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What you should know about NVIDIA’s Tegra 2

You’ve probably heard of NVIDIA right? Company known for their graphic cards which are quite popular. But what about Tegra? Tegra is a system-on-a-chip (SOC) integrating CPU and GPU onto a single package developed for smartphones and mobile internet devices (MIDs). The first product to have it is the Zune HD back in 2009.

Fast forward to this year, Tegra 2 is unleashed offering more power to mobile devices. Tegra 2 is a dual-core mobile super chip that is powering today’s generation of smartphones like the Motorola Atrix, Motorola DROID Bionic and the LG Optimus 2X as well as tablets like the Motorola Xoom, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Acer Iconia, Dell Streak 7, etc.

Since it’s made by NVIDIA, the Tegra 2 chip is already optimized for mobile gaming. Take note for those who buy phones and use it for gaming.

Here is the result of GLBench Egypt which is an intensive, realistic graphics benchmark comparing Tegra 2 to the Qualcomm 8255 (HTC Desire HD), TI OMAP 2640 (Motorola Droid 2), Samsung PC110 or the Hummingbird (Samsung Galaxy S).


If you’re wondering about iPhone 4, the graphics performance capabilities falls slightly below the Galaxy S (Samsung PC110).

Flash and HTML 5 content is also a strong suit of Tegra 2 making it a good choice for tablets. NVIDIA worked with Adobe to offload Flash graphics onto the GPU, speeding up performance from 2-6x compared to other platforms that rely on executing Flash software solely in the CPU.

Here are some tests of the same mobile chips as above when used to play/view Flash and HTML 5 content on the web including the resource-intensive Fish IE Tank.


With dual-core, multi-tasking on your mobile device is a breeze. You probably won’t use it much for smartphones but again, tablets can use the extra core. Comparing it to the other chips is a no-brainer. Expect twice the performance as compared to single-core chips.

What we’re saying here is that Tegra 2 is not just your dual-core mobile processor. NVIDIA put a lot of work in the GPU part of Tegra 2. The GPU is the world’s only ultra-low power GeForce GPU. NVIDIA is known for high performance visuals and graphics, and they made modifications to Tegra 2 making it very power efficient and at the same time can deliver very high performance for today’s superphones.


I was able to play with the Motorola Atrix (which is a powerful phone with unassuming looks by the way) for a short while and the performance of the phone was very smooth. Navigating, apps launching, even turning on the camera takes only a sec to load. I also tried Need For Speed and other high-end games and they loaded pretty quick with crisp graphics to boot.

What’s next for NVIDIA’s mobile chip? How about Kal-El which is the first quad-core mobile processor we’ll see very soon.

Tegra 2 Specs:

  • CPU: Dual Cortex-A9, up to 1GHz
  • GPU: 8 Core ULP GeForce
  • Video: 1080p H.264
  • Memory: LPDDR2-600, DDR2-667
  • Imaging: Ultra high performance image processor
  • Audio: HW Audio
  • Storage: eMMC, NAND, USB
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  • intersectRaven

    Unfortunately, the first generation Tegra 2s don’t have NEON instruction set which cripples it for multimedia applications.

  • Tegra 2 is fast on superphones. Pero hindi sya tulad sa Honeycomb. Masmabilis pa din dun sa Atrix nung tinry ko yesterday 😀

    • compared sa gingerbread kasi… honeycomb is not yet polished that’s why google pulled it out again from device manufacturers. nice meeting you nga pala! 🙂

      • Nice meeting you din 🙂

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