The Nvidia Tegra 2 monopolized Android Honeycomb tablets this year and we already knew that Nvidia had a successor in the works with the codename ‘Kal-El’. Today Nvidia has come clean with a host of new details on the project and the official Tegra 3 name, and yes mark it down as the first mobile quad-core CPU, yeah ever.
Nvidia is claiming that the new Tegra 3 chip will offer up to five times the performance of the Tegra 2 with its 1.3GHz quad-core Cortex A9 processor and three times the graphics performance with a new 12-core graphics unit. What’s more interesting is that Nvidia has included a fifth, low-power 0 to 500MHz “companion core”. When you don’t need the power afforded by the quad-core unit, the companion core takes over, taking care of light-weight tasks, like listening to music, or during standby. The chip is also intelligent enough to scale the main 4 cores between single, dual and quad-core modes on demand as well.