Nvidia’s flagship mobile chip, the Tegra 4 will not ship until July according to CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. This will likely push back the launch of most devices running the next-generation Nvidia silicon until August or September. Also a casualty of the planned production ramp is the company’s Project Shield gaming device, which will not ship until a similar timeframe despite both being announced at CES 2013 in January.
“We ship Tegra 4 starting in Q2 of 2013,” Huang told financial analysts during a conference call. “We are ramping production now and we will have full production release,” he added. “The second quarter is when we ship to customers. Q2 is also when we ship the Tegra 4 based Shield device…Although it is in the latter part of Q2, it is going to be in Q2,” he assured the gathering.
The Tegra 4 processor uses ARM’s latest design, the Cortex-A15. Where ARM-licencees like Apple and Qualcomm can modify the ARM architecture further for power optimization, Nvidia has been forced to carry over its fifth power-saving core design from the Tegra 3 to keep the balance between battery life and performance. This, even though the Cortex-A15 design already consumes 45 percent less power than the Cortex A-9 design.
It also incorporates a GeForce GPU with 72 cores for six times the graphics performance of the Tegra 3 at 72 Gigaflops – still short of the quad-CPU, quad-GPU Apple A6X SoC released last year, which outputs at 76.8 Gigaflops.