A couple of days ago, a slide appeared on a Chinese forum site. The slide was posted by user “Xenomorph” on a site called Webio based in China (essentially, a Chinese version of Twitter, and the slide appeared to represent details of Nvidia's next mobile processor release since Tegra 3. Call the latest processor Tegra 4 if you'd like, the slide is calling the processor “Wayne,” buthtat's not an official name.
Let me tell you, Wayne has a lot to offer, at least according to the slide. This processor will feature Nvidia's 4-Plus-1 technology, which is a chipset with four regular cores plus an additional low-power core that saves battery life. This type of CPU is called a “Quad Core Eagle,” with “Eagle” indicating ARM's Cortex-A15 architecture, more powerful and modern than the Cortex-A9.
A Graphics Powerhouse
The biggest deal: the boost to the chip's graphic performance. In looking at the slide, it claims Nvidia is developing Wayne to come with 72 graphics cores. That's six times more than Nvidia's Tegra 3, the current generation, with the chip supporting extremely high resolution video, including 4K display support.
This graphics boost coupled with the Cortex-A15 means excellent performance out of your smartphone, tablet, or any other device that would use a mobile processor. The current Tegra 3 is in a wide range of devices, such as the Acer Iconia Tab A700 and HTC One X+, and is said to be one of the fastest chips currently sold today, relying on ARM's Cortex-A9 architecture. Imagine the speeds that could possibly be reached with this new alleged processor.
Other Improvements on Tegra 3
Besides overall performance and better graphics, by relying on a dual-channel DDR3 memory interface, Wayne will more than double memory bandwidth. That means data flows like a rushing river, speedily and smoothly, and just what OEMs/ODMs are looking for in a chip.
Of course, the processor will also support a maximum screen resolution of 2,560x1,600, as well as being the first mobile chip from Nvidia supporting USB 3.0. Battery life will be extended due to the reduced 28nm manufacturing process, similar to the process Qualcomm uses for its S4 chips. Looks like Qualcomm had better watch out for Nvidia.
The Catch: None of This Can Be Confirmed
Of course, Nvidia has confirmed none of this, company representatives told staffers from the popular technology blog Cnet they would not comment on rumors. With no one claiming it is truly in the works, one can only speculate on a launch date for the Tegra 4. However, technology news site VR-ZONE's Chinese staff reported the chip would be launched for a “10-inch device” at some point in the first quarter of 2013.
Versions of Tegra 4 for other devices, says VR-ZONE, should materialize in the third quarter of 2013. However, it's all speculation that has yet to be confirmed. It’s hard to say when the new Tegra 4 will appear on markets, but I’m guessing that Nvidia will be debuting the latest addition to the Nvidia line sooner rather than later.