Say hello to Denver, Nvidia's new 64-bit processor

Nvidia Tegra K1
Nvidia Tegra K1, now in 64-bit

Nvidia provided with more details about the 64-bit version of its Tegra K1 chip, commonly known as Denver, roughly eight months after the 32-bit model was unveiled at CES.

The company, better known for its graphics cards, revealed that it will use its "own custom-designed 64-bit, dual core" CPU with its 192-core Kepler architecture-based GPU to deliver a fully ARMv8 architecture that's also pin compatible with the K1.

This means, Nvidia says, that the 64-bit version of the Tegra K1 "is the first 64-bit ARM processor for Android" although both Mediatek, Qualcomm and AMD might thoroughly dispute that claim.

Denver can handle up to seven concurrent micro-ops per clock and includes a 128KB 4-way L1 instruction cache, a 64KB 4-way L1 data cache, and a 2MB 16-way L2 cache shared between the two cores.

Expect Denver to be clocked at up to 2.5GHz and to run on Android L when it launches later this year. It is interesting to see that Nvidia implemented a two-core solution rather than four or eight, a sign perhaps that Nvidia doesn't want a core-count race in the 64-bit arena.

Nvidia also claims that Denver will "will rival some mainstream PC-class CPUs at significantly reduced power consumption" which is a bold but interesting claim given that the Tegra K1 made its way into a Chromebook, Acer's Chromebook 13, which is essentially a laptop.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.