Nvidia Launches Tegra K1 Mobile Chip with 192 Cores

Nvidia_Tegra_k1_winner

Nvidia’s taking its mobile processing platform to the next level. Tonight at CES, the chipmaker took the wraps off of its next generation mobile platform, Tegra K1. Designed to bring console-level graphics to mobile devices with a whopping 192 CUDA graphics processing cores, Tegra K1 is set to appear in a new generation of gaming tablets, gaming consoles, auto infotainment systems and smart TVs, though Nvidia didn’t announce any design wins.

MORE: Best of CES 2014 Awards

“We’ve brought mobile computing to the same level as desktop computing,” said Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. He said that the company had chosen to name the new chip Tegra K1 instead of Tegra 5 because it is based on the company’s Kepler processing technology.

 ”We happen to believe that the Android operating system in the future is going to be the most important operating system for gaming,” said Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. He later said that Epic Games would be bringing its Unreal 4 engine to Tegra K1, which will allow game developers to build their AAA titles for the platform.

To demonstrate the chip’s graphics prowess, Huang showed a demo of a moving human face called “Digital Ira” which had extremely realistic ray tracing and rendering, the kind that normally requires high-end desktop graphics. We could see tiny pieces of stubble and imperfections on Ira’s face, even light shining through the skin in his ears. When he turned off the graphics effects, Ira’s face looked completely flat and unlife like.  He also dmoed how the Tegra K1 can handle physics with a demo with a futuristic city getting hit by a meteor.

He then showed a demo with a first person view of a subway station with detailed tiled walls and smoke pouring it. He pointed out how light in the pictures was coming from multiple sources, a feature he called “mobile illumination.” He said the demo was running Unreal Engine 4 on the Tegra K1 processor and pointed out other key details like water dripping off of the walls. 

Unreal 4 on Tegra K1

“This is realtime computer graphics on a little mobile chip,” Huang said.

Huang showed a slide comparing the Tegra K1 with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation. He also showed a set of benchmark results pitting the Apple A7 CPU that powers the iPad with the K1 and Nvidia’s chip was three times faster. 

Tegra K1 vs PS3

He then announced that Tegra K1 will come in two SKUs, one with a quad-core A15 32-bit CPU and another with two CPUs using Nvidia’s long-touted 64-bit Denver technology. He then showed a working system running Android with the Denver-based chip.

Tegra K1 SKUs

Huang then talked about the Tegra K1 VCM for cars and how it would bring super computing to cars to offer beffer advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as pedestrian detection and blindspot monitoring. He said that Tegra K1 could move the industry closer to self-driving cars. 

Tegra K1 for ADAS

Huang also introduced a new initiative called Project Mercury, which is designed to create better and more realistic computer graphics for car systems. An Nvidia rep showed a completely digital speedometer which appeared on a screen that could someday be behind the steering wheel in a real car. The speedometer had highly realistic dials and gauges like you’d find in a car with a physical dashboard today.

Project Mercury

There’s no denying that the Tegra K1 represents a huge leap for mobile performance, but the success of this chip won’t be judged by demos but shipping products. We’ll have to wait until the K1 shows up in phones and tablets to decide just how good this innovation is.

AUTHOR BIO
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch on
Facebook Twitter Google+
LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE