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tegra 4

Nvidia’s Tegra 4 beat out Qualcomm’s fastest Snapdragon processor in a benchmark test, according to Nvidia’s own released benchmark data from a couple of weeks ago. Today, the Microprocessor Report confirmed that analysis and said that the Tegra 4 is the fastest mobile processor based on ARM’s chip architecture.

Kevin Krewell, analyst at The Linley Group, owner of the Microprocessor Report, said that the details disclosed at the Mobile World Congress a couple of weeks ago suggest that Tegra 4 is the highest-performing mobile ARM processor, if power constraints don’t throttle the cores.

“This performance takes aim at Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon processors,” Krewell said. “Nvidia offered a wide range of benchmark results that clearly showed Tegra 4 leading both the APQ8064 and (judging from our estimates) the forthcoming Snapdragon 800.”

Krewell estimated the performance of the Series 800 Snapdragon chip, with a 2.3GHz clock speed and other improvements.

“Based on these estimates, even Qualcomm’s best processor, which is due to enter production at about the same time as Tegra 4, won’t surpass Nvidia in these tests,” Krewell said.

Krewell said Qualcomm may still have an advantage for devices that use less than the maximum power.

“These results seem to have caught Qualcomm by surprise and expose some deficiencies in the memory subsystem of the Krait- based processors,” Krewell said. “Qualcomm, however, has designed its CPU [central processing unit] for power efficiency, whereas Tegra 4 delivers maximum performance at maximum power. Snapdragon will challenge Tegra 4’s performance in smartphones, but in tablets, Tegra 4 will really shine.”

Another question will be when each company can deliver chips in high volumes.

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