Nvidia Parades the World’s First Quad-Core Mobile Processor, Tegra 3


Everybody’s been waiting for Nvidia to finally unveil the Tegra 3 processor and it’s finally here. Tegra 3 enters the market as the most powerful and the first quad-core ARM A9-based processor for mobile devices, featuring a 12-core GeForce graphics unit, better multi-tasking and web browsing, as well as smoother app performance. To top of it all, Tegra 3 is three times faster than its predecessor, the dual-core Tegra.

The device to first have the processor within is the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, the improvement of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer tablet. It has an 8-megapixel camera at the back and 1.2-megapixel camera on the front, and with storage capacities at 32GB and 64Gb. It was previously rumored that Tegra 3, code name “Kal El,” will run on Amazon’s Kindle Fire, but it was just a rumor after all.

With such powerful specs, it’s only natural for one to be skeptic about its battery life. But there’s nothing to worry about, Nvidia and Asus designed the Tegra 3 to perform heavily while conserving battery. Asus even boasted that the tablet can sustain 12 hours of nonstop HD video playback.

How’s it possible? It’s got a lot to do with Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing or vSMP. There’s a fifth “companion” processor inside the Tegra 3 that runs when the loads are low such as simple reading of light web pages or just downright sitting idle. The 4 other powerful ones are only kick in during peak performances such as playing games, or actively browsing through multiple windows and internet pages. Otherwise, they’re complete shut off to save the battery.

Before the year ends, there will 40 games to take advantage of the computing possibilities of Tegra 3, fifteen of which from Tegra Zone, the Android app from Nvidia for Tegra applications. With such powerful performance, Asus said Prime will sell among the high-end devices in the market– with the 32GB version at $500. There will be an optional keyboard dock that will cost another $150. While there’s no specific roll out date, we’re probably going to see the device hit that racks on December.

To follow the footsteps of Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is smartphone HTC Edge, primed for an April 2012 launch. While it may be the only smartphone with a confirmed release date, Samsung, LG and Motorola have already committed to manufacture handsets that will market Tegra 3.