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By 9 January 2013 | Categories: news

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GPU and mobile CPU maker Nvidia has introduced its new Tegra 4 mobile processing unit at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), currently underway in Las Vegas. According to the company, this new mobile CPU will power the next generation of smartphones, tablets, portable gaming devices, in-vehicle infotainment and navigation systems, as well as PCs.

Previously codenamed “Wayne”, the Tegra 4 boasts a 72 custom core Nvidia GeForce GPU, packing six times the GPU horsepower of Tegra 3 and its 12-core GPU. Nvidia stated that the new processor delivers more realistic gaming experiences along with the capability to support higher resolution displays.

Besides a more capable GPU, the Tegra 4 also sports a quad-core Cortex A15-based processor, which the firm says allows for 2.6 times faster web browsing and processing performance whilst running multiple applications.

Tegra 4 also enables global LTE (4G) voice and data support through an optional chipset, the fifth generation Nvidia Icera i500 processor. According to Nvidia, this chipset is more efficient as well as only 40% the size of conventional modems, and delivers four times the processing capability of its predecessor.

Computational photography capability and boosted battery life

Nvidia punts the Tegra 4 processor’s computational photography architecture, which it states will automatically deliver high dynamic range (HDR) photos as well as video. This is done by fusing together the processing power of the GPU, the CPU along with the camera’s image-signal processor.

Just like the Tegra 3, the new CPU features a second-generation battery saver core (4+1 architecture) for low power during standard use. When the device that the Tegra 4 is powering performs tasks that require less power consumption, the Tegra 4 processor completely shuts down its four performance-tuned cores and makes use of its battery saver core. The company claims that the Tegra 4 consumes up to 45% less power than its predecessor and is able to deliver up to 14 hours of HD video playback on smartphones.

“Tegra 4 provides enormous processing power and efficiency to power smartphones and tablets, gaming devices, auto systems and PCs,” said Phil Carmack, senior VP of the Tegra business at Nvidia. “Its new capabilities, particularly in the area of computational photography, will help improve a whole range of existing products and lead to the creation of exciting new ones.”

Tegra 4 Key features:

  • GeForce GPU with 72 custom cores
  • Quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU, plus a second generation battery saver core
  • Computational Photography Architecture
  • LTE capability with optional Icera i500 chipset
  • 4K ultra-high-def video support
In related news, three of our Top 5 tablets of 2012 are powered by the Tegra 3, whilst HTC’s One X (review, number 4) also means that the Tegra 3 is represented on our Top 5 smartphones of 2012 list.

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