With all of the major Android manufacturers stating they will use Nvidia’s Tegra 3 processor in their phones and tablets at some point in 2012, we’ll give you the run down on what to expect from this “Quad” core processor, that actually has 5 cores!

Nvidia have been working on this processor for some time. It’s code name was “Kal-El” and it first started o make brief appearances at consumer and trade conferences at the start of the year. Little was known about it’s specs then other than it would be the first Quad core mobile processor to hit the market.

Since then we have learned that it will have a fifth “companion” core. The purpose of this core will be to run the basic system services with the other 4 main cores in standby waiting for more heavy duty tasks. This will in turn save battery life. The first device we know will run this processor is the soon to be released Asus Transformer Prime tablet. Here is a quick video on how this tablet will utilise the five cores. One of the key things from this video to note is that the software will not need to be written specifically to take advantage of all the cores.


So for the end user this should translate into a seamless interface for whatever device you are using. App load times will be greatly improved and media should be stutter free.

One of the other big improvements we see should be in gaming. This is of course what Nvidia are famous for. There is an additional 12 core GPU on the Tegra 3 chip. Nvidia in promising a better than console gaming experience. We have already seen this week how games on mobile platforms are now generating more revenue than on the dedicated game consoles. With HDMI mirroring now being a standard feature and Ice Cream Sandwich’s ability to host a USB games controller these next crop of devices could put a serious dent in Sony and Nitendo’s market. The ability to replace not only your 3DS or PSP but also your xbox or PS3 will be in your pocket.

 (watch at 720p for full effect!)


One of the next advantages will be the ability of these devices to replace dedicated media players. The Tegar 3 will be able to process and output 1080p video running at 40Mbs, which is pretty much above the bit rate that most BluRay films produce today. There are a lot of new laptops out there that can’t cope with that high a bit rate!

 Key Specs:

  • The Tegra 3 processor redefines power consumption and mobile-computing performance with:
  • The world’s first quad-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU
  • New patent-pending vSMP technology, including a fifth CPU core that runs at a lower frequency and operates at exceptionally low power
  • 12-core GeForce GPU, with 3x the graphics performance of the Tegra 2 processor, including support for stereoscopic 3D
  • New video engines with support for 1080p high profile video at 40 Mbps
  • Up to 3x higher memory bandwidth
  • Up to 2x faster Image Signal Processor
  • 40 games are expected to be available by the end of 2011, and over 15 Tegra 3 games are under development for Tegra Zone, NVIDIA’s free Android Market app that showcases the best games optimized for the Tegra processor.
  • The Tegra 3 processor is in production. Developers can order the Tegra 3 Developer Kit to create applications for devices with Tegra such as tablets and super phones, at developer.nvidia.com/tegra.
Let us know what you think below. Can you see these devices replacing most of the other dedicated devices you have in your house currently?




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