sawahiri

    i have iphone

  • http://Website dezvous

    Cores cores cores! All while I still feel like my quad-core desktop is completely underutilized. We need to come up with a way to really put these cores to use before we just keep adding more if you ask me.

  • http://Website Hugh Hefner

    wake me up when we got dual-core p0rns and quad-core p0rns!

  • http://Website cb2000a

    It will be like Hal from the movie “2001 A Space Odyssey”.

    “I would like to place a call Hal”

    “I’m sorry Dave, but I cannot allow that”

  • http://www.compare3dgames.com/ Dips

    The latest GeForce GTX 460 GPUs have greater capability to handle stereo 3D gaming as well as Blu-ray playback on 3D.Their affordable price will make them more attractive for SLI arrangements.