Nvidia drives Tegra to TFlops in automotive and mobile

LAS VEGAS — Nvidia kicked off International CES, held here Jan. 6-9, with three major announcements for mobile and automotive computing. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang unveiled the Tegra X1, a 256-core “mobile superchip” with more than a teraflop of processing power and 16-bit floating point.

Nvidia Tegra X1 is made in a 20nm process.

Nvidia Tegra X1 is made in a 20nm process.

The 20nm X1 is both a compliment to and a step up from last year's Tegra K1. It has eight 64-bit CPU cores in a 4×4 configuration, and is able to stream 4K video at 60 Hertz. “Tegra X1 is able to run state-of-the-art engines that any desktop computer can run” on less than 10 Watts, Huang told attendees.

Huang said the Tegra X1 has more horsepower than ASCI Red, the world's fastest supercomputer 15 years ago and the first teraflops system.

The new chip runs on Nvidia's Maxwell architecture, the successor to its Kepler GPU architecture. Maxwell is deployed in top gaming graphics cards and Nvidia aims to target mobile gaming with its high-end graphics.

Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst of Moor Insights and Strategy, attended Nvidia's event and said he expects X1 to be successful in the world of gaming:

Time will tell how this successfully applies to mobility use cases in tablets and phones, but I'm confident that the X1 will be competitive in the tablet and portable gaming markets.

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