Nvidia Unveils The Tegra 4i – Quad-Core Cortex-A9 Clocked At 2.3GHz And 60 Cores GPU

Nvidia today announced a new addition to its Tegra family of mobile processors – the Tegra 4i. The Tegra 4i uses the same 4-plus-1 architecture that Nvidia used on the Tegra 3 and Tegra 4. However, the company has replaced the Cortex-A15 cores on the Tegra 4i with four Cortex-A9 cores clocked at 2.3GHz.

“NVIDIA is delivering for the first time a single, integrated processor that powers all the major functions of a smartphone,” said Phil Carmack, senior vice president of the Mobile business at NVIDIA. “Tegra 4i phones will provide amazing computing power, world-class phone capabilities, and exceptionally long battery life.”

On the GPU side, Nvidia has bumped the numbers of “cores” from 12 to a whopping 60. The T4i also boasts of the same Chimera camera technology that the Tegra 4 has. This allows the Tegra 4i to shoot and record videos in HDR in less than a second, and even capture HDR panoramas.

One advantage that the Tegra 4i will have over its faster sibling, Tegra 4, is an inbuilt i500 LTE modem. Nvidia showed off the Tegra 4i in its reference Android platform, the Phoenix, that sports a 5-inch 1080p display, 2GB of RAM and an 8/13MP camera sensor from Sony or Aptina.

Nvidia Tegra 4i powered Android smartphones and tablets should hit the retail shelves sometime in the second half of Q2, 2013.


First Look At Tegra 4’s Development Board Performance In GLBenchmark

If you follow the mobile industry closely, you will be pretty much aware of the fact that whatever GPU Apple uses in its iOS devices is usually the fastest, which is then followed by Samsung’s Exynos/ARM GPU. While Qualcomm GPU’s never really were top-performers, the release of Adreno 320 GPU with the S4 Pro SoC changed all that. The Adreno 320 gives tough competiton to the ARM GPU in Samsung’s Exynos SoC and even manages to beat Apple’s A6 SoC in some benchmarks.

Yesterday, when Nvidia unveiled the “world’s fastest mobile” SoC, Tegra 4, with quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU and 72 GPU cores, it boasted of the fact that its mobile SoC is faster than even Apple’s A6X SoC found inside the iPad 4. Given Nvidia’s past, I was skeptical about their marketing and I might just be right.

Thanks to some terrific investigation by an XDA member, Turbotab, we may have got our first look on how the Tegra 4 performs in real-world benchmarks or at least GLBenchmark. In an offscreen Egypt HD benchmark at 1080p resolution, Nvidia’s Tegra 4 based developer board managed around 32.6FPS, while the iPad 4 managed a whopping 49.6FPS.

Now, even if we consider that development boards are around 10-20% slower than the ‘retail’ units, the Tegra 4 will still end up playing catch up with the A6X inside the iPad 4.

It was earlier rumored that Nvidia will unveil the Tegra 4 with its new unified Kepler based GPU core, which is similar to its desktop GPUs. However, AnandTech has confirmed that Nvidia has not used Kepler GPU inside the Tegra 4.

Head over to this XDA thread to read about the stunning investigative work done by Turbotab. 

P.S. – All the above information may just turn out to be complete BS, but taking into consideration Nvidia’s past, I am highly doubtful about that. In Nvidia’s slides, the company presumably compared the quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU of Tegra 4 to Apple’s custom Swift cores, and may have intentionally left out the GPU part.

Nvidia Unveils Project Shield Handheld Gaming Console Powered By Tegra 4 With Steam Support

Tegra 4 was not the only thing that Nvidia unveiled at its event in CES 2013. The company also announced a new handheld gaming console — Project Shield — based on its Tegra 4 SoC with which the company aims to compete with the PS Vita, Nintento Wii and other gaming consoles.

Project Shield packs in a 5-inch 720p Retinal display with multi-touch display, Nvidia’s own Tegra 4 which consists of a quad-core Cortex-A15 and 72 GPU cores, along with a microSD card slot. The 5-inch display of Project Shield is integrated on the controller itself, which somewhat resembles Microsoft’s Xbox controller and features a calm-shell design.

On the battery front, Project Shield can provide gamers with up to 5 to 10 hours of battery life for gaming, and up to 24 hours for HD video playback.

The handheld gaming console runs on stock, pure, unadulterated version of Android along with the usual bunch of Google Apps including GMail and Play Store.

The killer feature of Shield is that users can stream their games from their PC to the console over Wi-Fi or Ethernet. They can then even stream the game to their HDTV and play it using the Shield as a controller. It will also provide Project Shield users access to the world’s largest PC gaming platform – Steam.

Even though the company had some live demo units on stage, it did not mention anything about its availability or pricing.

UPDATE: Nvidia says that Project Shield will be coming to the U.S and Canada sometime in Q2 of this year.

Nvidia Unveils The Fastest Mobile SoC – Tegra 4; Quad-Core Cortex-A15 And 72 GPU Cores

Today, Nvidia unveiled its next generation SoC at the CES 2013 in Las Vegas. The company released its successor to the quad-core Cortex-A9 based Tegra 3, the Tegra 4 codenamed Wayne. The Tegra 4 is Nvidia’s aim at offering an SoC that competes with the Exynos and other high-end SoCs directly.

The Tegra 4 packs in a quad-core Cortex-A15 which is accompanied by the company’s patented 5th core to save battery. The SoC is also based on the 28nm fabrication process that should greatly help in improving battery life compared to Tegra 3. On the GPU side, the Tegra 4 packs in a 72-core GPU which should provide at least 10x boost in gaming performance compared to its predecessor.

Nvidia has also worked on improving the imaging capabilities of its SoC, which the company calls “Nvidia Computational photography engine”. The new ISP allows Tegra 4 based devices to take HDR photos in realtime along with live HDR video recording.

The Tegra 4 will also be accompanied by a new i500 Icera modem from Nvidia. The only downside here is that there is no integrated LTE modem on the Tegra 4. This will lead to a higher manufacturing cost for the OEMs, and also higher power consumption. The company aims to release a Tegra 4 variant with integrated LTE modem sometime in the second half of this year.

Nvidia’s CEO also showed some live demo prototypes of Tegra 4 powered tablets, but did not comment as to when Tegra 4 equipped devices will hit the shelves.

Nvidia Tegra 4 Leaked, Features 72 GPU Cores

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 and Samsung’s Exynos might be the current champions of performance in the mobile arena; however, if leaked slides are to be believed, their reign might not last long. Nvidia’s Tegra 4 will be six times as powerful as the Tegra 3 and feature as many as 72 GPU cores.


Tegra 4, which bears the superhero-themed codename Wayne, will use 28 nanometer process that is already being used by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and Apple’s A6X. The improved 28nm architecture should lower power consumption, but will require enhanced heat dissipation. Nvidia is also updating its mobile powerhouse to ARM’s Cortex-A15 design. The Tegra 4, will retain the quad-core CPU setup, with an additional power saving core. The chip will be capable of powering displays up to 2,560 x 1600, with 1080p output at 120Hz. The slide also mentions 4K or Ultra-HD (UHD) output. The other exciting development is the inclusion of support for USB 3.0, which should give a bump to read and write speeds.

If the leaked slide is accurate, then Nvidia will again jump to the front of the pack and raise the bar for mobile computing. We will know for sure within a couple of months it is almost certain that Nvidia will show off its newest creation at either the CES or the MWC.