CES 2015: Nvidia unveils Tegra X1 super chip for mobile devices and cars

Over at CES, Nvidia has unveiled its next-gen “mobile super chip”, the Tegra X1, based on the Maxwell GPU architecture which powered the GeForce GTX 980 graphics card.

The company claims that the new solution delivers over a teraflop of processing power, and the X1 offers twice the speed of its predecessor, the Tegra K1.

The 256-core chip will be used in mobile devices, to drive high-end graphics that will rival consoles, but Nvidia has said that for now, the focus is more on getting the chip into cars, where it will power fancy automotive tech. It will start appearing in the first half of 2015.

It will power Nvidia Drive car computer technology, with Drive PX being an auto-drive system that will process video from up to 12 cameras on board the vehicle, allowing for auto-valet and self-parking. Drive CX will power the screens in the car used for infotainment, head-up displays, virtual mirrors and so forth.

Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO and co-founder of Nvidia, commented: “We see a future of autonomous cars, robots and drones that see and learn, with seeming intelligence that is hard to imagine. They will make possible safer driving, more secure cities and great conveniences for all of us.”

"To achieve this dream, enormous advances in visual and parallel computing are required. The Tegra X1 mobile super chip, with its one teraflops of processing power, is a giant step into this revolution."

The Tegra X1 will be powered by a 256-core Maxwell GPU and will boast 8 CPU cores (four of them ARM Cortex A57, along with four Cortex A53), with the SoC built on a 20nm process. It will be able to push 4K video at a smooth 60fps, with 1.3 gigapixel of camera throughput, Nvidia says.

The chip will support all major graphics standards, including DirectX 12, Unreal Engine 4, OpenGL 4.5, CUDA and the Android Extension Pack, allowing developers to bring PC games to mobile devices.