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NVIDIA unveils Tegra 3 quad core processor for mobile phones and tablets

Renowned graphics chip manufacturer Nvidia has introduced their next generation of their chipsets for mobile devices, in the Tegra 3 processor, which brings with it four core CPUs whereas the Tegra 2 only had two.

Nvidia’s Tegra 3 is said to offer computer performance levels, with a better battery life and an overall improvement to the whole mobile experience on both smartphones and also tablets.

The Tegra 4 was previously codename ‘Project Kal-El’, where the processor will provide up to 3 times the graphics performance of Tegra 2 with a 12-core GeForce GPU – whilst offering a 61-percent lower power consumption, at the same time.

As a result of this, the new Nvidia ARM Cortex A9 CPU chipset could offer 12 hours of HD video playback on battery power alone.

Tegra 3 contains a new, patent-pending technology known as Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing (vSMP), which includes a fifth ‘companion’ CPU that is solely designed for work requiring little power.

The four main cores are geared up for tasks that requires high performance, whilst generally consuming less power than a dual-core processor – resulting in the 61-percent lower power offering, than the Tegra 2.

The Tegra 3 processor completely shuts down its four cores on tasks that require less power consumption, such as listening to music or updating background data.

Only on high-performance tasks, within the likes of web browsing, multitasking and gaming are the cores used – with the companion being disabled by the Tegra 3 processor.

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Rob Kerr is a journalist with more than 14 years experience of news, reviews and feature writing on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show. The mobile phone world is his real passion and forte, having owned a handset as far back as 1994 where he has seen them grow from just a business tool to a necessity in everyone’s everyday life.