NVIDIA Reveals Tegra X1 Mobile Superchip: “Erasing the Lines Between Mobile and Desktop Devices”

on January 5, 2015 1:14 AM

At its press conference at CES 2015 in Vegas Nvidia introduced the new Tegra X1 “Mobile Superchip” destined to succeed the cirrent K1, and providing twice as much performance.

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang promised great things from the new chip:

We see a future of autonomous cars, robots and drones that see and learn, with seeming intelligence that is hard to imagine. They will make possible safer driving, more secure cities and great conveniences for all of us. To achieve this dream, enormous advances in visual and parallel computing are required. The Tegra X1 mobile super chip, with its one teraflops of processing power, is a giant step into this revolution.

According to Nvidia, the Tegra X1 has plenty to offer to gamers as well. It’s based on the Maxwell architecture that “solves some of the most complex lighting and graphics challenges in visual computing. Its innovations include Voxel Global Illumination, or VXGI, for real-time dynamic global illumination and Multi-Frame Anti-Aliasing, or MFAA, for incredibly lifelike graphics in the most demanding games and apps.”

Linley Group principal analyst Linley Gwennap accompanied the official press release with a comment:

Tegra K1 set a new bar for GPU compute performance, and now just a year later Tegra X1 delivers twice that. This impressive technical achievement benefits both 3D graphics, particularly on devices with high-resolution screens, as well as GPGPU software that is becoming more prevalent, particularly in automotive applications.

Here are the technical specifications of the new chip:

  • 256-core Maxwell GPU
  • 8 CPU cores (4x ARM Cortex A57 + 4x ARM Cortex A53)
  • 60 fps 4K video (H.265, H.264, VP9)
  • 1.3 gigapixel of camera throughput
  • 20nm process

Tegra X1 supports all major graphics standards, including Unreal Engine 4, DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, CUDA, OpenGL ES 3.1 and the Android Extension Pack, letting developers port PC games to mobile easily.

A second press release also announces that Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 tech demo Elemental was used to showcase the Tegra X1.

Since the new chip supports a full suite of modern graphics standards, it took a developer just a week (plus a bit longer for optimization) to get Elemental up and running on the chip. Nvdia’s Evan Hart commented: “The content just came up, and it ran”

Nvidia boasts that this is” the latest example of how we’re erasing the lines between mobile and desktop devices.”

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney mentioned:

We built Elemental to push high-end PC and console features, and also to show early capabilities of Unreal Engine 4. As seen with today’s demonstration of Elemental on Tegra X1, NVIDIA continues to extend what developers can create with striking results. With its Maxwell architecture, Tegra X1 is equipped to run rich, beautiful experiences not previously seen on mobile devices.

Below you can see graphs released by Nvidia, comparing the performance of the new Tegra X1 with the old Tegra K1.

TegraX1 (3) TegraX1 (2)

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.