If you’re the sort of tech enthusiast who likes paying attention to the specs, by now you’ve no doubt heard about the NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoC, the company’s latest offering. It introduced the chip back at CES in January, and lately we’ve been hearing about a lot of hardware that will take advantage of the K1, from Google’s Project Tango dev tablet, to the new NVIDIA Shield Tablet, and maybe even that rumored HTC Nexus tablet. But what’s easy to miss is that there are two versions of this hardware, a 32-bit quad-core A15 version, and an upcoming 64-bit edition. This week, NVIDIA turned the spotlight on that 64-bit component, sharing a little about how it works.
The key to the 64-bit K1’s performance is its pair of dual Denver CPU cores. Rather than using a lot of hardware pipelining to optimize code execution, Denver uses software to generate tight microcode on the fly, delivering what NVIDIA describes as effectively doubled performance. Code only has to be optimized once, so regularly-accessed apps should see immediate performance gains.
NVIDIA says that the 64-bit K1 will start showing up in commercial hardware later this year. It also teases that it’s “already developing the next version of Android – ‘L’ – on the 64-bit Tegra K1,” which is only going to fuel rumors that the HTC Nexus tablet could feature just such a chip.