NVIDIA today announced the first next-generation mobile chipset of the year in the Tegra X1. The Tegra X1 chipset is also the first mobile chipset with over one teraflops of processing power. It is claimed to be twice as powerful as the Tegra K1 chipset announced by the company last year.
The Tegra X1 chipset includes an octa-core CPU with 4 Cortex-A57 cores and 4 Cortex-A53 cores, similar to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 and Samsung Exynos 7 series chipsets. However, unlike those chipsets, NVIDIA isn’t using ARM’s big.LITTLE configuration. Instead, the X1 chipset uses NVIDIA’s own fourth-generation cluster switching. The Tegra X1 GPU is based on NVIDIA’s desktop Maxwell architecture and has a total of 256 cores, up from 192 cores on the Tegra K1 GPU. The chipset is manufactured on a TSMC 20nm process, which leads to greater efficiency and power savings over the Tegra K1 chipset. The chipset supports 4K videos at up to 60 fps and maximum camera resolution of up to 1.3 gigapixel.
The chip also supports all major graphics standards like Unreal Engine 4, DirectX 12, Open GL 4.5, CUDA, OpenGL ES 3.1 and Android Extension Pack, making it easier for mobile game developers to bring PC game to the Android platform for devices running the Tegra X1 chipset. NVIDIA expects to see the first products using the X1 chipset to arrive in the first half of the year. The chipset isn’t just meant for mobile devices but also embedded products, autonomous machines and automotive applications.Like the Tegra K1 last year, there are high chances that we aren’t likely to see any other mobile chipset come close to matching the performance of the Tegra X1 this year. However, it does remain to be seen if NVIDIA really has managed to address the high power draw issues that plagued the Tegra K1 chip last year. The chipset doesn’t include an integrated modem either, which makes it less appealing for smartphone implementations as OEMs will need to use a separate modem chip for cellular connectivity.