Nvidia in full philosophical retreat for Tegra 3

The dreaded SIMD added to T30

Nvidia world iconHot on the heels of the short-lived but self-described success of Tegra 2, Nvidia (NVDA) is going to launch a new core in about a year cunningly called T30 or Tegra 3. This one adds one major feature that implies a completely new core.

Short story, the feature is Neon, a 128-bit SIMD engine that is integral to the core. Tegra 1 and 2 did not have it, Tegra 3 does. It takes up a lot of space, power, and most notably it lessens the need for GPU and GPU compute functions, which is why Nvidia treated it like an infectious rash up until now.

Unfortunately for them, their counter-offer, proprietary GPUs and proprietary tools to write with, didn’t go over well. If a coder has to choose between marginally faster for a short time with proprietary tools and a ubiquitous standard with lots of hardware options, guess which one they go for?

When Nvidia announces the Tegra 3 architecture, expect a full ‘triumphant retreat’ in to the ARMs, pun intended, of A9+Neon. This same core will be the basis for T40/Tegra 4, and T50/Tegra 5 is now known as Denver, but the x86 part has been dropped for legal reasons.

So, the more things change, the more they stay the same. People making devices like consistency, choices, and most of all, standards. If you buck that trend in an established segment, the market reacts. If you survive that, you don’t buck it again. Adding NEON shows that Nvidia learned the hard way.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate