Nvidia and Asus Tag Team Tegra 3 Launch

Paul Lilly

Nvidia's Tegra 3 mobile quad-core processor is finally official , and with it comes "PC-class performance levels," the chip maker claims. That's in addition to "better battery life and improved mobile experiences" for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. And speaking of which, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is kicking off the launch as the world's first quad-core tablet with Tegra 3 inside.

According to Nvidia, the chip previously known as "Project Kal-El" delivers up to three times the graphics performance of Tegra 2 and manages to reduce power consumption by up to 61 percent. In real world terms, that equates to 12 hours of battery life for HD video playback, Nvidia says.

Sounds suspect, doesn't it? And it would be, if not for Nvidia's patent pending technology known as Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing (vSMP). Behind the fancy pants nomenclature is a fifth CPU "companion" designed for low level tasks that don't require a ton of power, things like listening to music, playing back video, and updating background tasks. When doing one of these tasks, the four main cores shut down completely, but spring into action as soon as you fire up a game, start multitasking, or even when browsing the Web.

As mentioned, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is the first tablet to sport a Tegra 3 chip. The Prime boasts a 10.1-inch LED backlit screen with Super IPS+ (1280x800) 10-finger multi-touch and Corning Gorilla Glass, 1GB of memory, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, 1.2MP front-facing camera, 8MP rear-facing camera with flash and F2.4 aperture, microSD card reader, and a bunch of other specs you can check out here .

Image Credit: Nvidia

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