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Nvidia announces Tegra K1 Kepler-based SoC

Nvidia announces Tegra K1 Kepler-based SoC

Nvidia's latest Tegra K1 chip features 192 Kepler-based graphics processing cores and a choice of four 32-bit or two 64-bit ARM processing cores.

Nvidia has officially announce its first Kepler-based Tegra process, the Tegra K1, which boasts 192 graphics processing cores and a choice of four 32-bit ARM Cortex-A15 cores or a pair of Nvidia-customised 64-bit versions.

Part of Nvidia's push to offer the highest-performance parts for mobile gaming devices, the new Tegra K1 processor features 192 graphics processing cores with full support for the CUDA GPGPU offload language, DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.4 - not just the mobile-centric OpenGL ES favoured by many of its competitors - alongside the primary ARM-based central processing cores. Based on the same Kepler architecture as its latest desktop GPUs - although not the unified shader approach favoured by the desktop team - the latest chips promise considerable power at a low energy usage.

At the announcement last night, Nvidia promised two primary versions of the Tegra K1: a quad-core Cortex-A15 part, with the usual low-power 'companion core,' offering four 32-bit ARM cores running at up to 2.3GHz; or the first device in the company's Project Denver line-up, dropping to two cores but offering full 64-bit support and peak clock speeds of 2.5GHz.

Nvidia claims that the new processor brings desktop-like performance to the mobile market for the first time, and to prove that offered a demonstration of Unreal Engine 4 running directly on a Tegra K1 reference design system. Unreal's Tim Sweeney was at the unveiling, which took place on the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, to provide a handy sound-bite: 'We can take absolutely anything that runs on PC or on a console and run it on Tegra [K1],' Sweeney claimed. '[i]The differences between the platforms is really blurred.'

Sadly, Nvidia has been cagey on pricing for the parts and on how many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have signed up to produce Tegra K1 devices. It did, however, reveal a target market that should come as no surprise: the automotive industry, where Nvidia sees the chip powering both next-generation infotainment systems as well as controlling vehicle sub-systems directly. These applications will be developed, in part at least, at the company's automotive technology centre opened late last year in Michigan.

No release date for the first Tegra K1-based retail products was provided. To whet your appetite in the meantime, enjoy a copy of Nvidia's Tegra K1 Unreal Engine 4 demonstration.

10 Comments

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r3loaded 6th January 2014, 12:16 Quote
Impressive tech, but utterly useless unless they can score enough design wins this time around. Qualcomm's been eating everyone's lunch because their SoCs integrate a complete LTE baseband on-chip. Any word on whether Nvidia will be integrating their Icera software baseband IP onto Tegra K1?
Gareth Halfacree 6th January 2014, 12:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Any word on whether Nvidia will be integrating their Icera software baseband IP onto Tegra K1?
There's no mention of it, so I'm guessing the initial models won't include it - although, as with the previous Tegra release, there'll be an integrated version released in the near future, I'd bet. You're spot-on with Qualcomm, though: I interviewed 'em years ago, and heavy integration was their watchword - and it's sure as heck paying off now.
loftie 6th January 2014, 12:24 Quote
Depends if it's really meant for mobile, I could see this in an Android console ala Ouya.
rollo 6th January 2014, 12:32 Quote
Nvidia said post launch of this chip that there next chip would have LTE baseband on-chip so assumption says it does but thats not confirmed anywhere ive seen yet.

Anandtech usauly do a full breakdown on these sort of things and theres no mension there yet if its baseband on-chip or not.

Design wins depends on whos looking for a chip like this, Without baseband on-chip it wont be seen in mobile. In tablet it will just come down to cost of the chip vs competing platforms. If you take out nvidia shield which did not set the world alight theres very few tegra 4 products. Vizio and HP been the 2 main.tegra 4.
rollo 6th January 2014, 12:35 Quote
Ouya costs $99 tegra 4 in breakdown cost between $30-$35 so 1/3rd of Ouya total cost is going to go into a chip I have my douts on that one tbh.
loftie 6th January 2014, 12:39 Quote
Because no-one else is allowed to make an Android console like Ouya, but if they did they'd have to stick to the same price point?
rollo 6th January 2014, 12:57 Quote
Ouya has hardly been a runaway success, People will look at its numbers and see if they could make a profit doing it. Not sure a console priced at $50 more to play andriod games would do alot better than Ouya has.
DbD 6th January 2014, 15:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Nvidia said post launch of this chip that there next chip would have LTE baseband on-chip so assumption says it does but thats not confirmed anywhere ive seen yet.

Anandtech usauly do a full breakdown on these sort of things and theres no mension there yet if its baseband on-chip or not.

Design wins depends on whos looking for a chip like this, Without baseband on-chip it wont be seen in mobile. In tablet it will just come down to cost of the chip vs competing platforms. If you take out nvidia shield which did not set the world alight theres very few tegra 4 products. Vizio and HP been the 2 main.tegra 4.

I read somewhere LTE is on a separate nvidia chip.
loftie 6th January 2014, 17:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Ouya has hardly been a runaway success, People will look at its numbers and see if they could make a profit doing it. Not sure a console priced at $50 more to play andriod games would do alot better than Ouya has.

Neither were tablets originally.

Edit

Though this is relevant to tablet gaming too

From Anandtech
Quote:
NVIDIA had a port of Serious Sam 3 running on Tegra K1 demo hardware just fine. Any games that are prepped for Steam OS are very easy to port over to Android. Once you make the move to OpenGL, the rest is allegedly fairly simple.
Quote:
I suspect if we’re talking about moving over a library of existing titles that have already been substantially monetized, there doesn’t need to be all that much convincing. NVIDIA claims it’s already engaged with many game developers on this front, but I do believe it’ll still be an uphill battle.

I assume it couldn't run SteamOS without a fair amount of effort involved?
maverik-sg1 7th January 2014, 11:11 Quote
No one can deny how tough a market this product is playing in, I think it's success will be how well aligned the design features are with the innovations of fourth coming products.

Potentially, this will be the start of something different - not so certain smartphones are it's target market, more likely phablets and upwards - even some desktop AIO machines.

I read above someone saying about it being a bit much for playing Android games, yes it's over powered, but Android games need products like this to allow them to evolves.

When I look beyond current gaming on mobile devices I can see this also has the grunt which enables the possibility of ports are possible of our favourite games, not to mention how the lines between this technology and console will come become more blurred over the life cycle of the XBONE and PS4 (which I can only assume will be a lot shorter than the previous generation).

Looking beyond graphical grunt, some decent CPU power there, 64bit chips allow for further innovation into business products as well as the automotive sector which appears to be a growth area.

I am no expert on parallel computing but an extra 192 cores of parallel computational grunt must be useful for something.

I recall seeing an article a few months back about Nvidia offering Tegra GPU licenses, that in itself could be an interesting strategic move.
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