Tegra is a system on a chip (SoC) series developed by Nvidia for mobile devices such as smartphones, personal digital assistants, and mobile Internet devices. The Tegra integrates an ARM architecture central processing unit (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU), northbridge, southbridge, and memory controller onto one package. Early Tegra SoCs are designed as efficient multimedia processors, while more recent models emphasize performance for gaming and machine learning applications, without sacrificing power efficiency.
- 1 History
- 2 Specifications
- 3 Comparison
- 4 Software support
- 5 Similar platforms
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The Tegra APX 2500 was announced on February 12, 2008. The Tegra 6xx product line was revealed on June 2, 2008, and the APX 2600 was announced in February 2009. The APX chips were designed for smartphones, while the Tegra 600 and 650 chips were intended for smartbooks and mobile Internet devices (MID).
The first product to use the Tegra was Microsoft's Zune HD media player in September 2009, followed by the Samsung M1. Microsoft's Kin was the first cellular phone to use the Tegra; however, the phone did not have an app store, so the Tegra's power did not provide much advantage. In September 2008, Nvidia and Opera Software announced that they would produce a version of the Opera 9.5 browser optimised for the Tegra on Windows Mobile and Windows CE. At Mobile World Congress 2009, Nvidia introduced its port of Google's Android to the Tegra.
On January 7, 2010, Nvidia officially announced and demonstrated its next generation Tegra system-on-a-chip, the Nvidia Tegra 250, at Consumer Electronics Show 2010. Nvidia primarily supports Android on Tegra 2, but booting other ARM-supporting operating systems is possible on devices where the bootloader is accessible. Tegra 2 support for the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution was also announced on the Nvidia developer forum.
Nvidia announced the first quad-core SoC at the February 2011 Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. Though the chip was codenamed Kal-El, it is now branded as Tegra 3. Early benchmark results show impressive gains over Tegra 2, and the chip was used in many of the tablets released in the second half of 2011.
In January 2012, Nvidia announced that Audi had selected the Tegra 3 processor for its In-Vehicle Infotainment systems and digital instruments display. The processor will be integrated into Audi's entire line of vehicles worldwide, beginning in 2013. The process is ISO 26262-certified.
In summer of 2012 Tesla Motors began shipping the Model S all electric, high performance sedan, which contains two NVIDIA Tegra 3D Visual Computing Modules (VCM). One VCM powers the 17-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and one drives the 12.3-inch all digital instrument cluster."
In March 2015, Nvidia announced the Tegra X1, the first SoC to have a graphics performance of 1 teraflop. At the announcement event, Nvidia showed off Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4 "Elemental" demo, running on a Tegra X1.
On October 20, 2016, Nvidia announced that Nintendo's then upcoming Switch hybrid home/portable game console will be powered by Tegra hardware. On March 15, 2017, TechInsights revealed the Nintendo Switch is powered by the Tegra X1 (model T210).
- Tegra APX 2500
- Processor: ARM11 600 MHz MPCore (originally GeForce ULV)
- Suffix: APX (formerly CSX)
- Memory: NOR or NAND flash, Mobile DDR
- Graphics: Image processor (FWVGA 854×480 pixels)
- Up to 12 megapixels camera support
- LCD controller supports resolutions up to 1280×1024
- Storage: IDE for SSD
- Video codecs: up to 720p MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 and VC-1 decoding
- Includes GeForce ULV support for OpenGL ES 2.0, Direct3D Mobile, and programmable shaders
- Output: HDMI, VGA, composite video, S-Video, stereo jack, USB
- USB On-The-Go
- Tegra APX 2600
- Enhanced NAND flash
- Video codecs:
- Tegra 600
- Targeted for GPS segment and automotive
- Processor: ARM11 700 MHz MPCore
- Memory: low-power DDR (DDR-333, 166 MHz)
- SXGA, HDMI, USB, stereo jack
- HD camera 720p
- Tegra 650
- Targeted for GTX of handheld and notebook
- Processor: ARM11 800 MHz MPCore
- Low power DDR (DDR-400, 200 MHz)
- Less than 1 watt envelope
- HD image processing for advanced digital still camera and HD camcorder functions
- Display supports 1080p at 24 frame/s, HDMI v1.3, WSXGA+ LCD and CRT, and NTSC/PAL TV output
- Direct support for Wi-Fi, disk drives, keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals
- A complete board support package (BSP) to enable fast time to market for Windows Mobile-based designs
The second generation Tegra SoC has a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, an ultra low power (ULP) GeForce GPU, a 32-bit memory controller with either LPDDR2-600 or DDR2-667 memory, a 32KB/32KB L1 cache per core and a shared 1MB L2 cache. Tegra 2's Cortex A9 implementation does not include ARM's SIMD extension, NEON. There is a version of the Tegra 2 SoC supporting 3D displays; this SoC uses a higher clocked CPU and GPU.
The Tegra 2 video decoder is largely unchanged from the original Tegra and has limited support for HD formats. The lack of support for high-profile H.264 is particularly troublesome when using online video streaming services.
- CPU cache: L1: 32 KB instruction + 32 KB data, L2: 1 MB
- 40 nm semiconductor technology
|AP20H (Ventana/Unknown)||Cortex-A9||2||1.0 GHz||VLIW-based
|4:4:?:?||300 MHz||LPDDR2 300 MHz
DDR2 333 MHz
|T20 (Harmony/Ventana)||333 MHz|
|AP25||1.2 GHz||400 MHz||Q1 2011|
|AP20H||Motorola Atrix 4G, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola Photon, LG Optimus 2X / LG Optimus Dual P990 / Optimus 2x SU660 (?), Samsung Galaxy R, Samsung Captivate Glide,|
ZTE Mimosa X, Micromax Superfone A85, T-Mobile G2X P999, Acer Iconia Tab A200 and A500, LG Optimus Pad, Motorola Xoom, Sony Tablet S, Dell Streak 7,
Dell Streak Pro, Asus Slider, Toshiba Thrive tablet, T-Mobile G-Slate
|T20||Avionic Design Tamonten Processor Board, Exper EasyPad, Notion Ink Adam tablet, Olivetti OliPad 100, Point of View Mobii 10.1, ViewSonic G Tablet, ViewSonic ViewPad 10s,|
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Toshiba AC100, Toshiba Folio 100, Advent Vega, Hannspree Hannspad, Aigo n700, CompuLab Trim-Slice nettop,
E-Noa Interpad, Malata Tablet Zpad, MSI 10-inch (250 mm) tablet, Toradex Colibri T20, Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1, Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet, Velocity Micro Cruz Tablet L510,
Zyrex Onepad SP1110, Zyrex Onepad SP1113G, Acer Iconia Tab A100
|AP25||Fusion Garage Grid 10|
|Unknown||Tesla motors models 2013~2014 instrument cluster (IC)|
The Tegra 3 (codenamed "Kal-El") is functionally a SoC with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore CPU, but includes a fifth "companion" core in what Nvidia refers to as a "variable SMP architecture". While all cores are Cortex-A9s, the companion core is manufactured with a low-power silicon process. This core operates transparently to applications and is used to reduce power consumption when processing load is minimal. The main quad-core portion of the CPU powers off in these situations.
Tegra 3 is the first Tegra release to support ARM's SIMD extension, NEON.
The GPU in Tegra 3 is an evolution of the Tegra 2 GPU, with 4 additional pixel shader units and higher clock frequency. It can also output video up to 2560×1600 resolution and supports 1080p MPEG-4 AVC/h.264 40 Mbit/s High-Profile, VC1-AP, and simpler forms of MPEG-4 such as DivX and Xvid.
The Tegra 3 was released on November 9, 2011.
(multi- / single-core mode)
|T30L||Cortex-A9||4+1||1.2 GHz / up to 1.3 GHz||VLIW-based
|8:4:?:?||416 MHz||DDR3-1333||?||32 bit
|5.3 GB/s||Q1 2012|
|T30||1.4 GHz / up to 1.5 GHz||520 MHz||LPDDR2-1066
|T33||1.6 GHz / up to 1.7 GHz||DDR3-1600||?||6.4 GB/s||Q2 2012|
|T30L||Asus Transformer Pad TF300T, ASUS MeMO Pad Smart ME301T, Microsoft Surface, Nexus 7 (2012), Sony Xperia Tablet S, Acer Iconia Tab A210,|
WEXLER.TAB 7t, Lenovo IdeaTab A2109, Toshiba AT300 (Excite 10), Toshiba AT10-A (Excite Pure), BLU Quattro 4.5, BLU Quattro 4.5 HD HP Slate 7 Plus
|T30||Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, IdeaTab K2 / LePad K2, Acer Iconia Tab A510, Acer Iconia Tab A700, ZTE Era, ZTE PF 100, ZTE T98, Toshiba AT270,Asus VivoTab RT, Fuhu Inc. nabi 2 Tablet, Tesla motors models 2013~2014 center information display (CID), Tesla Model S of 2015 instrument cluster (IC), Kungfu K3, Goophone I5, Olivetti Olipad 3, Microsoft Surface, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11,|
Toradex Colibri T30, Toradex Apalis T30, Nvidia Cardhu developer tablet, Realpad Bunaken (RL-P700-QC)
|AP33||LG Optimus 4X HD, Fujitsu Arrows X F-10D, HTC One X, XOLO Play T1000,|
|T33||Asus Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700T), Fujitsu ARROWS X F-02E, Ouya, HTC One X+, Fujitsu Arrows Tab F-05E|
The Tegra 4 (codenamed "Wayne") was announced on January 6, 2013 and is a SoC with a quad-core CPU, but includes a fifth low-power Cortex A15 companion core which is invisible to the OS and performs background tasks to save power. This power-saving configuration is referred to as "variable SMP architecture" and operates like the similar configuration in Tegra 3.
The GeForce GPU in Tegra 4 is again an evolution of its predecessors. However, numerous feature additions and efficiency improvements were implemented. The number of processing resources was dramatically increased, and clock rate increased as well. In 3D tests, the Tegra 4 GPU is typically several times faster than that of Tegra 3. Additionally, the Tegra 4 video processor has full support for hardware decoding and encoding of WebM video (up to 1080p 60Mbit/s @ 60fps).
Along with Tegra 4, Nvidia also introduced i500, an optional software modem based on Nvidia's acquisition of Icera, which can be reprogrammed to support new network standards. It supports category 3 (100Mbit/s) LTE but will later be updated to Category 4 (150Mbit/s).
- CPU cache: L1: 32 KB instruction + 32 KB data, L2: 2 MB
- 28 nm HPL semiconductor technology
|T114||Cortex-A15||4+1||up to 1.9 GHz||VLIW-based VEC4 units||72 (48:24:4)||672 MHz||DDR3L or LPDDR3||?||32 bit dual-channel||up to 14.9 GB/s (1866 MT/s data rate)||Q2 2013|
|T114||Nvidia Shield Portable, Tegra Note 7, Microsoft Surface 2, HP Slate 7 Extreme, HP Slate 7 Beats Special Edition, HP Slate 8 Pro, HP SlateBook x2, HP SlateBook 14, HP Slate 21, ZTE N988S, nabi Big Tab, Nuvola NP-1, Project Mojo, Asus Transformer Pad TF701T, Toshiba AT10-LE-A (Excite Pro), Vizio 10" tablet, Wexler.Terra 7, Wexler.Terra 10, Acer TA272HUL AIO, Xiaomi Phone 3, Coolpad 大观 4, Audi Tablet, Le Pan TC1020 10.1", Matrimax iPLAY 7, Kobo Arc 10HD, Tesla Model S of 2015 center information display (CID)|
The Tegra 4i (codenamed "Grey") was announced on February 19, 2013. With hardware support for the same audio and video formats, but using Cortex-A9 cores instead of Cortex-A15, the Tegra 4i is a low-power variant of the Tegra 4 and is designed for phones and tablets. Unlike its Tegra 4 counterpart, the Tegra 4i also integrates the Icera i500 LTE/HSPA+ baseband processor onto the same die.
- 28 nm HPM semiconductor technology
- CPU cache: L1: 32 KB instruction + 32 KB data, L2: 1 MB
|T148?||Cortex-A9 "R4"||4+1||up to 2.0 GHz||VLIW-based VEC4 units||60 (48:12:2)||660 MHz||LPDDR3||32 bit single-channel||6.4–7.5 GB/s (800–933 MHz)||Q1 2014|
|T148?||Blackphone, LG G2 mini LTE, Wiko Highway 4G, Explay 4Game, Wiko Wax QMobile Noir LT-250|
Nvidia’s Tegra K1 (codenamed "Logan") features ARM Cortex-A15 cores in a 4+1 configuration similar to Tegra 4, or Nvidia's 64-bit Project Denver dual-core processor as well as a Kepler graphics processing unit with support for Direct3D 12, OpenGL ES 3.1, CUDA 6.5, OpenGL 4.4/OpenGL 4.5, and Vulkan. Nvidia claims that it outperforms both the Xbox 360 and the PS3, whilst consuming significantly less power.
- GPU consisting of 192 ALUs using Kepler technology
- 28 nm HPM process
- Released in Q2 2014
- Power consumption: 8 watts
|4+1||up to 2.3 GHz||GK20A
|max 8 GB
with 40-bit address extension2
|64 bit||17 GB/s||Q2 2014|
|2||up to 2.5 GHz||max 8 GB||?||?||Q3 2014|
|T124||Jetson TK1 development board, Nvidia Shield Tablet, Acer Chromebook 13, HP Chromebook 14 G3, Lenovo ThinkVision 28, Xiaomi MiPad, Snail Games|
OBox, UTStarcom MC8718, Google Project Tango tablet, Apalis TK1 System on Module, Fuze Tomahawk F1, JXD Singularity S192
|T132||HTC Nexus 9|
In December 2015, the web page of wccftech.com published an article stating that Tesla is going to use a Tegra K1 based design derived from the template of the Nvidia Visual Computing Module (VCM) for driving the infotainment systems and providing visual driving aid in the respective vehicle models of that time. This news has, as of now, found no similar successor or other clear confirmation later on in any other place on such a combination of a multimedia with an auto pilot system for these vehicle models.
Nvidia's Tegra X1 (codenamed "Erista") features four ARM Cortex-A57 cores and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores, as well as a Maxwell-based graphics processing unit. It supports Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression. Contrary to initial belief, Nvidia does not use the eight cores in ARM big.LITTLE configuration. Instead, devices utilizing the Tegra X1 always show themselves as having only four ARM Cortex-A57 cores available. The other four ARM Cortex-A53 cores can not be accessed by the operating system and are used automatically in very low power scenarios determined by the CPU itself.
- CPU: ARMv8 ARM Cortex-A57 quad-core (64-bit) + ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core (64-bit) (Jetson Nano: only quad core A57)
- GPU: Maxwell-based 256 core GPU (Jetson Nano: only 128 cores)
- MPEG-4 HEVC & VP9 encoding/decoding support (Jetson Nano: encoders are H.265, H.264/Stereo, VP8, JPEG; decoders are H.265, H.264/Stereo, VP8, VP9, VC-1, MPEG-2, JPEG)
- TSMC 20 nm process (Jetson Nano: t.b.d.)
|A57: 1.9 GHz
A53: 1.3 GHz
|256::1316:16||1000 MHz||512||1024||LPDDR3/LPDDR4:773||8 GB:773||64 bit:773||25.6 GB/s||Q2/2015|
|(Jetson Nano)||Cortex-A57||4||1.428 GHz||GM2??
|128:16:16||921 MHz||236||472||LPDDR3?/LPDDR4:773||4 GB (8?)||64 bit||25.6 GB/s||March 2019|
|T210||Nvidia Shield Android TV, Nvidia Jetson TX1 development board, Nvidia Drive CX & PX, Google Pixel C, Nintendo Switch|
Nvidia's Tegra X2 (codenamed "Parker") features Nvidia's own custom general-purpose ARMv8-compatible core Denver 2 as well as code-named Pascal graphics processing core with GPGPU support. The chips are made using FinFET process technology using TSMC's 16 nm FinFET+ manufacturing process.
- CPU: Nvidia Denver2 ARMv8 (64-bit) dual-core + ARMv8 ARM Cortex-A57 quad-core (64-bit)
- RAM: up to 8GB LPDDR4
- GPU: Pascal-based, 256 CUDA cores
- TSMC 16 nm, FinFET process
- TDP: 7.5-15W
|2 + 4||Denver2: 1.4–2.0 GHz
A57: 1.2–2.0 GHz
|GP10B (Pascal)||256:?:?||854–1465 MHz||437–750||874–1500||LPDDR4||8 GB||128 bit||58.4 GB/s|
|T186||Nvidia Drive PX2 (variants),|
ZF ProAI 1.1
|Unknown||Nvidia Jetson TX2|
|Unknown||Mercedes-Benz MBUX (infotainment system)|
|Unknown||1 unit along with 1 GPU semiconductor is part of the ECU for "Tesla vision" functionality in all Tesla Motors models since October 2016|
|Unknown||Magic Leap One (mixed environment glasses)|
The most recent Tegra SoC, Xavier, named after the comic book character Professor X, was announced on 28 September 2016 and by March 2019 it had been released.  It contains 7 billion transistors and 8 custom ARMv8 cores, a Volta GPU with 512 CUDA cores, an open sourced TPU (Tensor Processing Unit) called DLA (Deep Learning Accelerator) It is able to encode and decode 8K Ultra HD (7680×4320). Users can configure operating modes at 10W, 15W, and 30W TDP as needed and the die size is 100x87 mm2. Nvidia confirmed the fabrication process to be 12 nm FinFET at CES 2018.
- CPU: Nvidia custom Carmel ARMv8.2-A (64-bit), 8 cores 10 wide superscalar
- GPU: Volta-based, 512 CUDA cores with 1.3 TFLOPS
- TSMC 12 nm, FinFET process
- 20 TOPS DL and 160 SPECint @ 20 W; 30 TOPS DL @ 30 W (TOPS DL = Deep Learning Tera-Ops)
- 20 TOPS DL via the GPU based tensor cores
- 10 TOPS DL (INT8) via the DLA unit that shall achieve 5 TFLOPS (FP16)
- 1.6 TOPS in the PVA unit (Programmable Vision Accelerator, for StereoDisparity/OpticalFlow/ImageProcessing)
- 1.5 GPix/s in the ISP unit (Image Signal Processor, with native full-range HDR and tile processing support)
- Video Processor for 1.2 GPix/s encoding and 1.8 GPix/s decode including 8k video support
- MIPI-CSI-3 with 16 lanes
- 1 Gbit/s Ethernet
- 10 Gbit/s Ethernet
|T194||Carmel||8||GV10B? (Volta)||512:?:?||1270 MHz||1300||LPDDR4||256-bit||137 GB/s||Q3(?) 2018|
|Unknown||Nvidia Drive Xavier (Drive PX-series)|
(formerly named Xavier AI Car Supercomputer)
|Unknown||Nvidia Drive Pegasus (Drive PX-series)|
|Unknown||Nvidia Drive AGX Xavier Developer Kit|
|Unknown||Nvidia Jetson AGX Xavier Developer Kit|
|Unknown||Nvidia Jetson Xavier|
|Unknown||Nvidia Clara AGX  "Clara AGX is based on NVIDIA Xavier and NVIDIA Turing GPUs."|
|Unknown||Bosch and Nvidia designed Self Driving System|
On the Linux Kernel Mailing List, a Tegra194 based development board with type ID "P2972-0000" got reported: The board consists of the P2888 compute module and the P2822 baseboard.
Nvidia announced the next-gen SoC codename Orin (resembling the name of an aquaman comic hero) on March 27, 2018 at GPU Technology Conference 2018. Presentations already indicate that a design with two Orin chips are planned to be on par with the performance that a Pegasus board with four chips (supposed to be formed by two Xavier chips and two GPU chips) and a factor of five in performance between Xavier and Orin seems indicated.
|Tegra 2||Tegra 3||Tegra 4||Tegra K1||Tegra X1||Tegra X2||Xavier||Orin|
|Architecture bitness||32 bits||64 bits|
|Cores||2 A9||4+1 A9||4+1 A15||4+1 A15||2 Denver||4 A53 + 4 A57||2 Denver2 + 4 A57||8 Nvidia custom Carmel|
|L1 Cache (I / D)||32 / 32 KB||128 / 64 KB||32 / 32 KB + 64 / 32 KB||128 / 64 KB + 48 / 32 KB||?|
|L2 Cache||1MB||2MB||128KB + 2MB||2MB + 2MB||?|
|Process||40 nm||28 nm||20 nm||16 nm FF||12 nm FFN|
Nvidia distributes proprietary device drivers for Tegra through OEMs and as part of its "Linux for Tegra" (formerly "L4T") development kit. The newer and more powerful devices of the Tegra family are now supported by Nvidia's own Vibrante Linux distribution. Vibrante comes with a larger set of GNU/Linux tools plus several Nvidia provided libraries for acceleration in the area of data processing and especially image processing for driving safety and automated driving up to the level of deep learning and neuronal networks that make e.g. heavy use of the CUDA capable accelerator blocks, and via OpenCV can make use of the NEON vector extensions of the ARM cores.
As of April 2012[update], due to different "business needs" from that of their GeForce line of graphics cards, Nvidia and one of their Embedded Partners, Avionic Design GmbH from Germany, are also working on submitting open-source drivers for Tegra upstream to the mainline Linux kernel. Nvidia co-founder & CEO laid out the Tegra processor roadmap using Ubuntu Unity in GPU Technology Conference 2013.
By end of 2018 its evident that Nvidia employees have contributed substantial code parts to make the T186 and T194 models run for HDMI display and audio with the upcoming official Linux kernel 4.21 in about Q1 2019. The thus positively affected software modules are the open source Nouveau and the closed source Nvidia graphics drivers along with the Nvidia proprietary CUDA interface.
SoCs and platforms with comparable specifications (e.g. audio/video input, output and processing capability, connectivity, programmability, entertainment/embedded/automotive capabilities & certifications, power consumption) are:
- A-Series by AllWinner
- Apple "A" series by Apple
- Atom by Intel
- Exynos by Samsung
- i.MX by Freescale Semiconductor
- Jaguar and Puma by AMD
- K3Vx/Kirin by HiSilicon
- MTxxxx by MediaTek
- NovaThor by ST-Ericsson
- OCTEON by Cavium
- OMAP by Texas Instruments
- Qualcomm Snapdragon
- R-Car by Renesas
- RK3xxx by Rockchip
- VideoCore by Broadcom
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