64-bit Tegra K1 processor with Denver chip

The Nexus 8 looks like it will be a powerful unit. The 64-bit Tegra K1 is the world’s first 64-bit ARM processor for Android, as Nvidia is happy to explain in a recent post on their company blog.

Nvidia is sharing some great information on their new “Denver” based 64-bit CPU, pairing with their 192-core Kepler architecture-based GPU to create a fully ARMv8 compatible processor that is also pin compatible with the 32-bit Tegra K1 processor, for faster adoption.

Tegra K1 Chip

“Denver” is built to provide the highest single-core CPU throughput available, which results also in industry leading dual-core performance. The new 64-bit Tegra K1 is set with 128K + 64K L1 cache, a good update from the 32K + 32K of the 32-bit Tegra K1.

In Nvidia’s words, the 64-bit Tegra K1 chip will offer PC-class performance; equipped mobile devices will experience much better performance for standard apps, extended battery life and the best web browsing experience all while opening up new possibilities for gaming, enterprise apps and more.

With that all said, we are very excited to learn that this is the expected chipset for the upcoming Nexus 8. Whether you are excited about the Nexus 8 or not, if this all comes together, an 8-inch device with 4GB of RAM, and this monster of a 64-bit processor sounds terribly tempting.


Head over to the Nvidia post to gather more information on the particulars of the 64-bit Tegra K1.

We are very excited for the advancement of 64-bit technology on Android, we are happy to see that the hardware is headed in that direction and look forward to the performance gains before, and especially after, software is developed to fully utilize the technology. Keep tabs with us, I am certain we’ll have plenty more to say about the 64-bit Tegra K1 and 64-bit architecture in general.

Are you ready for 64-bit architecture on your Android device?

Jonathan Feist
Android purist and enthusiast, rarely more than arms reach from a stock Nexus 7. Often accused of being a Google fanboy, proud of it. Proponent for Android customization and personalization, if you can change it, make it your own!
  • patrik

    I thought Nvidia was moving away from making chips for smartphones?

    • Kevin Kuo

      They are starting to get serious, especially in the GPU part.

    • joser116

      Yes, that still is true. This chip is being pushed by Nvidia for tablets and such. However, that will not stop it from being used in smartphones.

      This chip is rumored to be in the Nexus 8.

      • And probably Android TV, Chromebooks and similar devices.

        • joser116


          In fact, Nvidia’s still admittedly powerful 32-bit K1 can be had if you preorder Acer’s newly announced (as of yesterday) Chromebook 13, complete with a 1080p display at a (you guessed it) 13-inch size.

  • Duncan_J

    Why wasn’t this in the shield tablet?

    • Toss3

      I doubt it would have made a difference as the Shield is primarily a gaming-device. CPU performance, especially single thread, thus isn’t the limiting factor and it could be that the quad core a15s performed better.

      • Duncan_J

        both good points.


      • Andrew T Roach

        The K1 in the Shield Tablet still has the best single-threaded performance on Android currently. It also literally doubles 800/801 powered phones in Octane.

        And thats not the 64bit model.

        • Guest

          I thought that was only because it had less battery and thermal constraints since the device had a very large battery as well as spacoius body + a fan to keep the device cool.
          Edit: nvm.. my bad. Thought we were talking about the shield portable

    • MasterMuffin

      Probably becaise it wasn’t ready yet and/or because Android isn’t 64-bit yet

    • Живко Јанкулоски

      Because Android 4.4.4 doesn’t support 64bit!!!

      • Duncan_J

        I thought you could execute 32 bit code on a 64 bit chip, just not the other way around.

  • Mf Lye

    Hope n8 doesn’t cost a bomb.

    • $399.99, to start with fast price drop to $349.99, and then, viola, $299.99 before you know it, m8

  • shamatuu

    If we can use that in phones it would be the real beast. Super smooth with android L.

    • Gon

      Things are already smooth. Unless you have a skinned bloated skins

  • MasterMuffin

    I’d like to see performance comparisons between this and whatever will be in the next iProduct!

    • Your wish is our command, @mastermuffin:disqus

      • MasterMuffin

        If so then make the next iPhone with Android, you can do it! :)

        • Let me call Apple…

          Still ringing….

        • On a side note, Muff, I’ve always desired an iPad mini with Android on it.

          Second side note – Gear 2 Neo with Android Wear? Anyone? Bueller? $100 bucks to anyone that can figure it out. Seriously. Near identical hardware, it’s theoretically possible.

          • MasterMuffin

            I don’t care for smartwatches, but I would consider all Apple’s products more if they had different operating system!

          • dont mind me ^^

            what do you mean by ‘different operating system’ ?
            Apple non-desktop products don’t have any operating system to start with.. ;)

          • MasterMuffin

            They just don’t work as well with Windows (or Linux distros)

    • Tjaldid

      they won’t be able to compete against 4GB of Ram

      • filaos

        They already do with 1GB vs 3GB. Why would it suddenly change ?

        • Tjaldid

          4GB of LPDDR4… they can’t compete… mostly if they enhance the OS around it like split-screen multitasking

          • filaos

            Of course they can. Apple SoCs always feature the top single-core performance, every year. The 2nd generation of Apple’s custom armv8 will be out BEFORE this Denver-K1 appears in a single device, and it will be a tablet whereas Apple has already mastered the way to put 64bit massive in phones.
            This is just another wishfull announcement from NVidia. Each year the same.

      • tiger

        Ram = battery life consumption.

  • I kinda wish NVIDIA put this in their Shield Tablet instead.

    • Insomniac9000

      Let’s just hope a variant with it comes out then, eh?

  • wric01

    Will need devices with more than 4 gigs of ram to make use of 64 bit.

    • Andrew T Roach

      Nope. ARM instructions are newer and more efficient using the 64bit code. Better performance for no extra power cost. Just software improvements. The 5S gained upwards of 30% on Geekbench just by running it in 64bit for instance.

      • hoggleboggle

        The fact they made use of the improved arm core is what gave them the performance boost, not the switch to 64bit.

        • wat

          I’m sure both played a part

    • Живко Јанкулоски

      The 4GB minimum applies to computers only! The iPhone got improved very much since switching to 64bit, even if it has 1GB of RAM!!!

  • Andrew T Roach

    Qualcomm is shifting their focus to low-cost models. They will be using the same stock cores next cycle as Rockchip and other discount chip makers, while Apple and Nvidia make the only high-performance custom ARM SoC’s. There’s a good chance Intel runs them all out of town performance/battery wise next year by beating everyone to 14nm.

  • Rushan

    Dear AA, please do a comparison with this and the rest(5433, MT6595 ….)

  • renz

    it seems to me that Denver is more like evolution to transmeta CPU instead of being pure ARM CPU.

    “NVIDIA is using a custom ISA and on-the-fly binary translation to convert ARMv8 instructions to microcode before execution. A software layer and 128MB cache enhance the Dynamic Code Optimization technology by allowing the processor to examine and optimize the ARM code, convert it to the custom instruction set, and further cache the converted microcode of frequently used applications in a cache (which can be bypassed for infrequently processed code). Using the wider execution engine and Dynamic Code Optimization (which is transparent to ARM developers and does not require updated applications), NVIDIA touts the dual Denver core Tegra K1 as being at least as powerful as the quad and octo-core packing competition.”


    it will be interesting to see this.

    • Interesting. For RISC like ARM it should be very easy to do microcode convertion. The “octo-core” is probably a comparison to quad A7 MediaTek SoC which wasn’t that impressive anyway.

  • Dynames Torpedo

    Can it play PS2 games?

    • renz

      PS2 emu can be quite demanding even on fast desktop computer. And so far the team behind the emu have no intention to do ARM port. Even for dolphin as far as I know only one person working on ARM.

  • saleem

    This looks awesome. Now if we can play PS2 emulator on Android
    quote: “PC-class performance”…

  • Tjaldid

    H.265 or bust

    • renz

      From what I heard so far only second gen maxwell might have that. Current TK1 seems to use partial solution.

  • filaos

    Why keep the same name as the 32 bit chip ? I totally don’t understand NVidia’s marketing language.

  • tiger

    Per Android community for the past year, ARMv8 and 64 bit are pure marketing!!!

    How things have changed! Lol.

  • Roberto Tomás

    (Looking at the cache) looks like the Tegra K1/64 aka “Denver” is not just another A57.

    • renz

      In fact it is not even pure ARM CPU.

  • tiger

    This is pure 100% marketing! No one needs ARMv8 and 64-bit in a phone….we don’t need it………said Android community for the past year….

    Pure marketing! Let us all say it!!!! Come on…you guys have been so vocal about Apple going 64-bit and ARMv8!!! PURE MARKETING. Shout it from the rooftops!!!

    • Tcv4

      The only time it’s pure marketing is when you have 1 gb of ram.

  • Francis Short Jr

    Would be great if they could work it into a smartphone

  • Vilasanchez

    I think it will be a huge advance in terms of mobile copmuting capacity, as higher RAM in this kinds of devices can make a big diference wen it come to making a powerfull computing process.