NVIDIA just published a paper extolling the benefits of multi-core processors for smartphones, and hints that a quad-core option may be available for the Tegra 3 or 4 chips.
Tegra 2 chips are about to start appearing on smartphones, as the release dates of the LG Star and Motorola Olympus approach – both projected to use NVIDIA’s CPU. The ARM-based system-on-a-chip will bring dual-core processing to the devices, potentially delivering some important performance gains over competing handsets. As more users multi-task on their smartphones, that extra core is going to come in very handy.
We heard in September that NVIDIA was wrapping up work on designing the Tegra 3 and already started on the Tegra 4. Now the company’s The Benefits of Multiple CPU Cores in Mobile Devices sheds some light on what we might expect from those chips, reading in part, “Dual-core processors will be the standard in 2011, and quad-core is coming in the near future.”
The million-dollar-question is whether “near future” lines up with when the Tegra 3 or the Tegra 4 will be released. NVIDIA certainly needs some way to distinguish the 3 from the 2, and doubling available cores would work nicely. Considering the rocky road the company’s had in getting manufacturers to adopt Tegra 2 chips, introducing the feature sooner rather than later may be a smart move to sway some more over to using its hardware.