NVIDIA Tegra 3 became the first quad-core system processor for smartphones and tables , or even five penta-core in a 4-plus-1 configuration. Tegra 4 will apparently follow down the same path, but this time with a lot more powerful processor cores.
What made the Tegra 3 architecture stand out was not just that it was the first quad-core system processor, but a certain energy saving function. Tegra 3 was the first cirucit to sport five ARM Cortex-A9 cores, where the fifth was clocked at only 500 MHz. When the telefphone was in standby or used for simpler tasks the slower core was used, and when more processor power is needed it is turned off and instead the four primary cores are activated, sporting lots more performance and higher clock frequencies.
According to VR-Zone Tegra 4 will use a similar 4-plus-1 architecture, but with ARM Cortex-A15 cores. NVIDIA goes against ARM’s big.LITTLE concept and continues with its own setup. Tegra 4 T40 will appear in Q1 2013 and most likely build on TSMC’s 28 nanometer technology, clocked at 1.8 GHz. Later next year T43 will arrive, clocked at 2.0 GHz, along with AP40 clocked at 1.2 – 1.8 GHz for the lower segments.
Tegra 4 is code-named Wayne and will brings some interesting news. NVIDIA has not spent much energy on the graphics performance in its Tegra circuits so far, but that is about to change. The graphics architecture is expected to bre more like the desktop side, and we expect support for CUDA and OpenCL.
They also mention the circuit SP3X, which is also a 4-plus-1 architecture but with the older Cortex-A9 cores. Clock frequencies will be between 1.2 – 2.0 GHz and will bring integrated LTE/4G. We assume this will also be built on 28 nanometer, and it is most likely the chip code-named Grey.