While the currently ongoing CES in Las Vegas offers tech fans an endless supply of new gadgets and gewgaws to consider, Nvidia announced one of the more important products to be shown off there: the Tegra X1 mobile super chip.
According to a post on CNET, the X1 will “pump out the quality of an Xbox One on your smartphone,” a bold claim that won’t really be put to the test until mobile gadgets catch up to the X1’s potential. The post offers details from Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, who says that the X1 will use the Maxwell PC architecture for GPUs: that consists of a 256-core GPU atop an 8-core CPU that produces one teraflop of power.
For comparison’s sake, the Tegra K1 – which Nvidia announced its latest mobile super chip almost exactly a year ago at CES – can produce nearly 400 gigaflops, or less than half of the 1,000-plus gigaflops (or 1 teraflop) promised by the X1.
The CNET post says that the Tegra X1 will first find its way into Drive PX and Drive CX products. The Drive PX is software designed for autonomous cars that rely on computer vision to get around (and, you know, not hit things like curbs, dogs, or people). Meanwhile, the Drive CX is a “hardware and software platform” that will power center consoles in forthcoming cars. Both products will rely on the power of the X1 to work.
While the aforementioned X1 predecessor, the Tegra K1, was announced a whole year ago, it still only appears in a handful of products. As of now, the 64-bit K1 lives inside the HTC Nexus 9 tablet and the developer-focused Project Tango tablet, while the 32-bit version is commercially available in a few other gadgets, like Nvidia’s own Shield Tablet, the Acer Chromebook 13, and the Lenovo ThinkVision 28. It’s interesting, then, that Nvidia has already blown past the K1 while it’s still waiting to be utilized in more products. Will the company announce the Super Z1 20 teraflop chip next year?