NVIDIA is getting ready to launch its first Tegra processor based on the same Kepler architecture as its PC gaming graphics hardware. Up until now we’ve been calling that next-gen chip the Tegra 5, but NVIDIA says it’s such an evolutionary leap from earlier Tegra chips that it deserves as new name.
Enter the NVIDIA Tegra K1, a chip that the company calls a 192 core processor. Although we’re talking about a mix of CPU and GPU cores, that’s still far more processor cores than you’ll find in any other mobile chip.
Does that matter? It might — NVIDIA says the Tegra K1 brings PC-level graphics to mobile devices, and Epic Games is bringing its Unreal Engine 4 game platform to the Tegra K1 chip.
The chip also supports NVIDIA’s CUDA parallel processing technology, which means the GPU cores can be leveraged to perform duties normally handled by a CPU core… assuming app developers write software that uses that capability.
NVIDIA says the chip is more powerful than the processors in the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, and supports DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.4 capabilities. It also uses just 5W of power, compared with 100W for the chips in those last-gen game consoles.
There will be two versions of the Tegra K1 chip. The first will be based on a 32-bit ARM Cortex-A15 CPU, much like the Tegra 4 chips available today. The second is based on next-gen ARMv8 architecture. It’s a dual-core chip based on NVIDIA’s new Denver 64-bit CPU architecture.
The 32 bit version runs at up to 2.3 GHz and is based on 3-way superscalar architecture , while the 64-bit model is a 7-way superscalar chip that supports clock speeds up to 2.5 GHz.
NVIDIA is also making a play for the in-vehicle computing space, with an automotive version of the K1 chip designed to help with assistive driving systems, doing things like helping to identify obstacles on the road, the distance between your vehicle and the ones ahead of it, and more.