Nvidia details new, superhero-inspired Tegra mobile processors

Hopefully Nvidia's manufacturing isn't this painful

Nvidia today revealed the next evolutions of the Tegra 4 processor currently powering mobile devices like the Nexus 7 (though maybe for not much longer).

Not to be mistaken for the Tegra 4i, a variant capable of improved performance and 4G LTE compatibility, the two new processors shown during Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference are true successors for the Tegra brand.

Though they don't have official designations yet, the Logan chip is on track for a 2014 debut, while the Parker chip is currently slated for devices in 2015.

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told the crowd the chips would be based on the latest manufacturing technology, and were being developed to push graphic and app performance in smartphones and tablets even further.

What's in a name?

Both of the new processors follow Nvidia's strange love affair with super hero codenames. Logan is based on the "X-Men" character Wolverine's real name, and Parker is inspired by Spider-Man's civilian alter-ego, Peter.

Logan will feature the company's Kepler GPU, which should bolster graphic performance in mobile devices quite a bit.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is using chips with the Kepler architecture in its Titan supercomputer, a machine capable of 20 petaflops of processing power.

Both Logan and Parker will make use of Nvidia's CUDA technology, which will allow both processors to use the power of the CPU and GPU combined.

When Parker arrives in 2015, it will be Nvidia's first 64-bit Tegra processor, and is being built around ARM's 64-bit ARMv8 architecture, otherwise known as Project Denver.

More importantly, Parker will feature the Maxwell GPU, which combines the GPU and CPU memory, allowing both to read and access the other's memory.

The new 3D architecture (stacked transistors rather than side-by-side) of the Parker processors should also make the mobile devices using it more power efficient and faster.

Nvidia also debuted its Volta GPU, which can access 1TB per second of bandwidth, but didn't designate a home for it.

Via TechWorld, Engadget