Nvidia aims to challenge Qualcomm/Intel with Tegra K1 processors

Nvidia (NVDA +1.6%) has unveiled its Tegra K1 mobile app processors. The K1 chips, formerly codenamed Logan and Parker, are the first Tegra offerings to feature a GPU based on Nvidia's Kepler PC GPU architecture, and manage to pack 192 GPU cores (the prior-gen Tegra 4 has 72). (PR)

The K1, believed to leverage TSMC's cutting-edge 20nm manufacturing process, is also the first Tegra solution to support Nvidia's CUDA developer platform (optimizes apps for Nvidia GPUs). CES attendees have been impressed by demos showing K1-powered tablets delivering desktop-caliber graphics.

Two versions are offered: a quad-core chip featuring off-the-shelf ARM (ARMH -0.1%) CPU cores, and (more interestingly) a solution featuring two powerful custom 64-bit ARM cores (codenamed Denver). Apple and Qualcomm have already unveiled 64-bit ARM processors, which carry higher royalty rates than 32-bit chips.

Devices featuring the 32-bit and 64-bit chips are respectively set to arrive in 1H14 and 2H14. Nvidia is counting on the K1 to help Tegra sales (-54% Y/Y in FQ3) to rebound following a rough 2013. They'll face tough competition from Qualcomm (QCOM +0.3%) - its baseband/app processor integration remains a big selling point for many OEMs - and from a newly mobile-focused Intel (INTC). In addition, indirect competition is provided by Apple and Samsung's in-house processors.

Nvidia's mobile struggles have led the company to begin offering to license Kepler and other IP to third-party chipmakers.

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Comments (2)
  • investingInvestor
    , contributor
    Comments (2556) | Send Message
    In the second half of 2012, we all past through an inflection point. Moore's Law drove the first movers like Apple into a new approach to personal devices as well as warehouse servers.


    The Apple Ax series of SoCs is proof. The Nvidia Tegra K1 is further proof. The ARM ecosystem is the incubator for the next wave of IT SoCs.


    How much proof do you need?
    6 Jan 2014, 05:53 PM Reply Like
  • enihcam
    , contributor
    Comments (28) | Send Message
    few facts:


    1. Not only Tegra K1 has a 192-Core GPU, AMD's low-end APU, Mullins, also has GPU with 3 CU x 64-Core = 192-Core. 192 is really not a big number in 2014.


    2. An ARM mobile processor should be less than 2W, but the power consumption of Tegra K1 is 5W, which actually puts this processor into battlefield with x86(64) processors. For example, Intel Baytrail 1.5-4w; AMD Mullins 2~4.5W.


    3. Tegra K1-64 only has dual-core CPU, but Baytrail/Mullins are quad-core in same power consumption level.


    4. Tegra K1 supports only DX11.1, but Mullins support DX11.2 and native OpenCL.


    5. Tegra K1-64 will not be available to OEMs till the end of 2014, but Mullins will be available to OEMs in summer of 2014.
    9 Jan 2014, 05:12 AM Reply Like
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