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Nvidia's Tegra 4 and Tegra 3 comparison

Updated on January 10, 2013
Tegra 4 SoC
Tegra 4 SoC

NVidia’s Tegra processors are basically system on a chip (SoC) processors developed by NVidia to power smartphones, tablets and windows8 PC’s. Tegra processors or Tegra SoC are developed to power mobile devices such as personal digital assistants, tablets, fablets and etc. Tegra integrates with CPU, GPU and memory controller in a single chip. Tegra processors are basically designed to utilize low power consumption to increase battery life and to give high performance to a mobile device.

There are various series of Tegra in the market but we will be discussing its two latest models, Tegra 3 and Tegra 4.

Tegra 3: Codename “Kal-El”

  1. Tegra 3 comes with 5 cores where 4 cores (Quad core) can be enabled and disabled automatically based on the workload on the system. Whereas the 5th core also known as companion core is the battery saver core which is utilized to hand low power consumption tasks such as playing music, video, active standby etc. This core is transparent to the OS that means the OS will work only on four cores whereas simple task or background tasks will be done on the 5th companion core to save power.
  2. Tegra basically emphasis on low power consumption of the system and that’s why their goal is to run the system on the 5th companion core.
  3. Better touch response and reduce power consumption by providing offloading of a touch portion onto Tegra 3.
  4. Comparing with Tegra 2, Tegra 3 supports ARM’s SIMD extension, NEON and has 3 times pixel shader and supports higher clock frequency.
  5. Tegra 3 can output HD videos of resolution 2560x1600 and supports HD videos of 1080p, DivX 5/6 video decode and others.

Tegra 4: codename “Wayne”

  1. Tegra 4 comes with a quad core CPU (4 cores) and include a 5th companion core Cortex A15 for lower power consumption. Like Tegra 3 companion core, it’s also invisible or transparent to the OS and performs simple tasks or background tasks to save power such as playing music, videos etc.
  2. Tegra 4 offers 72 core GPU support for PhysX, DirectX11 and OpenGL that means you can enjoy HDR gaming, HTML 5 canvas, WebGL and much more.
  3. It supports Icera technology to deliver fast mobile communication capability. It supports category 3 (100Mpbs) LTE but can be further update to category 4 (150Mbps).
  4. Tegra 4 is said to deliver 12 times the performance of Tegra 2 and 6 times the performance of Tegra 3.

Tegra 4 based NVidia’s reference tablet is shown at CES 13 (Consumer Electronic Show 2013). Tegra 4 will be utilizing on NVidia’s Project Shield, which is a handheld mobile device. It’s similar to the Xbox controller with an additional flip-up touch screen display. Shield allows playing games compatible with desktop PC, Laptops and allows certain windows games to be played on the console (Shield). It also allows games of Sony’s remote play (Play stations) to be played on shield.

NVidia’s reference tablet was shown in CES 13, which has an 11 inch display working on Android 4.2 (jelly beans). The reference tablet features micro-USB, HDMI port, Storage expansion and others. The reference tablet is said to be incredibly light and in the ratio of 16:9.

Tegra 4 was announced in the CES 13 on January 6 2013.

Nvidia's Shield
Nvidia's Shield


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    • kuckoo profile image

      Your Lover 5 years ago from Your Heart

      thank you for your comment

    • androidwalls profile image

      androidwalls 5 years ago

      Nice technical summary of these processors, thanks!

    • kuckoo profile image

      Your Lover 5 years ago from Your Heart

      it's just a treat for game lovers.. for us, a boring hub. but to summarize it and to conclude it.. Tegra chip is fast and efficient as a result it will give your smartphones more power and will consume less power increasing your smartphone battery time and thanks, at least one person liked it :D

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I thought I'd write just to let you know that at least one person found your HUB. It looks OK except I don't no nutt-n about any of this....