Nvidia announces the Tegra X1, 256 CUDA cores in tow

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Nvidia has unveiled its next Tegra SoC, a significantly beefier CPU/GPU combo dubbed Tegra X1. The SoC is built upon the foundations of its predecessor but swaps the 32-bit ARM Cortex-A15 cores for brand ARM Cortex-A57s baked into a quad core arrangement backed by another quad core island with ARM Cortex-A53 cores which effectively brings the core count to eight.

The graphics departments also gets a major overhaul, the single Kepler SMX has been replaced with the newer and more power efficient desktop-class Maxwell 2 architecture. This time however, Nvidia opted for 2 SMMs inside a single cluster (GPC), each of which sports 128 unified shaders or stream processors (advertised as CUDAcores’) giving it a grand total of 256 shaders. Interestingly enough, Nvidia is still using the heavily abused ‘core’ term as a fancy PR/marketing name to sell the product.

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao47RQvCZwg]

The SoC is built on TSMC’s 20nm process but the cores won’t quite work the usual big.LITTLE, Nvidia has opted for cluster migration which was previously seen on early Exynos 5 Octa SoCs instead of averaging global task scheduling, this essentially means that only a set of cores will be active at any given time but Nvidia nevertheless asserts that most of performance impacts of cluster migration will be negligible as their SoC is fully cache coherent.

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