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Video: NVIDIA Demos Next-Gen Tegra K1 Quad-core Processor

nvidia tegra k1

On Sunday at CES in Las Vegas, NVIDIA announced the Tegra K1 next-gen mobile processor. To demonstrate the power of the new 192-core chip, something that seems rather unheard of in mobile processors, we sat down with NVIDIA at its booth to see the Tegra K1 in action. 

NVIDIA has a couple of demos they use to show off powerful chips, one of the strongest being the “Ira” demo. Ira is a computer-generated face, but the amount of detail in the face, with real-time lighting and shadows, puts tremendous strain on a CPU. As we can see in our hands-on video below, Ira appears to be no match for the new Tegra K1. As reference, NVIDIA was showing off the Ira demo back at GDC in 2013 with Project Logan, which was to bring PC-grade performance to mobile devices. As CES this year, NVIDIA’s plans came to fruition.

The real question for us is, when can we have it in our tablets and phones? As of right now, NVIDIA has not yet announced availability or specific OEM partners for the Tegra K1, but hopefully they will come soon. Since the Tegra 4 processor wasn’t widely adopted by the mobile industry in 2013, we hope the Tegra K1 sees more use from product manufacturers in 2014.

Below, we get to see the Tegra K1 power a Tegra Note 7 developer tablet, which features the 192-core processor with 4GB of RAM. It’s quite the powerhouse unit.

  • Noaman Khalil

    I’d like this on something like a gaming laptop as it should make it power efficiant

  • Diablo81588

    192 core GPU*

  • Kevin

    So is this the 32 bit or 64 bit?

    • renz

      the quad version will be 32 bit (based on new revision of A15). the dual core version will be 64 bit.

      • Justin W

        That smells ass-backwards to me. That’s not that I don’t believe you, I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t do 64bit with the quad core version vs. the dual core.

        • kixofmyg0t

          Because the cores in the dual and quad core are architecturally different.

          The “Denver” core in the dual core K1 is vastly different than the A15′s(revision 3, HPM instead of HLP) used in the quad core version. Its meant more for desktop use. Well at least that’s what it was planned for back in 2011 when it was first announced.

          Look up the die shots, one Denver core is bigger than 2 A15′s. Nvidia could only cram 2 of them in the K1 die where 5 A15′s normally reside since they’re both pin compatible.

          • Noaman Khalil

            You make us sound like idiots …. Are you an engineer ?

        • renz

          if i have to speculate maybe it have something to do with die size (nvidia want both the quad and dual denver to be pin compatible). if you look at the mock die shot denver core are much bigger than A15. from the illustration the the denver is around as big two A15 combined. nonetheless it will be nvidia first custom ARM core. from the early roadmap Denver will only arrive with Parker (next year tegra) but somehow nvidia able to speed up the development of their 64 bit cpu. it is better for nvidia to make sure the cpu are 100% working before cramming more cores into it. also during press conference nvidia did not hide the fact that the dual denver will be focusing more on single threaded performance. it is possible that clock for clock the denver core will be faster than the A15 used in quad version.

          • Justin W

            Yeah, after reading @kixofmyg0t:disqus’s reply, I looked up shots of both the Denver and the other one and, well, two of the quad core’s cores are the size of one of the dual core’s cores, so it makes sense. After looking further, I’m fairly sure both will have a similar amount of power (maybe I didn’t look into this enough), but it’ll be interesting to see where Nvidia goes with these new processors.

          • Noaman Khalil

            The owner at ces sId that it took em 5 years to build the 64 bit version so they have been working on it ….

      • Noaman Khalil

        Dual core aka Denver k1 is 64 bit thus higher ram,8 gig max though

        • renz

          even the 32 bit one will be able to support more than 4GB of RAM due to some changes nvidia made in the tegra K1 implementation.

  • TimXer

    When will batteries get next gen tech so they can keep up then we can get all this other wonderful tech in our phones and tablets….that’s gotta come first

    • Kevin

      Battery technology just doesn’t just advanced over night.

      • Roar

        Exactly this. In fact nVidea is claiming that the K1 has 1.5x the ‘performance per watt’ than the S800 and A7. So in theory so long at it doesn’t ramp up excessively it should give better power consumption in ‘everyday’ usage.

    • Cowboydroid

      Advancements in mobile processing reduce power consumption.

  • David Narada Brown

    those graphics rival ps4 and xbox 1. if they can nail the frame rate and make it easy to develop for, i would want an ouya console with this processor.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    I can only wonder how the battery life and camera performance will be.

  • Maxim∑

    Tegra 4 had 72 cores and barely beat the A6X chip or Snapdragon S4 Pro. NVIDIA as usual makes it sound amazing with “172 cores” but in reality its really just a quad core GPU like everyone else

    • StuckOnVerizonForever

      Yeah, they are a joke

    • Cory_S

      These follow the same architecture as their desktop GPUs. I think we are about to see Nvidia finally deliver the kind of stuff we have been seeing from them for a couple decades on the PC side.

    • Roar

      Sorry, you mean the Tegra 4 that gets 4,148 on Geekbench compared to 2,800 for the S800 (S4 Pro’s bigger & newer brother) and 770 for the A6X?
      Yes, it barely beats the A6X if you mean it’s 540% faster CPU wise.

      With regards to the K1, this is running keplar architecture and backed by UE4. I can’t say what any of that means for the real world, but first impressions sound good.

      • StuckOnVerizonForever

        Lol, benchmarks mean nothing

        • JoshGroff

          They don’t necessarily mean nothing, but they aren’t everything.

        • Roar

          Do benchmarks mean everything? No
          Do benchmarks have some relevance? yes
          Are benchmarks a quick and easy way to debunk something widely inaccurate? Pretty much

          Still, comment deleted as the op has been retracted making it needless.

    • Haidar Alamir

      it is different this time. Nvidia now is using its latest GPU architecture. if you want numbers the K1 has equivalent of 365 GFLOPS that’s 50% more than xbox 360. go on youtube and lookup nvidia tegra K1 serious sam 3, and you will see it running on the new tegra k1, keep in mind this is a port. reset assured no GPU will beat nvidia at least this year. btw modern GPUs dont use cores rather ALUs and K1 has 192 of them. theoretically speaking K1 should offer similar performance to GeForece 620m.

      • Maxim∑

        I missed that, thanks. This was a floor model though, usually the ones at CES are completely maxed out models we might see a slightly lower performance version for phones to balance battery life. But this does seems significantly faster the the Tegra 4,A7,Exynos and S800. I dont expect the snapdragon 805 to be capable of this, unsure about Apple and PowerVR Rougue this upcoming fall

        • Kevin

          I thought Tegra K1 was different from Tegra 5?

          • renz

            it supposed to be tegra 5. but nvidia change the naming to K1. most likely the K refers to kepler. to be honest it is interesting they choose to use K1. maybe there will be several tegra chip based on kepler core. personally i don’t think next year tegra will be called K2 since based on nvidia roadmap it will be based on maxwell.

          • Noaman Khalil

            Tegra 4 and 4i and now tegra kelper1

  • StuckOnVerizonForever