10/11/2011

NVidia introduces Tegra3

NVidia has starting showing off it's new Tegra3 ARM based system (code named Kal-El). It has 4 cores based on the Cortex-A9 architecture and a 12 core GForce graphics GPU which allows for hardware accelerated affects such as dynamic lighting, Flash Player 11, HTML5 and WebGL.

It can also output to HDMI and support NVidia's 3D Vision technology which converts OpenGL to stereo 3D for viewing on a 3D TV.

However the main advancement is that it offers 3 times the graphics performance while offering a 61% lower power consumption than the Tegra2. It achieves some of this by actually having 5 CPU cores (the 5th being a low power ARM variant) and only using the Cortex-A9 cores for intensive CPU applications, so when a system is just playing music or some other non-CPU intensive task the big cores are powered down. This is known as variable symmetric multiprocessing (vSMP) and is a technology patented by NVidia.

The Tegra3 will be used in a forthcoming tablet from ASUS known as the Asus EE Pad Transformer Prime.

Other ARM licensees such as Texas Instruments (TI) are already snapping at NVidia's heals with forthcoming high performance OMAP chips which will support technologies such as holographic displays, HD augmented reality, real time voice translation and natural speech interaction.

There are now more ARM processors than actual arms in the world now.
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