In early 2014 had announced in the second half called a 64 bit version of its Tegra processor K1, “Denver” to bring out Nvidia. Now Nvidia has released more details that give hope for an extremely high-performance chip – which is also already optimized for Android L.
As Nvidia introduced its roadmap for 2014 and the 32-bit Tegra K1 beginning of the year, we were a little disappointed at a high level. Reason: After the 32 bit Tegra K1 with four cores, which is currently being installed among other things in the Shield Tablet, should a Tegra K1-SoC follow in the second half with 64-bit dual core CPU performing “only”. Now Nvidia has released a blog post about the new chip.
First Nvidia declares that it is the first 64-bit ARM-based processor for Android. Admittedly, this is not a very impressive fact. First, because even Qualcomm and MediaTek have already given their solutions and practically ready for the market, on the other hand, because there is already quite Android devices with 64-bit processors from Intel with x86 Achitecture on the market. It will be exciting but if Nvidia describes how to plan and optimize the performance of the current reference design with 2.5 GHz maximum clock processor.
Nvidia uses its own processor design, but that is completely compatible with ARMv8. The new SoC is fully pin compatible with the older Tegra K1, so device manufacturers do not need a new board designs and thus can design new devices faster. Both cores of Denver architecture to implement the so-called 7-way superscalar microarchitecture, a 4-way L1 instruction cache with 128 KB and a 4-way L1 data cache with 64 KB. For comparison: According to Nvidia, the corresponding caches have the 32-bit K1 depending only 32 KB. Both cores can also access a 16-way L2 cache gemainsamen with 2 MB.
Furthermore, the CPU cores thanks to Dynamic Code Optimization access to 128 MB main memory. In this process frequently occurring computational operations are stored in the processor optimized form (microcode-equivalent routines) and can from there faster – according to Nvidia about twice as fast – can be accessed. In this way, the execution speed of code will total significantly increased and the energy consumption can be lowered so accompanied.
In connection with the thanks to 7-way superscalar design increased data throughput and new techniques for optimizing the energy efficiency of the 64-bit Tegra will deliver significantly more power than current K1 Quad and Octa-core SoCs and thereby conserve battery power anyway. Of course, the Denver version of the K1 has again 192 GPU shader cores with Nvidia’s already of desktop graphics cards known Kepler architecture, so that the graphics performance of the chip should convince.
That Nvidia Android itself developed, is obvious. Maybe it’s “only” right software and drivers to ensure optimal utilization of the hardware in the new Android iteration. Maybe it is but to be understood as encrypted reference to a Nexus device with Tegra K1 inner life. According to rumors, HTC will develop the first Nexus tablet in the 8.9 inch form factor under the code name “Volantis” – with a 64-bit K1 Tegra SoC. A first device based on the K1 “Denver” -SoC was presented in June. This, however, is a developer Tablet for Project Tango.
If the highly optimized architecture of the Denver-core actually bring the power that Nvidia suggests, could we actually finally be the next big leap in performance into the house – and Nvidia have finally set foot in the door for mobile SoCs. We are very excited to see what awaits us in the next few months in this regard – and we hope next to a Nexus tablet also a new SHIELD Handheld with this processor.
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