January 6, 2014

NVIDIA Announces Next-Gen Mobile Processor, the Tegra K1

Tegra K1 VCM
At CES 2014, NVIDIA announced its next generation mobile processor, the Tegra K1 SoC (System on Chip). The K1 packs quite a punch, with its 192 Kepler cores - you read that right, Kepler. Previous Tegra designs have used GeForce ULP GPUs, with the Tegra 4 sporting 72 cores in comparison. Since it's Kepler based, it now brings DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.1, and CUDA to mobile.The K1 will have support for the Unreal Engine 4, of which many demos were shown.
4+1 Cortex A15 K1

With the combination of a new architecture and a much larger core count, a large performance boost is expected. NVIDIA showed that off, comparing its performance to previous-generation consoles, which it naturally beat. Compared to a current-generation console, it's about a quarter as fast (pushing 365 GFLOPS), pretty good for a 5W chip. As of now, there are no direct comparisons between the K1 and other notable SoCs.

Aside from its fancy GPU, the rest of the Tegra K1 stays inline with current mobile offerings and Tegra development:
  • 4 Cortex A15 Cores (max 2.3 GHz) with one low-power "companion core"
  • Up to 8GB LPDDR3 or DDR3L RAM
  • 4K Support 
  • 28 nm Process
Dual-core ARMv8 K1
The Tegra K1 is expected to launch in the second-quarter of 2014. In addition to the quad-core version, NVIDIA will be launching a 64-bit variant, powered by 2 ARMv8 based cores at up to 2.5 GHz. That's going to launch a bit later, in the second half of the year. For NVIDIA, two versions aren't enough - a third, the Tegra K1 Visual Computing Module (VCM), will be launched later on for vehicles only. Aside from providing in-car infotainment, it can also be used for next-gen heads-up displays and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, including collision avoidance.
Customize your dashboard with the Tegra K1

Here's a demo of the UE4 engine on the Tegra K1: