NVIDIA unveils Tegra 4, seen in prototype Windows tablet

At an event at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, NVIDIA has just announced their brand new mobile processor - the Tegra 4 - which expands on the capabilities of their previous smartphone chips. It comes with 72 GPU cores in a new ULP GeForce graphics processor, plus four ARM Cortex-A15 cores making it the first quad-core A15 chipset available; the low power companion core also makes a comeback in this chip.

4G LTE is seen in the slide, but unfortunately it still isn't integrated into the chipset, meaning an additional chip is required that will potentially use more battery than the integrated modem in Qualcomm's chipsets.

In a demonstration at the event, a tablet with a Tegra 4 chipset inside is seen to blitz the Nexus 10 in a web-page loading test, completing the task in around half the time. The Nexus 10 has an Exynos 5 chipset with two Cortex-A15 cores, whereas the Tegra 4 chip has four, and this speed increase was stressed at the event. It was also stated (via a graph) to be faster than the Apple A6X chip in the iPad 4

An NVIDIA Computational Photography Engine is also seen in the chipset, which enables the phone to take two photos basically instantly for beautiful "one shot" HDR photography. They claim this specialized photo engine can create HDR photos 10x faster than the engine used in the iPhone 5, meaning super quick high-dynamic range shots in 0.2 seconds. HDR video is possible thanks to this super-quick computational photography, which NVIDIA hopes can be expanded into other areas.

Also, the Tegra 4 chipset was seen doing live HDR video inside a prototype tablet with a Windows logo on it; this means we'll almost certainly see a new Windows RT device with NVIDIA's new chipset inside. Confusingly this tablet was mentioned to be running an Android app, so we're not sure what is going on there, but nevertheless they showed off a Windows tablet live on stage.

Source: NVIDIA

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Nvidia is all about propaganda, I couldn't wait to spend 670$ inc Tax to buy my first Xoom tablet with Tegra 2, which should be the fastest processor, then I realized that iPad is actually faster, then there was lot of talk about the future best Tegra 3, and today the surface and other tablets are relatively slow, iPad and other phones and tablets are faster.

Tegra 4 is the same I think, once released will be slower that what is out there.

There is nothing better than the latest Core i5, it is Power Hungryyyy, for a reason: “FAST!”

mobile development cycles are getting retarded these days, there's not even enough time to get a product to the market that the next best thing is pressing them to upgrade their entire line again. Even Apple is suffering this, with their "new new" iPad launched only 7 months after their previous one (pressure was put by competition in this case), and Samsung also went with the S3 about 10 months after the S2, with Nokia and other manufacturers also crunching in very short cycles (Lumia 920 is already impending an upgrade, on the Google end Nexus 4 launched 10 months after Galaxy Nexus, ICS only lasted 7 months)

Now we are at this stage where products based on Tegra 3 are still on the drawing board and Tegra 4 is around the corner. Sigh, the OUYA isn't even out for the general public yet, I called for this while the Kickstarter was running and nobody seemed to notice that even on Dec 2011 Tegra 3 was already outdated (slower than a Krait Snapdragon with Adreno 225).

Let's just hope that after this batch of A-15 cores gets released then release cycles can get back again to "normal", product design and time to market are way higher than what the CPU/GPU companies are pushing for. Either this, or every other company will need to pull an "iPhone" card from their sleeves and only design one generic phone that gets updated internals every now and then.

gonchuki said,
mobile development cycles are getting retarded these days, there's not even enough time to get a product to the market that the next best thing is pressing them to upgrade their entire line again. Even Apple is suffering this, with their "new new" iPad launched only 7 months after their previous one (pressure was put by competition in this case), and Samsung also went with the S3 about 10 months after the S2, with Nokia and other manufacturers also crunching in very short cycles (Lumia 920 is already impending an upgrade, on the Google end Nexus 4 launched 10 months after Galaxy Nexus, ICS only lasted 7 months)

Now we are at this stage where products based on Tegra 3 are still on the drawing board and Tegra 4 is around the corner. Sigh, the OUYA isn't even out for the general public yet, I called for this while the Kickstarter was running and nobody seemed to notice that even on Dec 2011 Tegra 3 was already outdated (slower than a Krait Snapdragon with Adreno 225).

Let's just hope that after this batch of A-15 cores gets released then release cycles can get back again to "normal", product design and time to market are way higher than what the CPU/GPU companies are pushing for. Either this, or every other company will need to pull an "iPhone" card from their sleeves and only design one generic phone that gets updated internals every now and then.

It's like you have an issue with innovation and would prefer everything running at Pentium-II speeds because it's going too fast for you.

Screw that, I hope Tegra-4 is out-dated the very next day and a new 30% faster chip is released every damn day! Woo!

astropheed said,

It's like you have an issue with innovation and would prefer everything running at Pentium-II speeds because it's going too fast for you.


My issue is that there's no economy that can sustain this pace, it's not viable for consumers (usually tied on 2 years contract with no rights to an upgrade) and not viable for hardware manufacturers that need to pour more and more money so that their R&D + testing cycles are shorter.

There's a reason why every other phone looks the same, there's no money to innovate, just money to churn out new devices sporting the latest hardware from last Thursday. Same reason why every manufacturer is going after phablets: allows them to be lazy on the internals as overall volume of the device is increased when they shave 0.5mm of thickness but increase diagonal size by 0.5''. And then people wonder why the Lumia 920 weighs like a brick...

Always welcome more power, but I have a Nexus 10 and I can honestly say everything seems almost instant...and yeah I don't care what RT has at this point, not interested...I see it going the way of the ZUNE unfortunately.

I have a Lenovo Ideapad with a dual-core Krait, even without Jelly Bean it's already dread fast.

Was this graph comparing just CPU render speeds (loading from local server over WiFi) or cheating the same way Apple does that actually compares 3G/4G load times and then calls their CPU as N times faster?

I already read at another comment that they were comparing apples to pears on Android by testing Chrome on one device and the stock browser on the other, so I wouldn't be surprised if these tests were phony somewhere else.

have you looked at Zune or Zune HD prices on Amazon they are still selling for $280+ there is a reason people still want these (because they were the best at what they did)

What confused me was this tablet had a Windows button, but you can clearly see the Android soft keys available, and that shutter button is clearly Android. This was a prototype Windows Tablet running Android.

ObiWanToby said,
What confused me was this tablet had a Windows button, but you can clearly see the Android soft keys available, and that shutter button is clearly Android. This was a prototype Windows Tablet running Android.

This makes the most sense. I don't know why anyone else pointed this out before.

Now put this in a £100 smartphone Seriously though, if google put this in a new nexus 4, nexus 7 and nexus 10 those will fly off the shelf even faster than they currently do. A tablet would actually be worth considering to purchase with this kind of power under the hood.

Not if it's running Android, which will limit it's capability and slow it down.

The ideal tablet would be something with Win 8 and a Intel CPU. One thats faster than Atom/Clover Trail and has a better GPU, but the same power draw as current Win 8 Clover Trail tablets (which easily last as long on battery as ARM stuff).

We'll have to wait for Intels Bay Trail, the 22nm based successor to Clover Trail.

Did you watch the livestream? They had several prototypes, running both Android and Windows RT. For obvious reasons the Nexus 10 comparison was done on an Android prototype, though bizarrely using a different browser. (Chrome vs Android Browser)

Liaqat_ali said,
I cannot wait to get my hands on a Nexus 10 with this beast inside.

Just buy a Tegra 3 Surface RT device today, it is and will be faster than Android on Tegra 4.

(I'm being completely serious, go look up a performance review of the current Surface to current Nexus and the current iPad. )

thenetavenger said,

Just buy a Tegra 3 Surface RT device today, it is and will be faster than Android on Tegra 4.

(I'm being completely serious, go look up a performance review of the current Surface to current Nexus and the current iPad. )

I can confirm that my Surface RT absolutely destroys any of the Android tablets me and my mates have lying around.

Sonne said,
Nobody cares about surface or windows rt

Doesn't it feel weird saying that to someone who clearly does? Don't you feel senile? Or is this just your idea of good rhetoric? Because it makes you sound roughly on par with a 14 year old girl snapping three times in a triangle at someone.

Joshie said,

Doesn't it feel weird saying that to someone who clearly does? Don't you feel senile? Or is this just your idea of good rhetoric? Because it makes you sound roughly on par with a 14 year old girl snapping three times in a triangle at someone.

I like you.