5-core Nvidia chip to power new smartphone era

5-core Nvidia chip to power new smartphone era

By Rob Crossley

November 9th 2011 at 11:59AM

Tegra 3 'brings home computer power to mobiles'; New tech allows for 'all-day gaming'; Flash 3D acceleration supported

Nvidia last night put the spotlight on a new cutting-edge processor that it hopes will pave the way for a new age of smartphones and tablet technologies.

The company said its new Tegra 3 chip can perform around three times faster than its predecessor, Tegra 2, yet also has the capacity to reduce power consumption by about two thirds.  The rhetoric the company used was that Tegra 3 is a home computer squeezed into a mobile.

The processor will debut on a new Android tablet manufactured by Asus, but Nvidia says the tech would soon power mobile devices too.

Tegra 3 operates with a unique five-core set up. It is essentially an ARM-based quad-core chip with a spare tyre, though the fifth operates at low-power levels and can perform uncomplicated operational tasks.

Packaged in is a 12-core GeForce graphics processing unit, which can deliver PC-like gaming effects such as dynamic lighting, physics effects, and stereoscopic 3D viewing. The tech allows for Flash Player 11 acceleration – meaning 3D browser games are capable on mobile devices.

Matt Wuebbling, a sales manager at Nvidia, said the fifth chip alone can run a high-definition video for up to 12 hours on a single battery charge.

Sam Williams, general manager at Luma Arcade, said, the new tech “is a recipe for all-day game play”,

It is not yet known when Tegra 3 will be available to all manufacturers.