Jan 07 AT 12:02 AM Taylor Wimberly 60 Comments

NVIDIA announces Tegra 4, 72-core GPU, quad-core CPU (Cortex-A15), 4G LTE modem


Tonight NVIDIA finally revealed their Tegra 4 chip, which they claim is the world’s fastest mobile processor. In line with earlier leaks, Tegra 4 offers the world’s first mobile chip with quad-core Cortex-A15 CPUs. This latest generation of ARM’s CPU core has appeared in new devices like the Samsung Nexus 10, but NVIDIA claims their design is up to 2x faster than Samsung’s Exynos 5 Dual chip.

“Tegra 4 provides enormous processing power and efficiency to power smartphones and tablets, gaming devices, auto systems and PCs,” said Phil Carmack, Senior Vice President of the Tegra business at NVIDIA. “Its new capabilities, particularly in the area of computational photography, will help improve a whole range of existing products and lead to the creation of exciting new ones.”

Highlights of Tegra 4 include:

  • 72 custom NVIDIA GeForce GPU cores - six times the GPU horsepower of Tegra 3 for more realistic gaming experiences and higher resolution displays. Enjoy a variety of unique mobile device innovations in media, gaming, and web–including WebGL and HTML5.
  • The first quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU- for 2.6x faster web browsing and breakthrough performance for apps. Tegra 4 harnesses ARM’s most advanced CPU cores ever, plus a second-generation battery saver core, to deliver record levels of performance and battery life. This Variable SMP architecture invented by NVIDIA enables four performance cores to be used for max burst, when needed, with each core independently and automatically enabled and disabled based on workload. The single battery-saver core handles low-power tasks like active standby, music and video playback and is fully transparent to the OS and applications.
  • Worldwide 4G LTE voice and data support - through an optional chipset, the NVIDIA Icera i500 modem processor Tegra 4 leverages proven Icera technology in an optional chipset to deliver exceptional mobile communication capability.
  • New computational photography capabilities — dramatically enhancing mobile imaging for HDR photos and video. This new mobile architecture fuses together the processing power of the CPU, GPU and ISP to allow device makers to dramatically enhance mobile imaging. This enables the first Always-on HDR camera with features like live HDR preview, instant HDR photos, HDR video, HDR burst and HDR Flash.
  • Superb power efficiency, with a second-generation battery saver core and PRISM 2 display technology — giving up to 14 hours of HD video playback on smartphones.

Via: Marketwire

Source: NVIDIA Tegra

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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  • redraider133

    Can’t wait to see what first devices they put this in. Hopefully can compete with the best and maybe in the moto x phone or upcoming htc m7


      New iPhone 5S and iPad will maul this outdated chip. Nvidia chips always flop, like Tegra 3 showed….

      • Auzo

        Well lets think about this.

        1) There is no CPU architecture out right now or that will be out in the next year faster than the A15. Qualcomm’s Krait and Apple’s Swift (A6(X)) both give up speed for battery life. That said there is no way that in the next year anyone can “maul” the Tegra 4 from a general compute perspective (there wont be an A15 octo-core chip out).

        2) On the GPU side lets assume for now that we get 6x increase in performance over the T3 (which i feel is reasonable) right now the Iphone 5 is about 3x faster than the T3 on average and the Ipad4 is close to 4-5x faster. We can also assume that the next apple chip (A7) will use the newest gpu from imagination (SGX 6xx) I’d expect a 30-50% increase per core from the last generation, but lets say it doubled. Then yes the new chip would top the T4 on the GPU side but not by all that much. And this would have happened 6 months after T4 had been released.

        So we all know no one will be king of the SoCs forever, but IMO the T4 is going to end 2013 still as one of if not the top chip. Its really raised the bar.

        • Auzo

          disclaimer: for part 1 I am referring to ARM chips only

        • Admir Hodzic

          they usually over exaggerate the performance like they do every year i think it should beat the s4 pro by maybe 10% precent might be wrong but we will see.

        • cecilyen

          Qualcomm is said to release their 800 SOC, which is 75% faster than S4 Pro, this year. So, T4 may not take the lead for long as you speculated.

          • brandnew234

            Yes, and then there’s the Exynos 5450 (not the 5250 in the Nexus 10). It may not be much faster than Tegra 4 and Snapdragon 800.

      • Brandon J

        The iPad 4 is up to par with this brand new Tegra4 chip. WOW. iPad is an impressive device (i have one, my sister too). iPad 5 will be twice as fast!!!!

        • brandnew234

          Actually the iPad isn’t quite on the same level, the GPU is only one half of the chip. The CPU in Tegra 4 is more than 2 times as fast as the iPad 4th gen.

    • honourbound68

      Better yet… I can’t wait for the 2013 25 days of TEGRA. Woot!

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    Hopefully better battery life, more open sourced, better DAC and video, as well as HSPa+ 42mbps support.

  • Adryan maldonado

    Yes FREAKING AWESOME!!!!! I wanna know what the tablet they used in that demo was

    • Dirge

      It was a Microsoft Surface running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. :D

  • ARtur Benchimol

    Nooossa, já era bom o tegra 3, imagine o 4…

  • tanman888

    Can’t wait for this year’s 25 days of Tegra (4)!

    • af13

      Speaking of which…. did they ever announce a winner? It still says “winner (coming soon)” for the last prize. My fingers are beginning to cramp up after having been crossed so long.

      • WlfHart

        Haven’t seen an announced winner yet, but I have a feeling they would have emailed the winner by now.

  • David Sumner

    Nice to see Nvidia Stepping their game up a bit.
    But if you are comparing it to the chipset that is in the Ipad4 its only slightly faster.
    Im curious to see how this translates to real world tests.

    • brandnew234

      Geekbench results state the iPad 4th gen gets 1750, and the Nexus 10 gets 2350, the Tegra 4 being nearly twice as fast should score about 4300. That means that the CPU and GPU together should score 2.5 times better than any iPad.

  • Balthazar B

    If the LTE radio is multiband, maybe we’ll see this SoC in the Nexus 5 later this year.

    • epps720

      Agree! All I know is I need this chip in my next phone!

  • David Sumner

    The specs are mid boggleing non the less

  • jamal adam

    Well damn! Tegra 4 is taking things to the next level. I like what I see.

  • Shazam

    Can’t wait to see the phones that will be released with this in 2013.

  • NamelessTed

    Their new i500 modem technology is going to revolutionize cell phones

  • YMS123


  • http://genesischess.com/ MJM128

    The HDR and software modem aspect are extremely fascinating. I’m hoping HTC puts some tegra4 love, in their next phone!

  • nikhilverma

    It would be great to see it running a device in the near future.

  • rpras

    This year’s Nexuses are looking good! Put this beast in Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 II and I’ll have a merry Christmas indeed!

  • mgear356

    the browser test wasnt fair. Nexus 10 uses laggy chrome and the test device is using stock aosp browser.

  • Ardrid

    Android has scored a major design with this one. With the huge Steam library I have, I’m very interested in seeing how this plays out. If it’s price right and there aren’t any latency issues (which is a major problem with the Remote Play feature of the PSP), this could be a fantastic handheld. Access to all of Google’s services just makes it even sweeter.

    • Ardrid

      If it wasn’t clear, I was referencing Project Shield, powered by Tegra 4.

      As to Tegra 4 itself, it’s a great evolutionary step up from Tegra 3. The LTE chipset alone makes it a worthy upgrade.

  • Jeremy Sheehan

    I wonder if this will help any of the battery drain issues that LTE is coupled with. Love my Bionic, but I’ll be damned if the battery doesn’t drain fast when I’m on 4G/LTE.

    • Dirge

      I think it’ll help a lot since it looks like the modem is integrated.

      • Dags -

        It’s not, it’s a separate chip (Icera i500).

        • Jeremy Sheehan

          lol – so much for battery drain.

  • Dirge

    Tegra 4 looks to be a beast of a chip. Now all that’s left is for Samsung, TI, and Qualcomm to show off what they have. :D It’s going to be a great year for Android.

  • Nicko01

    That die is beautiful. Four+one CPU cores and 72 GPU cores… I can’t wait to see some benchmarks on this thing. This is some impressive technology.

  • Admir Hodzic

    How does this compare with the s4 pro quadcore since it’s the fastest thing out right now?

    • brandnew234

      More than twice as fast in every way. And actually the Exynos 5250 is the fastest.

  • ReaL_MaD

    Arghhhhhhhhh! What`s with the font on the 3rd slide !!

    The chip looks amazing though, can`t wait to get my hands on a device with it!

  • jerrbomb

    Awesome.. I I’m getting my Nexus 7 this Thursday.. I so ill still be up to date with the T3 SoC.. I and when the next gen Nexus 7 comes out ill still have something up to date.. I love Tegra and I’m also a big fan of D4 so we will see what every one has to offer considering Android has definitely stepped it’s the up…


    Exciting stuff. Would really like to see this chip find itself in a Nexus phone sometime this year. Nexus 5 perhaps?

  • dpleus

    Well now I know what will be in my next phone come October. But the question I want an answer to is if I should wait to get a new tablet, or go with the Galaxy Note 10.1. To be honest, I’ll probably have a better idea by the end of the week after CES.

  • triangle

    The T4 sounds like a great chip for tablets. I’m still not sold on how they perform on phones since it hasn’t been tested extensively with LTE. Hopefully, they perform as well as, if not not better than, the Snapdragon krait quadcores since they are the best our there right now for LTE devices.

  • kicost

    nvidia cant be stopped by nothing…. cant wait for an asus with tegra 4 :D

  • alexanderharri3

    This looks amazing, can’t wait to see this or an Exynos in my next phone…or a Snapdragon S4 Pro. What great times we live in for mobile processors!

  • krudd

    Exynos 5 will wipe the floor with this

  • Derek

    I’ll be interested to see the battery life numbers on this Tegra 4. Cortex A15 was never intended to be used in the mobile realm. It was designed as a server chip, so its powerful but energy efficiency was never a priority. That’s a huge reason why Apple didnt go with a purely A15 based chip in the A6, they modified it a great deal. Also, Qualcomm came up with Krait as an A15 alternative.

    • cthonctic

      I’m curious what makes you say that?

      ARM themselves stated “high-end home computing” and “servers” (although that’s small home servers) as possible usage scenarios but mobile computing is still the cornerstone of the Cortex series. What is very important is that ARM chips scale very well in terms of power vs. performance by default, so building mobile devices with multicore A15 is a rather natural evolution.

  • aykutb

    Hmm, seems like a monster, lovely :)

  • cthonctic

    The latest addition to the Tegra family sure does sound delicious. Can’t wait to see which 2013 device will feature it.

  • lokidokie

    Yeah that does sound pretty cool. Would love to have a Ooya type device with this in it. Would sell my 360!

  • rbcameron1

    Should be a great chip for the company… but what are they doing entering the portable game console market for? I can only imagine…

  • donger

    Wow, specs look sweet.

  • logrish

    Wicked :)

  • Nathan D.

    This chip is bad ass, I so want to have a tablet with this.

  • digvijaya07

    Waitin waitin n waiting for device comin with Tegra 4 ..

  • Adrian

    we are having a debate, they are having champagne!

  • Nathaniel Lewis

    I wonder if we will be able to finally run CUDA on ARM with these. (Well, the first CUDA on ARM goes to that one dev board with a Tegra 3 and a Quadro M).