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Alleged leak of Nvidia's Tegra 4 shows 72 graphics cores

The CPU technology is being called the 4-Plus-1 "Quad Core Eagle," according to a leak on a China-based forum.

The Tegra 3 might soon be replaced.
The Tegra 3 might soon be replaced.

Nvidia's mobile future might have been leaked yesterday on a Chinese forum site.

A user going by the name "Xenomorph" yesterday republished an image shared on China's Twitter equivalent Weibo, detailing what could be the mobile processor that Nvidia launches to replace the Tegra 3. And for now, it's being called "Wayne."

According to the image, Wayne, which might eventually be renamed Tegra 4, comes with Nvidia's 4-Plus-1 technology, meaning the chipset will have four regular cores and another low-power core designed to save battery life. That CPU is described as a "Quad Core Eagle," indicating that it's based on ARM's Cortex-A15 architecture, which was given the "Eagle" branding.

The big surprise could be a significant boost Nvidia is delivering to the chip's graphics performance. The slide indicates that Wayne would come with 72 graphics cores, six times as many as those found in the current-generation Tegra 3.

The combination of the Cortex-A15 and the additional graphics cores would mean substantially improved performance for smartphones, tablets, and other devices that might get the chip. The Nvidia Tegra 3 chip, which is found in a broad range of devices, including the HTC One X+ and Acer Iconia Tab A700, is widely considered one of the fastest chips on the market and is based on ARM's Cortex-A9 architecture.

However, according to ARM's Cortex-A15 page, the processor could "deliver over twice the performance of today's top-of-the-line smartphones and over 4 times the aggregate performance of ARM processor-based infrastructure platforms." In other words, the A9 will look slow compared to the A15.

Aside from performance, the Wayne chip would consume less power, according to the slide, likely increasing overall battery performance. The chipset would also support USB 3.0 and a maximum screen resolution of 2,560x1,440.

It's not clear when the actual Tegra 4 might launch, but the technology is rumored to be coming to devices next year. In an e-mailed statement to CNET, an Nvidia spokesperson declined comment "on unannounced products or rumors."

(Via The Verge)