Nvidia's Tegra K1 SoC has Denver CPU cores, Kepler graphics


— 12:48 AM on January 6, 2014

In early 2011, during a CES press event, Nvidia revealed its Project Denver CPU initiative. On Sunday evening, at another CES press conference, the company provided a glimpse of the first Denver-based processor: the Tegra K1. This next-generation SoC features dual Denver CPU cores clocked at up to 2.5GHz. The cores were designed by Nvidia, and they're compatible with the 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set. They have a seven-way superscalar pipeline and a hefty 128KB + 64KB of L1 cache. The L1 instruction cache appears to be the larger of the two.

The Tegra K1 comes in two pin-compatible configurations. In addition to the Denver-based duallie, there's a quad-core version based on ARM Cortex-A15 cores similar to those used in the Tegra 4. That second chip is limited to 32-bit applications, and its CPU cores will only scale up to 2.3GHz.

Source: Nvidia

Based on Nvidia's die shots, two Denver cores appear to have the same silicon footprint as four Cortex-A15s. It will be interesting to see how the two implementations compare.

At the very least, both chips should have plenty of graphics horsepower. The Tegra K1's DirectX 11-class integrated graphics has 192 shader processors based on the Kepler microarchitecture. In Nvidia's desktop and notebook GPUs, each Kepler SMX unit also has 192 shader processors. The low-end GeForce GT 640 includes two SMXes, while the high-end GeForce GTX 780 Ti has 15 of them.

The Tegra K1 die (Cortex-A15 version). Source: Nvidia

Nvidia stopped short of revealing the graphics clock frequency, but it did show the Tegra K1 running the next-generation Unreal Engine 4. Scott was on the scene, and he describes the demo as "freaking amazing." I don't believe that demo was running on the Denver-based variant. Nvidia did a live demo of its home-grown duallie on stage, though. The chip has only been back from the fab for a few days, according to the company.

Like its Tegra 4 predecessor, the Tegra K1 is built using 28-nm fabrication technology. Well, the Cortex-A15 version is, anyway. The official product page doesn't list the Denver incarnation yet.

Like what we're doing? Pay what you want to support TR and get nifty extra features.
Top contributors
1. GKey13 - $650 2. JohnC - $600 3. davidbowser - $501
4. cmpxchg - $500 5. DeadOfKnight - $400 6. danny e. - $375
7. the - $360 8. Ryszard - $351 9. rbattle - $350
10. Ryu Connor - $350
   
Register
Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
View options

This discussion is now closed.