NVIDIA Unveils TEGRA K1 192-Core Super Chip With Denver CPU – Ushers New Era of Mobile Computing With Kepler Architecture

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted 3 years ago

At the CES 2014 conference, NVIDIA announced their next generation Tegra K1 SOC for mobility devices which will power a new era of tablets and smartphones. The NVIDIA Tegra K1 SOC codenamed Logan is the first processor to feature the Kepler core architecture alongside 64-bit ARM based Denver CPU offering incredible graphics performance with superb power efficiency.NVIDIA Tegra K1 Chip

NVIDIA Unveils TEGRA K1 192-Core Mobile Super Chip

The NVIDIA Tegra K1 features a heart built out of the Kepler architecture which has spanned two years inside desktop computers, notebooks and the world’s fastest TITAN supercomputer. Featuring upto 192 Kepler cores, the Tegra K1 is indeed a next generation mobile super chip aimed towards high-performance mobile devices.

NVIDIA has also announced their highly anticipated Denver CPU which utilizes specialized 64-bit ARM Cores which would be fused alongside the GPU die. The Tegra K1 chip would be available in two variants, the dual core variant with Denver CPU and 7 Way superscalar compute will feature the 64-bit ARM v8 cores and 192 Kepler cores with clock frequency of 2.5 GHz while the 32-bit Quad core ARM variant will be clocked at 2.3 GHz. The 64-bit Denver model comes with 128KB + 64KB while the 32-bit variant comes with 328KB + 32KB L1 Cache.

NVIDIA’s gaming partner EPIC Games have announced that Tegra K1 would be the first chip to support their next generation Unreal Engine 4 which we have already seen how stunning it looks  in the elemental and infiltrator demo. NVIDIA has already demonstrated Battlefield 3 running on their Tegra 5 prototype devices so its no doubt that the upcoming Tegra K1 based devices which may feature on of those cores may end up being on par with current gen of consoles. The SOC was also shown running NVIDIA’s Ira demo which renders a realistic human face with accurate expressions and high-resolution textures. At the event, the demo was running super smooth as it was during the render demo with NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan.

NVIDIA Tegra K1 Specifications:

NVIDIA Tegra K1 64-Bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 32-Bit NVIDIA Tegra 4 NVIDIA Tegra 3
Codename Logan Logan Wayne Kal-El
ARM Cores 2 Core (Multi-Thread) 4+1 4+1 4 Core
ARM Architecture 64-bit ARM v8 (Custom) 32-bit Cortex A15 32-bit Cortex A15 32-bit Cortex A9
GPU Architecture Kepler Kepler GeForce GPU GeForce GPU
GPU Cores 192 Core 192 Core 72 Core 12 Core
Process 28nm 28nm 28nm HPL 40nm LPG
Core Frequency 2.5 GHz 2.3 GHz 1.9 GHz 1.2 GHz
Memory Size 8 GB 8 GB 4 GB 2 GB
Cache 128 K + 128 K L1 32K + 32K L1 32K + 32K L1
Launch 2014 2014 2013 2012
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 Image credits: 4Gamer.net!Tegra K1 Variants


NVIDIA TEGRA K1 Video Demonstrations:

NVIDIA TEGRA K1 With Kepler and Denver Cores

Press release – NVIDIA today unveiled the revolutionary Tegra® K1 mobile processor, a 192-core super chip featuring the same NVIDIA® Kepler™ architecture that powers the fastest GPU on the planet, the NVIDIA GeForce® GTX™ 780 Ti. For the first time, next-generation PC gaming will now be available on mobile platforms.

The Tegra K1 processor sets new mobile standards by supporting the latest PC-class gaming technologies, enabling it to run sophisticated gaming engines like Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4. It delivers advanced computation capabilities to speed the development of applications for computer vision and speech recognition. And its extraordinary efficiency delivers higher performance than any other mobile GPU at the same power level.

“Over the past two decades, NVIDIA invented the GPU and has developed more graphics technologies than any other company,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO, NVIDIA. “With Tegra K1, we’re bringing that heritage to mobile. It bridges the gap for developers, who can now build next-gen games and apps that will run on any device.”


Tegra K1 is offered in two pin-to-pin compatible versions. The first version uses a 32-bit quad-core, 4-Plus-1™ ARM Cortex A15 CPU. The second version uses a custom, NVIDIA-designed 64-bit dual Super Core CPU. This CPU (codenamed “Denver”) delivers very high single-thread and multi-thread performance. It is based on the ARMv8 architecture, which brings the energy-efficient heritage of ARM processor technology to 64-bit computing.

Both versions of Tegra K1 deliver stunning graphics and visual computing capabilities powered by the 192-core NVIDIA Kepler GPU. The 32-bit version is expected in devices in the first half of 2014, while the 64-bit version is expected in devices in the second half of the year.

Tegra K1 Unreal engine 4

Simply Unreal:Setting Stunning New Gaming Standards
Tegra K1 provides full support for the latest PC-class gaming technologies — including DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.4 and tessellation. These capabilities will enable PC and console game developers to finally bring their stunning, visually rich titles to mobile devices.

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Such features enable Tegra K1 to run the world’s most advanced game engine, Unreal Engine 4. Unreal Engine is the most successful commercially licensed game engine, powering hundreds of games on high-end PCs and consoles.

Tegra K1 is also the first mobile processor to deliver the same graphics features as the next generation of consoles (Xbox One, PlayStation 4) and faster performance than current generation consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3), all in the palm of your hand.

“With the introduction of this revolutionary processor, we can take applications that run on PC or console and run it on Tegra,” said Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games and developer of Unreal Engine. “From here onward, I think we’re going to see the performance and feature gap between mobile and PC high-end gaming continue to narrow to the point where the difference between the platforms really blurs.”

Computationally Advanced:Delivering New Creative Capabilities
Tegra K1 is the first processor to bring advanced computational capabilities to mobile — leveraging its advanced GPU to deliver new mobile experiences.

It is also the first mobile processor to support NVIDIA CUDA® — the world’s most pervasive parallel computing platform. Developers have downloaded CUDA more than 2 million times to create cutting-edge GPU-accelerated applications for computer vision, advanced imaging, speech recognition, video editing and more.

Stunningly Efficient: Establishing New Benchmarks
In addition to its graphics and compute capabilities, Tegra K1 delivers breakthrough efficiency. The Kepler GPU at the heart of Tegra K1 is 1.5 times more efficient than other mobile GPUs. This results in faster performance in the same power envelope and a better experience for gaming and GPU-accelerated applications.(1)

Kepler — first introduced in desktop and notebook systems, and later brought to workstations and supercomputers — is the world’s fastest and most energy-efficient GPU architecture. Tens of millions of Kepler-based graphics cards and systems have been shipped, including theGeForce GTX 780 Ti.

“Kepler powers all 10 of the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputers,” said Linley Gwennap of the Linley Group. “By scaling this technology down, NVIDIA has set the new standard for what’s possible in mobile devices.”

More details about the Tegra K1 are available at www.nvidia.com/object/tegra-k1-processor.html.

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