19
Mar
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We're at NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose this week, and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang revealed new details regarding the future of the Tegra platform: the Logan and Parker chips.

Logan (which may be Tegra 5) is scheduled to ship in early 2014, and will be NVIDA's first mobile chipset to use a CUDA (NVIDIA's GPU computing platform) compatible GPU. While for normal folk like you and I that doesn't mean much, CUDA is an increasingly popular tool among scientists and big data companies for parallel processing applications. It's hard to say what kind of new applications that could mean for phones and tablets, but it could make the Tegra platform more attractive to certain audiences. Logan will also be OpenGL 4.3-ready out of the box.

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Jen-Hsun took an opportunity to demo this powerful new mobile GPU on a modified Tegra 3 board known as 'Kayla' (because it has a PCI-Express slot), and the results were impressive - ray tracing, shaders, and real-time, intensive 3D rendering were accomplished on an Ubuntu install with ease. It was a solid demonstration, though the fact that it was done on a chopped-up Tegra 3 board with a large heatsink and fan (which will go away when the GPU is on a Logan SoC) will likely be seen as less than reassuring by some.

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NVIDIA also provided a few details on the Parker platform (Tegra 6?). Parker will be a major step forward on the whole - a brand-new GPU platform (Maxwell), and a brand-new 64-bit ARM chip known as Denver. The chip will be manufactured with low-power FinFET 3D transistors, which - I believe - makes it the first mobile chip announced to use that process.

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Later, on an investor call, Jen-Hsun mentioned that Tegra 4 'came later' than he had hoped, though Tegra 4i is allegedly ahead of schedule. Revenues for the Tegra division were also up 50% year over year, indicating the increasing importance of the mobile side in NVIDIA's overall business strategy.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Haidar Alamir

    I want a tegra 4 powered Nexus phone made by Sony

    • adi19956

      One of the most sensible comments the internet's come up with all day

    • John Young

      Sony part sounds good but I'd rather a snapdragon 800 assuming its not a battery hog

    • http://www.facebook.com/matty.b.miranda Matthew Miranda

      Agree with Adi this is the only comment not to piss me off. Thanks Yahoo news lol

    • Tarek El-Ghazaly

      No, you don't want a Tegra-powered anything. Source: Someone who was pumped about the T1, owned the first T2, T3 powered devices, and experienced the fail first hand.

  • Niels Delporte

    Ooooh, FinFET! Can't wait for Tegra 5 to come out :-) that'll be a huge step forward!

    • joser116

      The Tegra 6 is the one with FinFET and a huge step forward, not Tegra 5.

      • Niels Delporte

        Oh yes, indeed it is. I was too hasty to add my comment and should've reread before posting it. My bad!

    • Matthew Fry

      I looked it up but it's still complete gibberish. I'm a software guy not an electrical engineer. What's the advantage of FinFET?

      • Niels Delporte

        If I remember correctly, FinFET promises the same performance for significantly less power or a lot more performance for the same power usage. Oh, and it's a fancy-pants 3D transistor as well.

        From synopsys.com:
        FinFETs are estimated to be up to 37% faster while using less than half the dynamic power or cut static leakage current by as much as 90%.

  • fixxmyhead

    what happened to stark?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Good question. I'm guessing it was shelved or merged into another branch of Tegra.

    • Justin Swanson

      He had to leave for Winterfell

  • Matthew Fry

    50% YOY? That's really awesome. Good for NVIDIA.

    On another note, while I don't use CUDA myself, I do know some who do and there are some advantages to CUDA for graphics shader programming. By providing CUDA on mobile chipsets it's even easier to port CUDA enabled full PC games to mobile platforms.