Nvidia Announces Tegra K1 Application Processors for Mobile Electronics

Nvidia Unveils Code-Named “Logan” Mobile SoC with Integrated Kepler Graphics

by Anton Shilov
01/06/2014 | 11:06 PM

Nvidia Corp. on Monday introduced its new Tega system-on-chip (SoC) devices for smartphones, tablets, consumer electronics and automobiles. The new chips feature 32-bit or 64-bit general-purpose central processing units as well as graphics adapters with Kepler architecture. Code-named “Logan” SoCs will significantly improve quality of video games for various devices.


Nvidia 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 microprocessor. The second version uses a custom, Nvidia-designed 64-bit dual-core microprocessor code-named "Denver", which delivers very high single-thread and multi-thread performance thanks to 7-way superscalar architecture. It is based on the ARMv8 instruction set, which brings the energy-efficient heritage of ARM processor technology to 64-bit computing. Both versions of Tegra K1 deliver leading-edge graphics performance thanks to a Kepler architecture graphics processing unit with 192 stream processors. The Tegra K1 GPU includes four ROPs [raster operating units] and has a 128KB L2 cache between the ROPs and the 64-bit memory interface.

Both Tegra K1 system-on-chips feature DDR3L/LPDDR2/LPDDR3 memory controller, 4K video decoder and encoder, security engine, industry-standard input/output interfaces, HDMI output and so on. The Nvidia Tegra K1 processor includes a brand new, high performance dual-ISP core that supports up to a 100Mpixel sensor, handling 4096 simultaneous focus points, and providing a throughput of 1.2Gigapixels per second.

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 visually rich titles to mobile devices.

“With the introduction of this revolutionary processor, we can take applications that run on PC or console and run it on Tegra. From here onward, I think we are 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," said Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games and developer of Unreal Engine.

According to Nvidia, Tegra K1 is also the first mobile processor to deliver faster performance than current generation consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3).

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. Both chips will be made using 28nm HPM process technology.