Why Investors Should Be Excited About NVIDIA's New Tegra Chips

NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 brings console-quality graphics to mobile.

Jan 18, 2014 at 5:00PM

The Fool headed out to Vegas to check out the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. With more than 3,200 exhibitors, including 88% of the top retailers in consumer electronics, the CES is the place to be to see what's coming up in tech.

NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) has brought its advanced Kepler GPU architecture to a mobile chip in the Tegra K1. It's also looking forward to the release of its Denver CPUs, available in 32- and 64-bit flavors later this year.

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A full transcript follows the video.

Evan Niu: Hey, Fools. Evan Niu here at CES 2014, and we're at NVIDIA's booth. Earlier this week they announced their brand new Tegra K1 chip. We're here with Doug with NVIDIA. Tell us about this new chip; it sounds pretty crazy!

NVIDIA Representative: The Tegra K1 is the latest chip in the Tegra family. It brings the Kepler architecture to mobile for the first time, so that's a significant accomplishment for the industry.

The Kepler architecture is something NVIDIA has across the line. It's the most advanced GPU in the industry, it's the most energy-efficient GPU in the industry, so bringing it to mobile means that you get all the advantages of having a very mature GPU architecture. It'll support DX11, OpenGL 4.4, OpenGL ES 3.next. From a graphics perspective, it's completely buzzword-compliant.

Niu: This is really console-level graphics in a mobile chip. Some of these demos we're seeing, it's pretty nuts to see on a smartphone or a tablet.

NVIDIA Representative: Absolutely. You look at the demo that's on-screen now; that's our FaceWorks demo, and it is a photorealistic rendering. That's actually a video, but it's captured live off the chip. You see the subsurface scattering, so you get genuine skin response -- it actually looks natural -- you've got ray tracing on Ira's eyes. What we're capable of is pretty impressive.

Niu: I know the Denver CPUs are coming out pretty soon, too. Those look really exciting to me, because that's really NVIDIA's big first step into real custom cores, really taken to the next level, to compete better with Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and all the other chip players. Could you tell us a little bit more about Denver?

NVIDIA Representative: Sure. The bigger story is that the chip comes in two flavors -- the 32-bit version with our 4-plus-1 A15 architecture, and then Denver in the 64-bit. Really excited about Denver; we just showed it for the first time on Sunday night.

It's brand new, back from the fab, so lots to see there, but the good news is that both chips will be in consumer devices this year. We'll see a 32-bit version in production devices by Q2, and we'll see the 64-bit version in production devices by the end of the year.

Niu: Thanks a lot. There you have it, Fools. For all the latest on NVIDIA and CES, make sure to go to Fool.com. 

Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple and Qualcomm. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and NVIDIA and owns shares of Apple and Qualcomm. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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