Tegra is a system on a chip (SoC) series developed by Nvidia for mobile devices such as smartphones, personal digital assistants, and mobile Internet devices. The Tegra integrates an ARM architecture central processing unit (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU), northbridge, southbridge, and memory controller onto one package. The series emphasizes low power consumption and high performance for playing audio and video.
The Tegra APX 2500 was announced on February 12, 2008, the Tegra 6xx product line was revealed on June 2, 2008, and the APX 2600 was announced in February 2009. The APX chips were designed for smartphones, while the Tegra 600 and 650 chips were intended for smartbooks and mobile Internet devices (MID).
The first product to use the Tegra was Microsoft's Zune HD media player in September 2009, followed by the Samsung M1. Microsoft's KIN was the first cellular phone to use the Tegra; however, the phone did not have an app store, so the Tegra's power did not provide much advantage. In September 2008, Nvidia and Opera Software announced that they would produce a version of the Opera 9.5 browser optimised for the Tegra on Windows Mobile and Windows CE. At Mobile World Congress 2009, Nvidia introduced its port of Google's Android to the Tegra.
On January 7, 2010, Nvidia officially announced and demonstrated its next generation Tegra system-on-a-chip, the Nvidia Tegra 250, at Consumer Electronics Show 2010. Nvidia primarily supports Android on Tegra 2, but booting other ARM-supporting operating systems is possible on devices where the bootloader is accessible. Tegra 2 support for the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution was also announced on the Nvidia developer forum.
Nvidia announced the first quad-core SoC at the February 2011 Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. Though the chip was codenamed Kal-El, it is now branded as Tegra 3. Early benchmark results show impressive gains over Tegra 2, and the chip was used in many of the tablets released in the second half of 2011.
In January 2012, Nvidia announced that Audi had selected the Tegra 3 processor for its in-vehicle infotainment systems and digital instruments display. The processor will be integrated into Audi's entire line of vehicles worldwide, beginning in 2013.
In summer of 2012 Tesla Motors began shipping the Model S all electric, high performance sedan, which contains two NVIDIA Tegra 3D Visual Computing Modules (VCM). One VCM powers the 17-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and one drives the 12.3-inch all digital instrument cluster."
- Tegra APX 2500
- Processor: ARM11 600 MHz MPCore (originally GeForce ULV)
- suffix: APX (formerly CSX)
- Memory: NOR or NAND flash, Mobile DDR
- Graphics: Image processor (FWVGA 854×480 pixels)
- Up to 12 megapixels camera support
- LCD controller supports resolutions up to 1280×1024
- Storage: IDE for SSD
- Video codecs: up to 720p MPEG-4 AVC/h.264 and VC-1 decoding
- Includes GeForce ULV support for OpenGL ES 2.0, Direct3D Mobile, and programmable shaders
- Output: HDMI, VGA, composite video, S-Video, stereo jack, USB
- USB On-The-Go
- Tegra APX 2600
- Enhanced NAND flash
- Video codecs:
- Tegra 600
- Targeted for GPS segment and automotive
- Processor: ARM11 700 MHz MPCore
- Memory: low-power DDR (DDR-333, 166 MHz)
- SXGA, HDMI, USB, stereo jack
- HD camera 720p
- Tegra 650
- Targeted for GTX of handheld and notebook
- Processor: ARM11 800 MHz MPCore
- Low power DDR (DDR-400, 200 MHz)
- Less than 1 Watt envelope
- HD image processing for advanced digital still camera and HD camcorder functions
- Display supports 1080p at 24 frame/s, HDMI v1.3, WSXGA+ LCD and CRT, and NTSC/PAL TV output
- Direct support for Wi-Fi, disk drives, keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals
- A complete board support package (BSP) to enable fast time to market for Windows Mobile-based designs
The second generation Tegra SoC has a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU (lacking ARM's advanced SIMD extension—NEON), an ultra low power (ULP) GeForce GPU with 4 pixel shaders + 4 vertex shaders, a 32-bit single-channel memory controller with either LPDDR2-600 or DDR2-667 memory, a 32KB/32KB L1 cache per core and a shared 1MB L2 cache. There is also a version of the SoC supporting 3D displays; this SoC uses a higher clocked CPU and GPU.
|Model number||Semiconductor technology||CPU instruction set||CPU||GPU||Memory technology||Availability||Utilizing Devices|
|Tegra 250 AP20H (Ventana)||40 nm||ARMv7||1 GHz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9||ULP GeForce 300 MHz||32-bit Single-channel 300 MHz LPDDR2 (2.4 GB/sec) or 333 MHz DDR2 (2.66 GB/sec)||Q1 2010||Motorola Atrix 4G, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola Photon, LG Optimus 2X / LG Optimus Dual P990 / Optimus 2x SU660 (?), Samsung Galaxy R, Samsung Captivate Glide, ZTE Mimosa X, [ Micromax Superfone A85], T-Mobile G2X P999, Acer Iconia Tab A200 and A500, LG Optimus Pad, Motorola Xoom,Sony Tablet S, Dell Streak 7, Dell Streak Pro, Asus Slider, Toshiba Thrive tablet, T-Mobile G-Slate|
|Tegra 250 T20 (Harmony)||40 nm||ARMv7||1 GHz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9||ULP GeForce 333 MHz||32-bit Single-channel 300 MHz LPDDR2 (2.4 GB/sec) or 333 MHz DDR2 (2.66 GB/sec)||Q1 2010||Avionic Design [ Tamonten] Processor Board, Exper EasyPad, Notion Ink Adam tablet, Olivetti OliPad 100, Point of View Mobii 10.1, ViewSonic G Tablet, [ ViewSonic ViewPad 10s], ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Toshiba AC100, Toshiba Folio 100, Advent Vega, [ Hannspree Hannspad], Aigo n700, CompuLab Trim-Slice nettop, E-Noa Interpad, Malata Tablet Zpad, MSI 10-inch (250 mm) tablet, Toradex Colibri Tegra 2, [ Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1], [ Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet], Velocity Micro Cruz Tablet L510, [ Zyrex Onepad SP1110], [ Zyrex Onepad SP1113G], Acer Iconia Tab A100.|
|Tegra 250 3D AP25||40 nm||ARMv7||1.2 GHz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9||ULP GeForce 400 MHz||32-bit Single-channel 300 MHz LPDDR2 (2.4 GB/sec) or 333 MHz DDR2 (2.66 GB/sec)||Q1 2011||Fusion Garage Grid 10|
|Tegra 250 3D T25||40 nm||ARMv7||1.2 GHz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9||ULP GeForce 400 MHz||32-bit Single-channel 300 MHz LPDDR2 (2.4 GB/sec) or 333 MHz DDR2 (2.66 GB/sec)||Q1 2011|
The Tegra 3 (codenamed "Kal-El") is functionally a SoC with a Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore CPU, but includes a fifth "companion" core. While all cores are Cortex-A9s, the companion core is manufactured with a special low power silicon process that uses less power at low clock rate but does not scale well to high clock rates; hence it is limited to 500 MHz. There is also special logic to allow running state to be quickly and transparently transferred between the companion core and one of the normal cores. The goal is for a mobile phone or tablet to be able to power down all the normal cores and run on only the companion core, using comparatively little power, during standby mode or when otherwise underutilizing the CPU. According to Nvidia, this includes playing music or even video content. Compared to Tegra 2, the ARM Cortex-A9s in Tegra 3 now supports ARM's SIMD extension, NEON. The GPU in Tegra 3 is an evolution of the Tegra 2 GPU, with three times the number of pixel shader units (12 compared to 4) and higher clock frequency. It can also output video up to 2560×1600 resolution and supports 1080p MPEG-4 AVC/h.264 40 Mbit/s High-Profile, VC1-AP, and DivX 5/6 video decode. The Tegra 3 was released on November 9, 2011.
- Semiconductor technology: 40 nm LPG by TSMC
- CPU cache: L1: 32 kB instruction + 32 kB data, L2: 1 MB
- The number of active cores can be reduced at runtime to save power and possibly even enter single-core mode
|Model number||CPU clock||GPU||Memory technology||Availability||Utilizing Devices|
|Tegra 3 T30L||1.2 GHz (up to 1.3 GHz in single-core mode)||416 MHz ULP GeForce||32-bit single-channel 667 MHz DDR3-1333 (5.34 GB/sec)||Q1 2012||Asus Transformer Pad TF300T, ASUS MeMO Pad Smart ME301T, Microsoft Surface, Nexus 7,Sony Xperia Tablet S, Acer Iconia Tab A210, WEXLER.TAB 7t, Lenovo IdeaTab A2109, Toshiba AT300 (Excite 10)|
|Tegra 3 T30||1.4 GHz (up to 1.5 GHz in single-core mode)||520 MHz ULP GeForce||32-bit single-channel 533 MHz LPDDR2-1066 (4.26 GB/sec) or 750 MHz DDR3-L (6 GB/sec)||Q4 2011||Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime,IdeaTab K2 / LePad K2,Acer Iconia Tab A510, Acer Iconia Tab A700, LG Optimus 4X HD, HTC One X, ZTE Era, ZTE PF 100, ZTE T98, Toshiba AT270, Asus VivoTab RT, Fuhu Inc. nabi 2 Tablet,Tesla Model S, Kungfu K3, Goophone I5, Olivetti Olipad 3,Microsoft Surface, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11, Nvidia Cardhu developer tablet|
|Tegra 3 T33||1.6 GHz (up to 1.7 GHz in single-core mode)||520 MHz ULP GeForce||32-bit single-channel 800 MHz DDR3-1600 (6.4 GB/sec)||Q2 2012||Asus Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700T), Fujitsu Arrows X F-10D, Ouya, HTC One X+|
The Tegra 4 (codenamed "Wayne") was announced on 6th January 2013 and is functionally a SoC with a quad-core CPU, but includes a fifth low power Cortex A15 companion core which is invisible to the OS and performs background tasks to save power. The graphics on the SoC is claimed to be about 20 times faster than Tegra 2 and 6 times faster than Tegra 3.
|Model number||Semiconductor technology||CPU instruction set||CPU||CPU Cache||GPU||Memory technology||Availability||Utilizing Devices|
|Tegra 4 Wayne||28 nm HPL||ARMv7||Up to 1.9 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A15||L1: 32 KB instruction + 32 KB data, L2: 1 MB||GeForce @ 72 Core, 672MHz, 96 GFLOPS = 48 PS + 24 VU x 0.672 x 2 (96 GFLOPS) ||32-bit dual-channel DDR3L or LPDDR3 up to 933MHz (1866 MHz data rate)||Q2 2013||Nvidia Shield, Vizio 10" tablet, HP tablet, Toshiba AT10-A tablet, ZTE super phone|
Along with Tegra 4, Nvidia also introduced i500, a software modem based on Nvidia's acquisition of Icera, which can be reprogrammed to support new network standards. It supports category 3 (100Mbit/s) LTE but will later be updated to Category 4 (150Mbit/s).
The Tegra 4i (codenamed "Grey") was announced on 19th February 2013. Using Cortex-A9 cores instead of Cortex-A15, the Tegra 4i is a cut-down variant of the Tegra 4 and is expected to be included in future budget phones and tablets. Unlike its Tegra 4 counterpart, the Tegra 4i also integrates the Icera i500 LTE/HSPA+ baseband processor onto the same die. The Tegra 4i also features only 60 cores in its GPU compared to the 72 GPU cores found in the Tegra 4.
|Model number||Semiconductor technology||CPU instruction set||CPU||CPU Cache||GPU||Memory technology||Availability||Utilizing Devices|
|Tegra 4i Grey||28 nm HPM||ARMv7||Up To 2.3 GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A9 R4||L1: 32 KB instruction + 32 KB data, L2: 1 MB||GeForce @ 60 Core, 660MHz, 79 GFLOPS = 48 PS + 12 VU x 0.660 x 2 (79 GFLOPS)||32-bit single-channel LPDDR3-1600 at 800MHz (PoP configuration) or 933MHz (discrete configuration) ||Q3 2013||Nvidia Phoenix|
As with the Tegra 3, all upcoming Tegra SoCs have codenames that are references to comic book superheroes. Specifically, Superman (Kal-El), Batman (Wayne), Jean Grey (Grey), Wolverine (Logan), and Spider-Man (Parker).
Nvidia’s next-gen Tegra 5, code-named Logan will feature an ARM Cortex general-purpose processing unit as well as a Kepler graphics processing unit with support for GPU computing, Direct3D, and OpenGL 4.3, with a graphics processor capable of general-purpose processing on GPU. Nvidia has demonstrated a development board consisting of a Tegra 3 coupled with a Kepler family GPU over PCIe. They are calling it "Kayla" and it is an early development board for running CUDA on ARM.
- Processor: Quad ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore + low power companion core
- Improved GPU core with a shared architecture as in Kepler with CUDA technology
- 28 nm
- About 50 times faster than Tegra 2
- To be released in Q2 2014
Tegra 6 will feature Nvidia’s own custom general-purpose ARMv8-compatible core code-named Project Denver as well as code-named Maxwell graphics processing core with GPGPU support. The chips will be made using FinFET process technology, which likely means that it will be made using TSMC 16 nm or 10 nm FinFET manufacturing process. Nvidia Tegra 6 “Parker” is due some time in the 2015–2016 timeframe. However, there are even faster mobile application processors incoming from Nvidia, as it intends to integrate its new-generation general-purpose cores, such as Boulder, as well as graphics cores, such as Volta, into future Tegra chips.
Nvidia distributes proprietary drivers for Tegra through OEMs and as part of its "Linux for Tegra" (formerly "L4T") development kit. As of April 2012[update], due to different "business needs" from that of their GeForce line of graphics cards, Nvidia and one of their Embedded Partners, Avionic Design GmbH from Germany, are also working on submitting open source drivers for Tegra upstream to the mainline Linux kernel. NVIDIA Co-founder & CEO lays out Tegra processor roadmap using Ubuntu Unity in GPU Technology Conference 2013.
- "Nvidia Rolls out "Tegra" Processors". Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- "NVIDIA Tegra FAQ". Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- New Nvidia Tegra 3 at 1.5GHz
- Microsoft KIN first to use tegra
- "Nvidia and Opera team to accelerate the full Web on mobile devices" (Press release). Opera Software. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- "Nvidia And Opera Team To Accelerate The Full Web On Mobile Devices" (Press release). NVIDIA. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- "New Nvidia Tegra Processor Powers The Tablet Revolution". Nvidia. 7Jan2010. Retrieved 2010-03-19.
- "What operating systems does Tegra support?" (Press release). NVIDIA. 2011-08-17. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- "Why nVidia’s Tegra 3 is faster than a Core 2 Duo T7200". Brightsideofnews.com. 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- "Nvidia's Kal-El Demonstration Marred By Benchmark Confusion". Retrieved 2011-02-22.
- Peter Clarke, EE Times. "Audi selects Tegra processor for infotainment, dashboard." January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- ""Tegra Automotive Infotainment and Navigation"". NVIDIA. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Nvidia Tegra APX Specifications". Retrieved 2011-02-17.
- "LG Optimus 2X & Nvidia Tegra 2 Review: The First Dual-Core Smartphone". AnandTech.
- "NVidia Tegra 2 Product Information". NVidia.
- "Motorola Xoom Specifications Table". Motorola Mobility, Inc. February 16, 2011.
- [ Dell Streak Pro Honeycomb tablet pictured, likely to be with us in June], Engadget, 19 May 2011
- "Avionic Design Tegra 2 (T290) Tamonten Processor Module — Product Brief". Avionic Design.
- Nvidia announces the Tegra 3 – Kal-El brings PC class performance to Android | Android Central
- "Variable SMP – A Multi-Core CPU Architecture for Low Power and High Performance". 2011-09-19.
- "ASUS Transformer Prime introduced and examined". HEXUS.net. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
- "NVIDIA Quad-Core Tegra 3 Chip Sets New Standards of Mobile Computing Performance, Energy Efficiency". 2011-11-09.
- "xdadevelopers: [TIP] Single/Dual/Quad Core Mode (Configurable)". 2013-03-15.
- AnandTech – ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700T) Review
- "Nexus 7 tablet hands-on". Engadget. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- "Toshiba Excite 10 Benchmark Test". YouTube. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- Tegra 3 Multi-Core Super-Chip Processors
- "Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime (Nvidia Tegra 3 Processor; 10.1-inch display) Review". 2011-12-30.
- LePad K2 performance test by GLBenchmark
- Fuhu Nabi 2 Review: A Quad-Core Android 4.0 Tablet Designed Just For Your Kids – And It's Surprisingly Awesome
- KungFu K3, yet another Quad-core Galaxy S III knock-off | GizmoChina
- Olivetti | Olipad 3
- Microsoft Announces New Surface Details
- Lenovo Introduces The IdeaPad Yoga 11 and 13, The First Tablet & Laptop Ultrabook Hybrid | TechCrunch
- Lenovo Launches IdeaPad Yoga 11, Yoga 13
- Nvidia Tegra 4 processor details leaked | ZDNet
- Trenholm, Rich. "Nvidia Kal-El quad-core phone chip is faster than a speeding bullet in video". CBS Interactive Limited. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
- "First 'Logan' marries CUDA, then 'Parker' moves to 64-bit Denver."
- Ryan Smith (March 19, 2013). "More Details On NVIDIA’s Kayla: A Dev Platform for CUDA on ARM". AnandTech. Retrieved 2013-04-06.
- Mayo, Jon (2012-04-20). "[RFC 0/4] Add NVIDIA Tegra DRM support". dri-devel mailing list. http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/dri-devel/2012-April/021833.html. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- Larabel, Michael (2012-04-11). "A NVIDIA Tegra 2 DRM/KMS Driver Tips Up". Phoronix Media. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- Nvidia's Tegra APX website
- Nvidia's Tegra FAQ
- Tegra 2 Whitepaper
- Nvidia's Tegra 3 Kai Tablets
- New Chips Could Boost iPhone Rivals
- Nvidia Unveils Mobile Graphics Powerhouse in Barcelona
- Nvidia Surprises With First Mobile CPU
- Nvidia dialing into mobile phones
- Nvidia APX 2500 chip enables 3D and hours of high-def playback on Windows Mobile handsets
- Nvidia rolls out Tegra chips aimed at tiny PCs
- Nvidia Announces Tegra "Grey" SoC with Built-in 3G, 4G Communication Capabilities