We just talked about some of the SoCs that are starting to make up our current generation of high-end smartphones, looking at their performance relative to each other. Chips like the Snapdragon S4 are showing us that there’s a whole lot to pay attention to than just core count, as well as giving us a preview of some of the technologies we’ll be seeing more of in the future. One of those chips that is still waiting for us out on the horizon is NVIDIA’s next follow-up, the Tegra 4. We’ve been hearing talk about work on Tegra 4 since even before we started seeing the Tegra 2 in phones, but have had little insight into its actual hardware. Now, as we watch more and more Tegra 3 devices arrive, a theory has arisen that NVIDIA could end up using its new Kepler GPU in its next-gen Tegra design.
An internal NVIDIA email discussing the launch of the first Kepler-based products mentions that the company envisions the GPU making it into future superphones. If that’s to be true, the Tegra line of SoCs is the obvious way to introduce it. Kepler is supposed to be a revolutionary design, running from 32 to 64 cores and consuming little power thanks to the 28-nanometer process on which it’s built. The important takeaway from this is that, compared to rumors and what we know about other next-gen chips, the Kepler GPU sounds like it could outperform most of the Tegra 4’s competition.
With any luck, we’ll see the first Tegra 4-based gear sometime over the winter.