NVIDIA had unveiled their latest generation mobile SoC, the Tegra 4, last month at the CES 2013 that was held in Las Vegas. According to NVIDIA, the all new Tegra 4 will be having ah whopping 72 GeForce GPU cores with 4K video support. If we do the math, the visual processing power of the Tegra 4 is about 6 times more than the Tegra 3 that is currently available. The SoC will also come with quad-core ARM Cortex A15 processor and a second generation battery saver core which should increase the power efficiency of the device.
We have already seen few devices that are powered by the Tegra 4, including a 10-inch tablet by Vizio and NVIDIA’s Project Shield gaming console, however, we cannot jump to the conclusion that those devices will make their way to market shelves any time soon. According to sources, it will be few months before Tegra 4 devices start appearing in the market as NVIDIA still hasn’t started shipping the chip to the manufacturers who are interested.
In a conference call, NVIDIA’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said that he expected the Tegra 4 SoC to start shipping in July, which would mean we may get to see the smartphones and tablet powered by this SoC not earlier than August, 2013. Talking of the portable Shield console which is NVIDIA’s own product, it is expected to be out in September of this year.
Tegra 4 is currently considered to be the fastest mobile processor in the world, however, due to the delays, it may soon lose that position because the upcoming next generation of mobile SoCs by Qualcomm will supposedly be faster than NVIDIA’s Tegra 4, and they may make their way into the market before Tegra 4 makes a move. The Snapdragon 600 is anticipated to be commercially available in Q2 of 2013, whereas the higher end Snapdragon 800, with its quad-core Krait 400 CPU running at up to 2.3GHz and Adreno 330 graphics will be available a little later. Apart from that, we also have Samsung’s latest Exynos 5 chip which has 8 cores and is designed using ARM’s big.LITTLE configuration. The processor is rumored to be made available via the upcoming flagship Samsung Galaxy S IV which may be unveiled as early as next month.
NVIDIA’s product is really good, but the delays that the product is going through will not help the company position itself as a major player in the mobile SoC arena. Coming to the market late with a next-gen quad-core offering will obviously have major impact on the sales. Also, in case of Qualcomm, the company has already partnered with several smartphone manufacturers who will be buying their chips, but in case of NVIDIA, there are no such agreements in place and the company will have a hard time finding interested buyers for the Tegra 4 SoC.
What are your thoughts on Tegra 4? Would you like to buy a device powered by this hardware? Let us know in the comment section below.