Nvidia yesterday launched the Tegra X1 mobile CPU with “Maxwell” GPU which is claimed is the first mobile CPU that is capable of over 1 teraflops per second (1 trillion operations per second), making it as powerful as supercomputers a decade ago.
Nvidia chip is the most powerful mobile CPU in the world
At a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas yesterday, Nvidia (who is one of the leading manufacturers of mobile CPUs and PC graphics cards) revealed the highly anticipated update to its Tegra K1 mobile processor.
The new X1 chipset is a 64-bit ARM processor that combines a graphics chip based on their so-called Maxwell architecture. The previous K1 chip used Nvidia’s Kepler GPU technology but the new one has a 256-core Maxwell GPU plus an eight-core 64-bit CPU. The company claims this makes it the first mobile teraflop-capable processor, quite a claim indeed. It’s also capable of displaying “4K” video – that is, super hi-res video with a picture quality four times that of HD TV.
According to Nvidia, the original Tegra K1 was one of the very first mobile processors that combined a very capable CPU and a powerful graphics processing unit (GPU), but the new design took the company at least two years to design and launch.
It was just one year ago at last year’s CES that Nvidia unveiled the original K1, which has since been integrated into several products like “Chromebooks” from HP and Acer, as well as their own Shield gaming tablet and also the Google Nexus 9 device. The older chip was already very powerful and could display graphics on a par with the Xbox 360 and Playstation 4 consoles, but the new one beats that performance by at least a factor of two.
“The Maxwell is unquestionably the most powerful GPU we’ve ever built” – Nvidia.
Even though the original Nvidia chip was very powerful, it didn’t manage to achieve widespread adoption in that many smartphones. While the benchmark tests show that it outperformed every other mobile chip (with the Apple A8 and A8X coming in a very close second), it’s hoped that more consumer devices will use the new design, which should mean faster games, better graphics, and a better battery life.