back to article Nvidia outs five-core ARM chip

Nvidia has formally launched the quad-core ARM system-on-a-chip formerly known as 'Kal-El' and now unsurprisingly named 'Tegra 3', a processor originally scheduled to launch this past summer. The company pledged the part will offer three times the graphics performance of the Tegra 2 despite consuming just over a third of the …

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That is impressive

Improving the performance contra power consumption equation by a spread of most of an order of magnitude is very impressive. Intel reckons its low power challenge will be available in 2013 according to the roadmap they announced recently - they are going to have to go some to match the accelerating development of the ARM SoCs.

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Coffee/keyboard

true, and besides Intel, one wonders if Apple

...is going the same way as it did before with PC's: by being too greedy, control-freakish and generally a dangerously unreliable business partner, they try to do everything themselves and then fall behind, as soon as a more standardized platform supported by the inventions of multiple companies comes along.

Only this time, Google is Microsoft and Micro$oft is ...well ...ugh ....lead by Ballmer, who's new strategy is letting that Sinofsky guy do whatever his feature-usage percentages tell him in his sleep... The guy is running a constant fever...

I thought Jobs was awful, but I do credit him with building his shiny crap without using the crutches of focus groups and statistics for perpetual misguidance.

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Stop

Apple already can't get over the Asus Transformer bar.

The transformer vastly outperforms the iPad2 in tech, quality and value stakes, beating it in every area. The only area it doesn't beat it is in sales, but that's a consumer education problem.

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Anonymous Coward

user experience?

As usual for geek commentards, the "user experience" was not considered as a metric. For Apple, this is the only metric that counts, and that is why they sell so many iPads.

Having used the Transformer (and crashed it), other Android devices and the iPad 2, I can tell you which one I would prefer, and it is a no-brainer.

Until Android gets past the geekiness and quality issues with both the underlying OS and the application market products, it will always play 2nd fiddle to iOS(5), simply because the package on an iPad2 is still way better - and when selling consumer devices to consumers that is what counts.

Selling gadgets to geeks is a different story, and I am sure the Transformer will do well in that market because the current model is not half bad and the new one will be better (but that is true of every product) - but as a consumer device, it is 2nd tier compared to the iOS based products.

Consumers do not give a rat's arse about which company made the compressor in their refrigerator or who made the CPU in their TV. They just want it to do "what it says on the box" when they fire it up (keep the beer cold and show the footy respectively). That is the nature of consumer devices. iPads are consumer devices and up until now, Android tablets have not shown themselves to be successful as consumer devices.

Dweeb

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FAIL

You say "user experience"...

...I say "iTunes".

You lose.

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FAIL

LOL, still towing the Jobs "Android == Geek" line.

It must be sounding very tired by now. Android in it's Honeycomb guise is far more intuitive that iOS. You have widgets, rather than just a slab of icons for instance.

Sure there is complexity, but nobody is forced to use any of that to achieve what they need to to, they basics are just as easy to use (if not easier) than iOS. However if you are a geek, you optionally have more toys and settings to play with. The key point that Apple idiots can't fathom out is the OPTIONALLY bit.

By the style of your writing, I am calling out your claims of owning (and crashing) Android as bullshit. I have never heard of Android crashing, sure it might be possible, but it's extremely rare (and rarer than iOS crashes which seem to be quite frequent from a quick scan of the Apple forums)>

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong

You obviously haven't seen many Android machines. I have personally crashed, or placed in permanent limbo requiring reboot, quite a few. It is very easy to do.

Several people were watching the Transformer go tits-up. Believe it or not, there were witnesses who all found it hilarious.

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Using my amazing powers to see into the future...

I see great hardware based on this chip that's overpriced and so nobody buys it outside a few IT savvy people...

I also see tech site articles predicting the death of the tablet as no one wants to buy such impressive hardware at the inflated prices offered.

Finally, I see Britney Spears becoming the first woman president in the USA...

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Ru
Facepalm

Should impress gamers?

Not this one. If even if you squeezed all the power of a brand new, top end stupidly specced and priced gaming PC into a tablet or mobile phone would I be impressed by the gaming performace. Somehow, "play games at lower resolutions than we had in 1998 on a tiny, tiny screen!" doesn't really do it for me.

Wake me up when we have high quality, high resolution displays that can fit into a pair of glasses. Until then, I'll be over here with my boring old uncool 22" monitor and 32" TV.

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Ru

Hurr

Posted my grumble a little too soon.

What I meant to add was: the people who will be most impressed are the application developers. As advances in PC capabilities have shown us, the ability of software to bloat and consume all available resources is pretty much unbounded. We'll just get more of the same, just with sillier animations and UI transparency.

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Boffin

actually

"And you might well ask why Nvidia hasn't simply used one of the four main cores for the kind of tasks the fifth core will run. Presumably that's because it hasn't been able to implement core gating, allowing Tegra 3 to switch off three cores without hindering the fourth."

actually the fifth core is implemented with different underlying transistor fab technology that consumes less power so it is used when compute power requirements are limited and the four cores are gated off. The implication is that four cores (higher performance, higher power consumption) are required for all that web browsing with Flash and the coloured blob dodging stuff.

www.realworldtech.com has a good article (as usual) if you're interested further ...

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Silver badge

"Web browsing? You don't get Adobe Flash support for nothing, folks…"

If you can believe PCPRO you won't be getting Flash support for much longer.

Anyone know of QNX is going to have flash support?

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FAIL

Are Apple removing Flash from the marketplace

and remote uninstalling from devices?

Of course not... So Android will still be the only mobile platform that runs Flash 11. And IF (and it now looks like a big IF) Flash 12 ever arrives on the desktop, Android will still always support Flash 11..

Seems some idiots here can't work this out...

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WTF?

<snip>

"....the QNX® Neutrino® RTOS brings a potent mix of speed, reliability, and flexibility to the new BlackBerry® Tablet OS from RIM...."

<snip>

That'll be the same BB Tablet that's currently being marketed as a stonkingly overpriced Flash appliance, yes? As RIM would seem to think that this is their only selling point, you'd like to think it at least existed......

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Mushroom

adobe cancels development of flash for mobile devices

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/exclusive-adobe-ceases-development-on-mobile-browser-flash-refocuses-efforts-on-html5/19226

rofl... adobe punches nvidia right when it launches the tegra 3 platform.

nuked logo for ovious reasons

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big.LITTLE, done different

A slightly different approach to ARMs big.LITTLE heterogeneous computing multicore effort. Wonder if we're about to see patents collide over parts of this. One things sure, Nvidia don't have this all to themselves, thanks to big.LITTLE every ARM licencee can do something equivalent.

...put the 2 ideas together, simplified core+low power fabrication and... well, nothing really, the damn radio hardware will still dwarf the standby power saving!

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Anonymous Coward

Will video work this time?

Success or failure boils down to user experience. Tegra2 was powerful enough for most purposes, but fell short in its abilities to decode video. I really hope Nvidia keep their promises this time and deliver proper decoding of most H.264 and VP8 HD.formats

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Anonymous Coward

speed is king (or was it content?)

No current-gen Android tablet has enough oomph to challenge the ipad2. And I'm not talking UI - iOS may be simple and fluid, but it's because it's running a colorful hardware accelerated version of PalmOS, only locked down tight. I'm talking overall speed, which eventually translates to better user experience.

With faster hardware, the more power-hungry Android can become a real alternative for the masses, not the geeks (more fluid interface (h/w accelerated thanks to ICS), better frame rates in games, that sort of thing).

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