Nvidia unveils next two generations of Tegra chips, dubbed Logan and Parker

If you thought the Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i would be the last mobile chips we saw from Nvidia for a while, you're mistaken. According to CNET, Nvidia boss Jen-Hsun Huang announced the next two generations of the Tegra processor. Following the superhero naming convention since Tegra 3, the next two chips have been codenamed Logan and Parker.

Logan, which is slated to come out later this year, will use Nvidia's Kepler GPU, one of the best dedicated GPUs that you can get for a smartphone right now. The chip will also incorporate Nvidia's GPU programming model CUDA.

Parker is set to be the first chip from Nvidia's Project Denver. It is going to be capable of full 64-bit capabilities. The GPU in Parker is going to be Nvidia's next-gen Maxwell GPU, which will have new architecture.

"In five years time, we'll increase Tegra by 100 times," Huang said. "Moore's Law would suggest an eightfold increase."

Nvidia's roadmap fo Tegra chips

Nvidia's roadmap fo Tegra chips (image credit: CNET)


During MWC this year, Nvidia had unveiled the new Tegra 4i chip. What makes this one special is that it has its own integrated LTE modem. It integrates the Tegra 4 with Nvidia's new i500 LTE modem and cuts the size of the chip down to half of that of other chips.

The Tegra 4i—codenamed Grey—is designed to run four cores at a speed of up to 2.3GHz and the company is targeting it towards mainstream smartphones, while the super-high end categories will be handled by the Tegra 4. The 4i is based on ARM's Cortex A9 processor, which lets it have a smaller chip size and power requirement. It also sports Nvidia's Computational Photography Architecture, dubbed Chimera.

One of the biggest things to come out of the Tegra 4i is the possibility of the upper-end of mid-ranged phones sporting a powerful SoC with LTE built into it. While we don’t have much of an option to use LTE in India, it may become more useful as time goes on. With enough passage of time, one can even consider low-end mobiles using the Tegra 4i.

Back in February, it was revealed that Nvidia has been having a hard time in getting companies to adopt the Tegra 4. Toshiba has so far been the first smartphone and tablet maker to adopt the processor, which implies that Nvidia has been struggling to compete with chips made by Qualcomm, MediaTek and IC design houses.

Asus and Acer, two of the bigger tablet makers in the world, have not yet decided to place orders for Nvidia’s chip. This may be because their focus has shifted from high-end 10-inch tablets to entry level 7-inch ones. For Asus’ smartphones, it is likely that the company will continue its relationship with Qualcomm and leave Nvidia’s Tegra 4 as a backup option.

Nvidia is considering on reducing the price of the Tegra 3 so that the company can attract entry-level tablet makers. However, Digitimes' sources point out that Tegra 3’s price will be too high even after the cut, compared to chips from MediaTek and China-based IC design houses.

Published Date: Mar 20, 2013 02:26 pm | Updated Date: Mar 20, 2013 02:26 pm