The Tegra 3, NVIDIA's awesome quad-core processor (introduced last November) has been a hero of the mobile electronics world in recent times, making possible amazing mobile gaming, buttery smooth interactions, and better battery life. Until now, though, the only way to describe the chip's innovative architecture was to use its technical moniker – variable symmetric multiprocessing (vSMP). Today, however, NVIDIA coined the term "4-Plus-1" to more easily describe the configuration.


For those unaware, the Tegra 3 uses four cores for resource-taxing activities like gaming, while its low-powered "ninja core" lays back, ready to handle simpler tasks like e-mail processing or standby operation.

NVIDIA advises readers, in the original blog post, to keep an eye out for the chip's 4-Plus-1 configuration in "more and more devices at next week's Mobile World Congress and beyond." Could HTC's nebulous "5" teaser have something to do with this? After all, 4+1 does equal 5. Of course, all is conjecture until MWC starts up next week, but we'll be here to cover every last detail.

Source: NVIDIA Blog

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • ssj4Gogeta
  • Kenny O

    I, for one, will continue to refer to it as the "ninja core" - goes that just sounds cooler.

    • Dandmcd

      Hah, same here. Seriously the 5th core is the best thing to ever happen to Wi-Fi tablets. I can go 24 hours with my Transformer Prime in my bag, and pull it out and it will have gone from 100% battery to 99%. Simply incredible how efficient it is! I'm very curious how the Tegra 3 phones handle it with an always running radio.