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8 things you need to know about Nvidia's groundbreaking Tegra X1 mobile super chip

Nvidia has officially unveiled its new Tegra X1 mobile GPU at the Las Vegas CES 2015 event. The 64-bit 8-core CPU is a world's first in terms of its raw hardware specs, but what is it really offering the end-user? Here are 8 things you need to know about this extraordinary new processor. 

tegra x1 353
More cores, more power, same energy consumption: the Nvidia X1 completely outshines the K1. / © Nvidia

1. It's the World's first mobile teraflop processor

The Nvidia Tegra X1 is based on Nvidia's "Maxwell" architecture, which replaces the Kepler architecture used in the K1 processors. It sits on 256 GPU cores (the K1 had 192 cores) and eight 64-bit capable CPU cores (K1 Logan had four, the K1 Denver two cores). The computing power will rise to over a teraflop; a figure that has not been reached in the smartphone market previously.

2. It's faster than the fastest supercomputer of 15 years ago

The ASCI Red supercomputer from back in 2000 occupied 1,600 square feet and consumed 500,000 watts of power, with another 500,000 just to cool the building it sat in. By comparison, the Tegra X1 consumes just 10 watts of power, and is the size of a thumbnail. 

3. It could be used in self-driving cars

The Tegra X1 will be featured in the freshly announced "Nvidia Drive" car computers to assist with things like navigation, parking and driver monitoring. However, because it is capable of processing images from twelve cameras simultaneously, the processor will be particularly relevant for the sensors of self-driving cars. Nvidia is reportedly already in talks with Audi regarding the implementation of the hardware. 

4. It's power efficient

During a tech demo displaying the Tegra X1's capabilities at CES, it was revealed that the processor was consuming just 10 watts of power to run the Unreal engine in the video. This is just 10% of the power consumed by an Xbox One performing the same job. 

androidpit tegra x1 graph
The Tegra X1's graphical performance is far superior to Intel's glorious desktop CPU, the Core i7. / © Nvidia

5. It will rival current consoles in terms of graphics

Nvidia believe that the games of home consoles and PC's are going to be possible on smartphones and tablets making use of the Tegra X1. Using a video using of the Unreal Engine 4 to show-off its power in the tech demo, the Tegra X1 proved itself with real-time dynamic lighting, multi-frame anti-aliasing and more. 

6. It's twice as powerful as the Tegra K1

The Tegra K1, which powers Nvidia's Shield tablet, made quite a splash at last year's CES, being lauded for successfully powering the Unreal Engine 4 on the Nvidia Shield Tablet. One year later, the Tegra X1 is performing at twice the level, running DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 and 4K video at 60 FPS.

7. It's (probably) ahead of its time

Right now, the number of apps which can seriously test the powers of the Tegra K1 are virtually non-existent. How many are going to be able to seriously take advantage of the X1? Not many, and it will be that way for some time. Not only this, but current mobile devices can't even utilize the chip either! The X1 is truly next gen.

8. It's coming pretty soon

Just how the Tegra X1 will make an appearance, we aren't quite sure, but Nvidia has stated that it will "begin appearing in the first half of the year".  A sequel to the Nvidia Shield tablet could be possible, or Nvida could be chasing some 3rd parties for its inclusion in their smartphones. Displacing Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor dominance is not going to be easy, though.We'll be keeping our eye on the Tegra X1 in the future.

  • Find out everything else that is happening at CES 2015 here. 

What do you think of this new GPU? Is it going to be taken advantage of on the current Android platform?

Source: Nvidia News


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  • oldzoom Jan 5, 2015 Link to comment

    All integrated into 1 chip it shines, but take the fastest i7 8 core and add in 4 highend gpus in a desktop setup and this isn't the top dog. I definitely like the possibilities it brings into the mobile market, but the relationships everyone has with Qualcom won't just fizzle away over night.
    I'm sure we'll see a new updated Nvidia Shield or whatever they'll call it sooner than later. I'm betting Nvidia can't wait to put this chip in a device and get it out there for the consumer to buy, I'll be in line to get one!
    Maybe Nvidia will get into the console market using Android/Linux and see where they can take it, but with PS & Xbox dominance and the new Steam Box it would be an up hill battle even with this new chip... Maybe a next gen lowered cost Steam Box could incorporate this chip into it?
    Wonder what Qualcom is thinking now?¿?

  • Mistake on pic 2: it says tegra Z1.....not x1.
    The comparison with i7 is misleading: i7 cpu is still almost 8x as powerful. Gpu wise it's other way round here the x1 shines

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