Nvidia unveils new Tegra chips for smartphones, tablets

The new Tegra chips, code-named Logan and Parker, will be based on the latest GPU, memory and manufacturing technologies

By , IDG News Service |  Hardware

The Parker chip will also have 3D transistors, in which transistors are stacked on top of each other. That is different from current chips in which transistors are arranged next to each other, also called the planar structure. The 3D structure, called FinFET by the semiconductor companies, usually yields performance improvements and power savings, which could help speed up smartphones and tablets while preserving battery life.

The 3D structure was first incorporated into Intel's chips based on the 22-nanometer process. Foundry companies that make ARM chips like TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.) and GlobalFoundries are in the process of incorporating technologies to manufacture chips with 3D transistors.

Huang did not provide a release date for Parker chips. However, ARM has said chips with its 64-bit processor architecture will reach devices around 2014.

The first Tegra 4 processors, based on ARM's Cortex-A15 design, will be used in a ZTE smartphone due to be released in China by midyear, and also will be used in Nvidia's portable handset called "Project Shield," which will become available in the second quarter this year. Nvidia has also announced a Tegra 4i chip, which has a modified Cortex-A9 processor core and an integrated software-defined LTE radio.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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