Feature Article

January 06, 2014

Nvidia Tegra K1 to Bring Top-class Graphical Processing, 64-bit Computing to Android Devices

Nvidia has unveiled the next generation of its mobile processors and, by all accounts, it seems the company has really outdone itself. While last year’s Tegra 4 was no slouch either in terms of performance or sales — although it mostly ended up only in tablets like the Surface 2 rather than phones — the Tegra K1 seems poised to start a revolution.

First things first: In terms of raw power, the new Tegra K1 offers graphical capabilities — Nvidia is a producer of GPUs first and foremost, after all — that far outstrip the Tegra 4. Indeed, while the Tegra 4 offers a respectable CUDA-core count of 72, the K1 offers a whopping 192 cores in the Kepler mobile GPU. In this way, the Tegra K1 approaches laptop or even desktop-class graphical power.

"Over the past two decades, NVIDIA invented the GPU and has developed more graphics technologies than any other company," said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO of NVIDIA, in a statement. "With Tegra K1, we're bringing that heritage to mobile. It bridges the gap for developers, who can now build next-gen games and apps that will run on any device."

If that wasn’t enough, the Tegra K1 is offered in two pin-to-pin compatible versions, the first of which uses a 32-bit quad-core, 4-Plus-1 ARM Cortex A15 CPU. The second, meanwhile, uses a custom, Nvidia-designed 64-bit dual “Super Core” CPU — the first CPU the company has ever developed. This CPU, codenamed “Denver,” offers high single and multi-thread performance and is based on the ARMv8 architecture, offering a high degree of efficiency even with 64-bit computing. Of course, both versions sport the same Kepler GPU.

The 32-bit Tegra K1 is expected in devices as early as the first half of 2014, maxing out at 2.3GHz, while the 64-bit version should appear clocked up to 2.5GHz in the latter half of the year.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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