Nvidia introduces 192-CUDA core Tegra K1 SoCs



Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang unveiled its latest addition to the Tegra family today at CES2013 Las Vegas, this follows Nvidia’s last year’s promise to deliver a ‘super phone’ using a downscaled version of the desktop Kepler SMX architecture.

The Tegra K1 essentially marks the company’s jump on the 64-bit bandwagon following many others. – The chip will however be offered in two very distinct variants, one sporting four Cortex-A15 cores capable of ticking optimally at 2.3GHz, the latter is obviously based on the ARMv7 architecture like its predecessor but the chip very likely be based on the company’s 28nm transistor process. The second version will use Nvidia’s long-awaited custom 64-bit dual-core “Denver” ARM CPU clocking at 2.5GHz, this variant will be based on the AArch64 instruction setĀ  found in the ARMv8 architecture.


In addition to its graphics and compute capabilities, Tegra K1 delivers breakthrough efficiency. The Kepler GPU at the heart of Tegra K1 is 1.5 times more efficient than other mobile GPUs. This results in faster performance in the same power envelope and a better experience for gaming and GPU-accelerated applications.

Both flavors will pack one Kepler SMX (Next Generation Streaming Multiprocessor) cluster packing 192 CUDA cores (aka unified shaders) which is advertised as “Kepler Mobile GPU”. In other words, the whole package is essentially small portion of what you’ll find on any Kepler GPU out there. Think of it as the equivalent of 1/12th of GTX780 which sports 12 Kepler SMXs. – The new architecture promises real-timeĀ laptop-class computing graphics, on a tiny chip!

2 versionsvs consoles

Tegra K1 is also the first mobile processor to deliver the same graphics features as the next generation of consoles (Xbox One, PlayStation 4) and faster performance than current generation consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3), all in the palm of your hand.

Nvidia also made a live demonstration of the Tegra K1 ARMv8 variant running Android 4.4 KitKat, a world-first considering that Android doesn’t yet officially support AArch64 (although the Linux kernel in Android technically supports it). What we’re likely looking at here is either an experimental build of Android built using an ARMv8 compiler or simply the latter running on AArch32 instruction set in the ARMv8 architecture which is basically an evolution of ARMv7 with a few extra instructions, allowing legacy ARMv7 code the ability to run in an ‘ARMv7-A execution state’ on the 64-bit chip.

The Nvidia Tegra K1 is unquestionably a technology marvel on paper but whether the chip finds its way into mainstream devices remains to be seen. Its predecessor didn’t particularly fare fare well but Nvidia will hopefully find hardware partners and market it as it should.

via Nvidia Newsroom