Nvidia unveils Tegra 4, the “world’s fastest mobile processor”

Nvidia Tegra 4 announcementKicking CES 2013 off early with a Sunday evening press conference, Nvidia took over Rain at the Palms in Las Vegas for what is probably the nerdiest event that club has hosted in some time. A bunch of folks were there to learn about processors. Nvidia made sure the event was worthwhile for the attendees, though, by unveiling the Nvidia Tegra 4 chipset.

The latest in the line of Nvidia’s processors for mobile devices, the Nvidia will be trying to plant the processor on board as many tablets and phones as possible over the coming year. Known previously by the codename “Wayne,” presumably named after its creator Bruce Wayne (citation needed), the chipset aims to push the performance bar way up and keep competitor Qualcomm on its toes.

Nvidia tagged the processor as the “World’s Fastest Mobile Processor,” it doesn’t look like that’s just a name. The device is “flooded with GPU cores,” in the words of Nvidia president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. 72 GPU cores running along with four A15 GPU cores are what power the “fastest mobile application processor in the world today.” That speed will feel even better with the new 4G LTE modem processor, something desperately lacking in previous models.

Those numbers for the Tegra 4 sound impressive, but it’s the demo that really displays the speed. Going head-to-head with the Nexus 10 and its Samsung Exynos processor in a race to load 25 web pages, the Tegra 4 cut the time in half, clocking in at twenty-seven seconds compared to fifty seconds for the Nexus 10. A chart comparing speeds to all other processors on the market, including the iPad 4’s Apple A6x, shows the Tegra 4 outpacing the competition.

Applying the Tegra 4 to other tasks, Nvidia also showed off how the processor improves photo capturing. Taking a trip to Tahiti (a makeshift bar on the side of the stage, occupied by a gamer girl), Jen-Hsun Huang displayed Tegra 4’s live HDR image capabilities. With a Windows tablet prototype in hand, the demo crew was able to compose a full image with a live preview of HDR as a guide, rather than snapping a shot and and seeing how it turned out. The computational photography abilities that the Tegra 4 can make possible include things like HDR includes HDR panoramas, reconstructing 3D scenes, object tracking, strobe motion, and more.

The final big reveal for the Tegra 4 was the inclusion of a Icera i500 modem using soft modem technology. It’s a programmable processor capable of 1.2 trillion operations per second, which is just a very large number. Jen-Hsun Huang promises, “it can achieve things that a fixed-function modem cannot,” as cores can be repurposed as needed. 

Product Review

If the Surface Studio 2 can't win over Mac fans, nothing can

Most creative professionals are staunchly planted in the Apple camp, but with the Surface Studio 2, Microsoft is making a serious attempt to win them over. Despite its niche appeal, you’ll wish you had a few grand to drop on this beauty.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Mobile

Netflix is testing a cheap mobile-only subscription tier in some markets

Netflix is trying to reach potential subscribers in emerging markets. To that end, the company has begun rolling out a cheaper, mobile-only subscription tier, which comes at around $4 per month -- half the price of the Basic subscription…
Product Review

It's so fast it has a clip-on fan. But the Asus ROG phone isn't just for gamers

Is a gaming smartphone only something a mobile gamer should consider buying? In the case of the Asus ROG Phone, the good news is the device is so capable, and a genuinely impressive all-rounder, that everyone should take a closer look…
Mobile

T-Mobile's new Revvl 2, Revvl 2 Plus are now available for purchase

Last year, T-Mobile launched its own line of branded smartphones. As a follow-up to their predecessors, the carrier has unveiled the Revvl 2 and Revvl 2 Plus -- complete with a sleeker design. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Smart Home

Huawei could soon take on Google and Amazon with a new digital assistant

According to a report from CNBC, Huawei is working on a new digital assistant that could try to take on the likes of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Huawei already has a digital assistant in China, but the new one will be aimed at markets…
Mobile

Leak shows a third, budget Google Pixel 3 with a Snapdragon 670, headphone jack

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a third. A budget Pixel 3 device that boasts some of the best features of the other two has been leaked.
Mobile

Use multiple phone numbers on one device with Verizon’s ‘My Numbers’ app

For those who have separate phone numbers and devices for your work and personal lives, Verizon wants to help you get more organized. With its new "My Numbers" app, you can use up to four additional phone numbers on a single smartphone.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Mobile

Instagram tool accidentally exposes user passwords. Were you affected?

Instagram's Download Your Data tool accidentally exposed the passwords of a small number of users. Here is the explanation on what happened, and how to find out which Instagram accounts were compromised.
Mobile

New iPad Pro’s durability in question after it fails YouTuber’s bend test

The new iPad Pro models failed a bend test that was carried out by popular YouTuber JerryRigEverything. The result raises questions about the durability of the tablets, especially since customers are also reporting bending issues.
Mobile

How to use recovery mode to fix your Android phone or tablet

If you’re having a problem you can’t seem to resolve with your Android device, or maybe you want to update it or wipe the cache, recovery mode could be what you’re looking for. Here's how to use it.