CES 2013: Nvidia unveils Tegra 4, claims world's fastest mobile processor crown

The Tegra 4 has at its heart 72 custom Nvidia GeForce GPU cores, giving it six-times the graphics processing power of the Tegra 3.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Chip maker Nvidia has formally introduced the Tegra 4 mobile processor, claiming it is the world's fastest mobile chip.

The Tegra 4 -- which was previously known by the codename "Wayne" -- has at its heart 72 custom Nvidia GeForce GPU cores, giving it six-times the graphics processing power of the current Tegra 3. Backing up the GPU is a new quad-core variant of ARM's Cortex-A15 CPU, a chip that Nvidia claims "delivers 2.6x faster web browsing and breakthrough performance for apps."

The Tegra 4 also comes with worldwide support for 4G LTE voice and data by utilizing the optional fifth-generation Nvidia Icera i500 chipset. Not only is this new chip far more power efficient than conventional modems, the i500 is 40 percent smaller than its predecessor, yet delivers four times the processing capability.

See also12 superior replacements for default iOS 6 apps

"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."

To allow devices to last longer between charges, the Tegra 4 includes a second-generation battery saver core for low power usage, and PRISM 2 Display technology that reduces backlight power. These, and other improvements means the Tegra 4 consumes up to 45 percent less power than the Tegra 3, allowing for up to 14 hours of HD video playback on devices.

The Tegra 4 also comes equipped with Computational Photography Architecture, which automatically delivers high dynamic range (HDR) photos and video by combining the processing power of the GPU, CPU and the camera's image-signal processor.

Image source: Nvidia.

Editorial standards