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Nvidia Confirms Quad-core Tegra 3 Plans

Nvidia Confirms Quad-core Tegra 3 Plans

Nvidia has confirmed that its Tegra 3 mobile platform will include a quad-core option.

An Nvidia spokesperson has confirmed the company's plans to push its ARM-based Tegra mobile platform into the realms of quad-core computing.

While firm details are still not available, Nvidia's general manager of mobile business, Michael Rayfield, is quoted in a recent interview on Hexus saying that a Tegra 3 chip will be making an appearance very soon.

According to the site, the new Tegra will pack four processing cores into its design, potentially making it the first tablet-orientated quad-core chip to hit the market as a commercially available product.

The announcement of a quad-core Tegra 3 comes hot on the heels of Nvidia's announcement of Project Denver; a Tegra equivalent for the desktop and server market, which combines a general-purpose ARM-based CPU with a GeForce-class GPU in a single product.

Sadly, though, Nvidia is playing its Tegra 3 cards extremely close to its chest. While a quad-core design is confirmed, the company is being hazy on a firm release schedule.

We can speculate, however. Given that the Tegra 2 platform was launched at last year's Consumer Electronics Show, but Tegra 3 didn't make an appearance at this year's event, it seems likely that the company is planning to unveil the chip at the Mobile World Congress expo net month.

With the tablet market expected to explode in 2011, thanks largely to the launch of Google's Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' mobile platform and the enhancements it brings for large-format devices, Nvidia could well be on to a winner with a quad-core chip - providing it can keep the power draw to a minimum.

Would a quad-core CPU would convince you to buy a tablet, or is Nvidia on a hiding to nothing with Tegra 3? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

9 Comments

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Mraedis 21st January 2011, 12:03 Quote
And they keep upping the number of cores... Soon laptops and cellphones will be indistinguishable.
chrisb2e9 21st January 2011, 12:20 Quote
I was sad to see that Tegra 2 didn't really take off the way that it should of. Hope to see more of it but I want to see specs for tegra 3 before I get my hopes up on it.
maverik-sg1 21st January 2011, 13:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
I was sad to see that Tegra 2 didn't really take off the way that it should of. Hope to see more of it but I want to see specs for tegra 3 before I get my hopes up on it.

Tegra 2 has taken a while to get to market, mostly because nvidia was not a proven supplier in this market, so lots of product testing was required before retail products were released, also becuase they ideally wanted android 3 and this was delayed.

There are a large number of big brand names releasing tegra 2 based products into their product ranges (from smartphones to tablets) so I predict that Tegra 2 will be a integral part of the tablet market come Q4 2011 - Andriod 3 should allow this product to do more than is currently available using the older 2.2 platform.

Again the continual growth of multi core (3 or more) hardware now expands in the mobile market. With this hardware becoming mainstream for all platforms - my hope is that more and more developers can embrace this technology and take full advantage of all the cores, from the OS upwards - roll on 64bit only products too (although mainstream 64bit software is just a pipedream for now I feel) :)

Summary - this is great news and I will watch the progress of the ARM based desktop hardware (and associate software delveopment) with great interest.
memeroot 21st January 2011, 13:54 Quote
this year is meant to be the year for Tegra 2
javaman 21st January 2011, 16:12 Quote
This is gonna be great for media but Unfortunately I can see adoption being slow for gaming. Developers will take the console approach to development ie. design for the mass market which won't push graphics to the limit. Your gonna need developers with the sight to push their games which could happen, steam to develop another cross platform flavour or Nvidia to stretch the way its meant to be played to the ultra portable market. I'm still waiting for the day gaming arrives on the ultra portable and doesn't feel like 10years ago unless its deus ex.
TWeaK 21st January 2011, 17:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Article
... the company is being hazy on a firm release schedule.

We can speculate, however.

This reminded me of that Armstrong and Miller royal correspondent sketch..

'We can of course speculate. It may be that Nvidia are including one of their new GF110-based GPUs, but they could also use the GF104 or the GF100 or even some of the older G80-based architecture that we all knew and loved for many, many years. It's quite likely they could be releasing this new product by the end of the year in October, November, December or maybe even earlier in August or September. It could also be that they delay the release until 2012 and instead release it in January, February, March, April, May, June or even the month in which the olympic games will start, that is, July.'
Turbotab 22nd January 2011, 11:28 Quote
Where does it state on the Hexus article that Tegra will be quad-core??? The best I could find was this....

"So from that, we'd be very surprised if NVIDIA doesn't launch Tegra 3 at Mobile World Congress next month. Unfortunately we couldn't get any other gory details such as CPU cores (four, hopefully) and manufacturing process (28nm, we expect), but we expect to have them within a month."

Given that Nvidia aren't scheduled to launch a 28nm GPU until Autumn, I can’t see how they would squeeze in 4 cores using 40nm Fabs, and achieve good power consumption, this means that we probably won’t see quad-cores until early 2012.

Add to the mix the issues Nvidia had with their 40nm process and Fermi, and considering how sensitive phone manufactures are to power consumption, it would be silly for them to rush Tegra 3, only for power and yield issues to scare off potential buyers.

It looks like the CPU arms race will bring too much power to smartphones by 2012!!. Once a device has a dual-core 1.5+ GHz chip, that runs 1080P flash smoothly it will be powerful enough for 99.9 % of the public, just like a Q6600 still seems fast to most people. At this rate people will be able to fold on their phone's GPU at PS3 levels before long:D
l3v1ck 22nd January 2011, 20:03 Quote
It'll be interesting to see how Nvidia deal with the issue of battery life.
It'll take some good power management to stop these chips sucking the life out of batteries. That's an issue smartphones already have, the fact they need charging every day.
LightningPete 24th January 2011, 22:36 Quote
Perhaps this is the reason for Tegra 3 to be held close to their chests. Wait to see if Tegra 2 takes off wildly, then everyone gets hooked on these insane products that can play modest games and provide amazing hd video playback on something so small. Then Bam! If things couldnt get any better, they launch Tegra 3 at the end of the year to boost the market into its full potential. I mean seriously. If we dont know the potential for Tegra2 and it proves succesful and amazing, imagine what the Tegra 3 line will produce. Perhaps like the new nintendo 3ds, we could see Tegra 3 provide the capabilites for 3D tablets and 3D phones?
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