Nvidia’s Tegra 3 CPU Maybe Android’s Ace Against Apple’s A5

by: Aerol BibatJune 1, 2011
3 22 7

Right now, one of the main advantages that iOS products have over Android ones is the fact they’ve got the A5 backing them. Apple maybe focused on aesthetic design but they’re no slouch in the engineering department either. The current generation of Tegra 2’s ca’t even compare to the A5.

Well, that’s about to change. Nvidia has already started showing off its Tegra 3 CPU, code-named Kal-el, and like the Kryptonian it’s named after, it looks to be super-strong, featuring four processing cores, twelve GeForce graphics units and stereoscopic 3D support. The tech demo for the Tegra 3’s capabilities is called “Glowball” and it features the Tegra 3 showing off its graphical chops.

One of its achievements is it features true dynamic lightning options on mobile devices. It also integrates the accelerometer inside the device, helping you affect the demo. Tilt the device and the gravity in the scene changes and drapes respond accordingly. All of these movements are simulated using Kal-El’s four CPU cores – no canned animations, just pure simulation. The demo has a ball rolling all across a truly interactive environment, with the background responding in a very real manner. The difference is striking when the demo is moved to a dual-core CPU; everything looks worse and much slower. It’s the power of the quad-core that makes it all possible and its what it will be bringing to new Android devices.

Tegra and A5 both use ARM’s CPU blueprints, however Nvidia has an edge in two areas: graphics expertise and power efficiency. The company uses its own GeForce designs for mobile graphics – not to mention its in-house expertise in graphic cards – to create a more efficient way to render graphics. Currently, Tegra 2’s are the ones found in most Android tablets – expect an upgrade to Tegra 2 3D, then to Tegra 3.

Source: GeekwithLaptop


  • 8PAQ

    Oh ok so that’s why you guys never publish iPad 2 results when showing performance comparisons and instead show iPad 1 scores. Wouldn’t wanna make Android hardware look bad. Btw Apple will have A6 ready by the time Tegra 3 is widely used. Who knows how good A6 will be.

    • Shocker

      The iPhone 5 will use the A5 but they may tweak it a little as in increase the clockspeed or add neon support, the SGX543MP2 GPU is very powerful and customisable, the iPad2 version uses 2 cores, they could use 4 in the iPhone 5 if they wanted too but I doubt it.

      Of course being Apple they may well call that the A6. LOL

  • Applesucks

    8paq you are forgetting a few things. 1) The tegra will be 1440P reso…3d Glassless viewing, Flash enabled and added SDHC support for extra storage….The only thing that Apple has against it is that it now comes with two new variants of the same virus…LOL… Also dont forget Samsung is the one that really designed Apples CPU/GPU and in many ways is nothing more then a Tegra knock off.

    • Shocker

      Samsung never designed the A5, they simply manufacture them. The original design for the Cortex A9 was from ARM and SGX543MP2 is from PowerVR, Samsung, nvidia and Apple just customise them and include these in the SoC, (System-On-Chip).

      The difference being Samsung make the SoC’s, Apple, HTC, etc don’t.

      • Nice try. The A4 core was designed by samsung and Intrinsity. It’s the Hummingbird core based on the ARM cortex A8. The A5 uses the same A9 core used in Samsung’s exynos chipset.

    • Shocker

      Also, the SGX543MP2 is not a Tegra ripoff, it’s allot more powerful than Tegra 2.

      The only GPU available that comes close to it is Mali 400MP by ARM

      • Darcy Alexander

        And the Mali 400MP is the one that is in the Samsung Galaxy S II. What do you think Martin? Will Apple be able to produce an iPhone that will be technically superior to Samsung’s flagship? Industry pundits are saying that the iPhone set to be released is not likely to be a monumental upgrade, but rather an incremental one. I’m always interested to hear your thoughts – you are very well informed.

        What’s on my mind these days is a Super AMOLED Plus quad core tablet. Thanks to Samsung, it’s likely Apple will not be able to get their hands on this tech for a while.


  • By the time the get this Tegra 3 out the iPhone 5 will be out with a A6 quadcore so step it up Nvidia as ur a step behind.

    • Omar O’Hara

      The Tegra 3 will be out before Christmas on the Transformer Prime tablet. The Tegra 4 will be the A6’s competition, but I’m afraid Apple will be behind again. The iPad 3 is likely to release 6-7 months later in Q2 2012, but then the Tegra 4, with support for 8 cores will be released in either Q3 or Q4 of the same year. Who is it that is behind again?

      On a side note, I hear the A6 will be offered in the color of your choice in keeping with Apples form before function crusade.

  • Mamoon Noorestani

    Apple will not be putting a quad-core processor in the iPhone 5. Quad-core will be coming to iPad 3 first then the iPhone 5S. Apple might just make the screen larger and put a 1.8 Ghz dual-core processor in the iPhone 5.