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Nvidia Tegra 2: 8 processors in one chip

by editor on Jun.15, 2010, under Knol

Nvidia Tegra 2

A number of Tegra 2 based devices are about to enter the market, but do you know what the Tegra 2 is all about? Lets take a look at the technology behind the system-on-chip processor.

The Tegra 2 processor is Nvidia’s latest mobile computing processor designed to give the best of both worlds – performance and battery-life, combining processor (CPU and GPU) and power-management technologies. It delivers 4 times the performance of the previous generation of Tegra chips, approximately 10 times faster than the processors used in smartphones today.


Nvidia Tegra 250’s multi-processor architecture is the key to these stunning performance figures, and it has eight purpose-optimized, high-performance independent processors that are meant to deliver great web browsing, HD video streaming, and 3D mobile gaming. The eight processors are:

Ultra Low-Power Graphics Processor (GPU): Used for both mobile 3D gaming and 3D touch user interfaces

Video Decode Processor: Delivers full frame rate 1080p HD video playback. It also handles all three Flash video formats: H.264, Sorenson, and VP6-E.

Video Encode Processor: Runs video-encode algorithms to encode 1080p HD video for video recording and conferencing.

Image Signal Processor (ISP): Handles real-time photo enhancement features.

Audio Processor: Handles analog audio-signal processing to deliver more than 140 hours of continuous 128 kbps mp3 playback on a single battery-charge.

Dual-Core ARM Cortex A9 CPU: First dual-core for mobiles, and a general purpose CPU for web browsing and mobile computing, featuring Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP).

ARM7 Processor: Handles system management functions and proprietary battery life extending features.

Tablets with Nvidia Tegra 2

Now check out the battery-life estimates expected from an Nvidia Tegra-based tablet with 2000mAh battery and 400mW display: In standby (Display, radio off): 2000 hours; 140 hours of 128 Kbps MP3 playback; 8 hours of continuous HD video playback on LCD; 16 hours of HD video playback on external display (HDMI).

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