NVIDIA announced the Tegra K1, a new mobile chip that features 192-cores based on the same Kepler architecture that powers the GeForce 600/700 series GPUs. Tegra K1 promises extraordinary graphics performance and will be offered in two compatible versions: a 32-bit quad-core model with ARM's 4-Plus-1 Cortex A15 at 2.3GHz and a second version with a custom, NVIDIA-designed 64-bit dual Super Core CPU with a frequency of 2.5GHz. The latter chip is the first product to roll out of NVIDIA's Denver project.
Devices with the 32-bit edition are expected to hit the market in by mid-2014 while the 64-bit version should arrive sometime in the second half of 2014. NVIDIA claims the graphics capabilities of the K1 are more advanced than those of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
NVIDIA today unveiled the revolutionary Tegra® K1 mobile processor, a 192-core super chip featuring the same NVIDIA® Kepler™ architecture that powers the fastest GPU on the planet, the NVIDIA GeForce® GTX™ 780 Ti. For the first time, next-generation PC gaming will now be available on mobile platforms.
The Tegra K1 processor sets new mobile standards by supporting the latest PC-class gaming technologies, enabling it to run sophisticated gaming engines like Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4. It delivers advanced computation capabilities to speed the development of applications for computer vision and speech recognition. And its extraordinary efficiency delivers higher performance than any other mobile GPU at the same power level.
"Over the past two decades, NVIDIA invented the GPU and has developed more graphics technologies than any other company," said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO, NVIDIA. "With Tegra K1, we're bringing that heritage to mobile. It bridges the gap for developers, who can now build next-gen games and apps that will run on any device."
Tegra K1 is offered in two pin-to-pin compatible versions. The first version uses a 32-bit quad-core, 4-Plus-1™ ARM Cortex A15 CPU. The second version uses a custom, NVIDIA-designed 64-bit dual Super Core CPU. This CPU (codenamed "Denver") delivers very high single-thread and multi-thread performance. It is based on the ARMv8 architecture, which brings the energy-efficient heritage of ARM processor technology to 64-bit computing.
Both versions of Tegra K1 deliver stunning graphics and visual computing capabilities powered by the 192-core NVIDIA Kepler GPU. The 32-bit version is expected in devices in the first half of 2014, while the 64-bit version is expected in devices in the second half of the year.
Simply Unreal: Setting Stunning New Gaming Standards
Tegra K1 provides full support for the latest PC-class gaming technologies -- including DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.4 and tessellation. These capabilities will enable PC and console game developers to finally bring their stunning, visually rich titles to mobile devices.
Such features enable Tegra K1 to run the world's most advanced game engine, Unreal Engine 4. Unreal Engine is the most successful commercially licensed game engine, powering hundreds of games on high-end PCs and consoles.
Tegra K1 is also the first mobile processor to deliver the same graphics features as the next generation of consoles (Xbox One, PlayStation 4) and faster performance than current generation consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3), all in the palm of your hand.
"With the introduction of this revolutionary processor, we can take applications that run on PC or console and run it on Tegra," said Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games and developer of Unreal Engine. "From here onward, I think we're going to see the performance and feature gap between mobile and PC high-end gaming continue to narrow to the point where the difference between the platforms really blurs."
Computationally Advanced: Delivering New Creative Capabilities
Tegra K1 is the first processor to bring advanced computational capabilities to mobile -- leveraging its advanced GPU to deliver new mobile experiences.
It is also the first mobile processor to support NVIDIA CUDA® -- the world's most pervasive parallel computing platform. Developers have downloaded CUDA more than 2 million times to create cutting-edge GPU-accelerated applications for computer vision, advanced imaging, speech recognition, video editing and more.
Stunningly Efficient: Establishing New Benchmarks
In addition to its graphics and compute capabilities, Tegra K1 delivers breakthrough efficiency. The Kepler GPU at the heart of Tegra K1 is 1.5 times more efficient than other mobile GPUs. This results in faster performance in the same power envelope and a better experience for gaming and GPU-accelerated applications.(1)
Kepler -- first introduced in desktop and notebook systems, and later brought to workstations and supercomputers -- is the world's fastest and most energy-efficient GPU architecture. Tens of millions of Kepler-based graphics cards and systems have been shipped, including the GeForce GTX 780 Ti.
"Kepler powers all 10 of the world's most energy-efficient supercomputers," said Linley Gwennap of the Linley Group. "By scaling this technology down, NVIDIA has set the new standard for what's possible in mobile devices."
NVIDIA also announced that the K1 mobile processor will help self-driving cards to advance into mass market production:
NVIDIA's new Tegra® K1 mobile processor will help self-driving cars advance from the realm of research into the mass market with its automotive-grade version of the same GPU that powers the world's 10 most energy-efficient supercomputers.
The first mobile processor to bring advanced computational capabilities to the car, the NVIDIA® Tegra K1 runs a variety of auto applications that had previously not been possible with such low power consumption.
Tegra K1 features a quad-core CPU and a 192-core GPU using the NVIDIA Kepler™ architecture, the basis for NVIDIA's range of powerful GPUs -- including the processors that are used in the top 10 systems featured in the latest Green500 list of the world's most energy-efficient supercomputers.
Tegra K1 will drive camera-based, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) -- such as pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and street sign recognition -- and can also monitor driver alertness via a dashboard-mounted camera.
"To process the steady deluge of sensor and camera data required by a self-driving car, NVIDIA is bringing highly energy-efficient supercomputer technology inside the vehicle," said Taner Ozcelik, vice president and general manager of the Automotive business at NVIDIA. "Tegra K1 solves this by providing 10 times the computing power of previous mobile processors without consuming additional energy."
The Tegra K1 is also the first mobile processor to support CUDA® -- the parallel computing platform at the heart of modern computer vision. In its automotive-grade form, this super chip is hardened to withstand a wider range of temperatures and withstand harsher operating conditions.
Customizable Digital Dashboards
In addition to computer vision, the Tegra K1 processor excels at creating razor-sharp, photo-real 3D graphics. Using NVIDIA's Material Definition Language -- which simulates how light reflects and refracts off of actual materials -- digital instrument clusters and infotainment systems can be customized with a wide range of virtual materials, from copper, titanium and brushed aluminum, to stitched leather and carbon fiber.
Libraries of photo-realistic rendered material provide a nearly limitless range of customizable digital cockpit configurations. These allow drivers to configure their gauges, controls and dials to suit their unique tastes.
"Audi and NVIDIA have a long, deep partnership, in which we've utilized three generations of Tegra to bring industry-leading capabilities to the instrument cluster, infotainment and rear seat entertainment systems," said Ricky Hudi, chief executive engineer of electrics/electronics at Audi AG. "Tegra K1 opens a new chapter for Audi to deliver revolutionary supercomputing advances to the car, paving the way to piloted driving experiences."
Programmability Extends Life of Vehicle
ADAS solutions currently in the market are based mainly on proprietary processors. NVIDIA Tegra K1 moves beyond this limitation by providing an open, scalable platform that enables innovative solutions.
In addition, NVIDIA designed the Tegra K1 processor to be fully programmable, so it can be enhanced via over-the-air software updates that support new functionalities as they become available from automakers.
"Advanced computational technologies are the foundation for turning automobiles into the most innovative, capable and desirable mobile devices in the future," said Thilo Koslowski, vice president and lead automotive analyst at Gartner. "By offering over-the-air upgradeability of these technologies, automakers can improve existing in-vehicle features and offer new ones over the course of the vehicle lifecycle."
Module Supports Range of Operating Systems
Tegra K1 will be available to automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers as a visual computing module (VCM), an innovative design first introduced two years ago. The Tegra K1 VCM delivers a full computer system for the vehicle, capable of running various operating systems including QNX, Android, Linux or Windows.
The Tegra VCM allows in-vehicle systems to be easily upgraded as newer hardware becomes available, closing the gap between the rapid pace of innovation in the consumer electronics space and the longer development lifecycles typically experienced in the automotive industry.
"NVIDIA's modular approach enables automakers to fast track development with breakthrough technologies like the Tegra K1, without having to start from scratch," said Roger Lanctot, associate director within the Global Automotive Practice at Strategy Analytics.
NVIDIA Automotive Technology Driving Innovation
Today there are more than 4.5 million cars on the road powered by NVIDIA processors, including the newest models from Audi, BMW, Tesla Motors and Volkswagen. Find out more at www.nvidia.com/automotive.
The power of the NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor for automotive applications will be demonstrated in NVIDIA booth 30207 at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Jan. 7-10, in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.