NVIDIA Tegra 4: Quad-core Cortex A15, 72 GPU cores, LTE support

The chip, which retains the same 4-plus-1 arrangement of its predecessor, arrives with a whopping 72 GeForce GPU cores — effectively offering six times the Tegra 3’s visual output and is based on the 28nm process. It also is the first quad-core processor with Cortex A15 cores on-board, and offers compatibility with LTE networks through an optional chip. NVIDIA claims this piece of silicon is the world’s fastest mobile processor, and showed a demonstration in which a Tegra 4 went head-to-head against a Nexus 10 in loading websites (you can guess which one won).

The Tegra 4 also introduces new computational photography architecture, which adds a new engine to drive the image processing and significantly improve the amount of time it takes to calculate the necessary mathematics 10 times faster than current platforms. To show off its power, NVIDIA demonstrated HDR rendering on live video. The chip is also capable of implementing HDR in burst shots and with LED flash. The idea, NVIDIA says, is to eventually make our mobile cameras more powerful than DSLRs, and this is certainly a step in the right direction.

The Tegra 4 will also enable 4K ultra high-definition video support, as well as PRISM 2 display tech that claims to reduce the power used by the backlight. Doing so will result in a 45 percent decrease in power consumption when compared to Tegra 3.

Announced alongside the Tegra 4 was the i500 Soft Modem, which is essentially a reprogrammable baseband solution that is capable of utilizing a wide variety of networks. The chip, which is an optional addendum to the Tegra 4 platform to enable LTE support, is able to process 1.2 trillion operations per second and is 40 percent the size of a conventional baseband chip.