We just finished NVIDIA's CES press conference where it introduced the Tegra 4 SoC and Shield mobile gaming console. Immediately following the press event we snagged some more information about Tegra 4 and the NVIDIA i500 Baseband silicon:

- Tegra 4 is built on TSMC's 28nm HPm process (low power 28nm with High-K + Metal Gate)

Just confirmed that our initial information was incorrect, it's 28nm HPL (28nm low power with high-k + metal gates). The difference between HPL and HPM is a optimization for leakage vs. peak performance. This helps explain the 1.9GHz max frequency for the A15s in Tegra 4.

- The fifth/companion core is also a Cortex A15, but synthesized to run at lower frequencies/voltages/power. This isn't the same G in and island of LP process that was Tegra 2/3. NEW: the 5th core will run at between 700 and 800MHz depending on SKU.

- The fifth/companion core isn't visible to the OS, it's not big.LITTLE but it'll work similarly to how Tegra 3 worked. This probably means no companion core in Windows RT. 

- The four Cortex A15s will run at up to 1.9GHz.

- NEW: die size is around 80mm^2, slightly bigger than Tegra 3 but on a much higher density process

- NEW: the shaders aren't unified, the majority are 20-bit pixel shader cores though. No idea on the ratio yet.

- dual-channel memory interface, LP-DDR3 is supported

- NVIDIA's i500 will launch with LTE UE Category 3 (100Mbps downlink) support, eventually we'll see an update to UE Category 4 (150Mbps downlink). 

- i500 will launch with carrier aggregation for WCDMA, no idea what 3GPP release.

Shield

- As far as Shield goes, I wanted to correct one thing about how the PC display streaming works. The PC will stream to the display directly, not through Shield. Shield will pass controller commands to the PC. 

- Shield will launch in Q2 at a price competitive with other mobile gaming systems and tablets. 

- All of the games during the Shield demo were 720p, except for one which was 1080p.

- Miracast is supported, but something better will come later.

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  • Rockmandash12 - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link

    They managed to make it larger than Tegra 3? I doubt it will be on phones any time soon. Reply
  • Dribble - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link

    So the iPhone 5 with it's 97mm2 A6 can't exist then? Reply
  • powerarmour - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link

    Touché Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link

    Just as a fyi: A6 is on a 32nm process while T4 will be on 28nm. Reply
  • sosadsohappy - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link

    Just as a fyi: A6 is a dual core. Tegra 4 is a quad core. Reply
  • lmcd - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - link

    Just as a fyi: Exynos 4 Quad was *INTAKE* a quad-core with great power and thermals at 32nm. Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link

    Don't quote me on this but I thought I read it had 45% *lower* average power consumption than Tegra 3, which would be good for phones. I said the same thing when Tegra 3 launched, I thought it would be too power hungry for phones, but it managed. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    It's the haterz theme and meme when they attack nVidia - they haven't gotten over one size fits their target 100% of the time. Reply
  • TareX - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link

    After dealing with horrid battery life on my Tegra 3 One X, Tegra 4 can be slower for all I care but more power efficient. Reply
  • Cotita - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link

    "As far as Shield goes, I wanted to correct one thing about how the PC display streaming works. The PC will stream to the display directly, not through Shield. Shield will pass controller commands to the PC. "

    This makes no sense. How will the PC stream video to the display?

    During the demo you can see that the HDMI cable is connected to the Shield.
    Reply

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