San Jose (CA) – The Tegra chip is shaping up as an important business pillar for Nvidia as more details are about the system-on-chip (SoC) become available. We now know that the processing core is based on the Company’s GeForce 6 technology.
Tegra will spearhead one of Nvidia’s most significant efforts to broaden its customer base, with targets set at commercial industries such as automotive and aeronautics. The company created an automotive division and the results so far are promising. Nvidia-powered dashboards are now going to Daimler AG (Mercedes Benz), FIAT Group (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati), V.A.G. group (Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat, Skoda, VW) and the company plans to expand even further, we hear.
Nvidia’s new customers don’t like to be treated as scientific playgrounds, but prefer proven technology, so it should not be too surprising that Tegra is not based on Nvidia’s latest technology, but on an engine that has been available for some time and can be easily supported into every detail. The company decided to design Tegra around the GeForce 6 graphics subsystem, which supports DirectX 9.0c and is capable of running up to three displays – or more: Nvidia went a bit further for Audi and offered an upgrade daughter-board with a GeForce 9 series card (9600 in a low-power, low-clocked version).
Industry sources told us that the next-generation Tegra will add certain features from the GeForce GTX 280 – such as full support for CUDA and dual-precision FP64 processing. The hardware is likely to be based on a single 8-shader processor node, which would result in about 30 GFlops of processing power. Expect the GeForce GTX for the automotive industry to arrive as a daughterboard initially.
Given the aggressive roadmap for this part, we would not be surprised if it ends up on TSMC’s 32 nm low-power node. If you would like to see Tegra + GeForce 9 in action, check out the Futuremark dashboards in the Audi Q7, Q5, A5 and all future models that are equipped with the manufacturer’s MMI interface.