Nvidia have used the Asus Transformer Prime as a platform to showcase just what their latest and greatest creation is capable of. Their new quad-core monster of aN SoC (System on Chip) is currently in production and will be hitting mobile devices, mostly tablets, towards the end of December. The Transformer Prime is obviously the first ever retail product to sport this new chip and through a mutual understanding between the two companies, they’ll both be pimping each others technology and advancements.

A quick comparo

After a quick comparison with the Tegra 2, we see that Kal-El is still using ARM Cortex-A9 CPU cores, only four of them, instead of two. It’s even based on the same 40nm fabrication process, which means power consumption should be more or less the same. That’s where the similarities end though, Nvidia have added a fifth ‘Companion Core’, which runs at 500MHz and claims it’s the reason devices will see a better battery life with Tegra 3. This is how the Transformer Prime is able to achieve its 12-hr battery life during video playback. There’s also an ARM NEON instruction set added and HDMI 1.4 support for higher bandwidth in 3D videos. The graphics portion of the SoC has also gotten a big bump and the GPU now has 12 cores which they claim, provides three times the power of Tegra 2.

By the end of 2011, Nvidia claim to have up to 15 Tegra 3 optimized games for their Tegra Zone store. Some games that we know off include Shadowgun, Riptide GP, Sprinkle, Big Top HD, among others. Some of the key features include:

  • World’s first quad-core ARM Cortex-A9
  • vSMP technology which in includes a fifth low powered core for better battery life
  • New video engines with support for 1080p video at 40Mbps
  • 3x higher memory bandwidth   
  • 2x faster image processing
  • Supports hardware acceleration of Flash Player 11, HTML 5 and WebGL browsing
  • HDMI 1.4


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