The A4 chip used Apple’s iPad and iPhone 4 is a really nice 1GHz clocked Cortex A8 based part. Nvidia’s Tegra 2 is a 1 GHz dual-core and it appears to pack a lot of graphics power.
I got a sneak peak at the graphics performance of Tegra 2 and this well kept secret is not a secret any more anymore. According to official tech documents Tegra 2 has a Peak Triangle Rate of astonishing 71 million triangles per second while the Power VR SGX 535 graphics core used in the A4 is capable of delivering 28 million triangles per second. Samsung’s Galaxy S i9000 and Google’s Nexus S both have the same Power VR SGX 535 GPU capable of 28 billion triangles.
At this peak rate Tegra 2 looks 2.5 times faster in churning polygons out and the chip its available today. Tegra 2 phones and tablets should be out before the end of Q1 2010. Let’s not mention Google Android’s name in vain here, as the developers are reportedly a bit late with their new tablet OS aka Honeycomb.
In case you saw in game images from Infinity Blade or id Software’s Rage HD games for iOS you will probably agree that they look astonishing, but bear in mind that you can do 2.5 times better graphics on Tegra 2 based phones and tablets due its superior graphics performance.
The only concern is if Nvidia can sell enough Tegra 2 based phones and tablets to make it matter in the big scheme of things. We all know that Nvidia has a history of convincing developers to go its way in graphics and it could certainly apply these long friendships to mobile games. However it’s still a matter of selling sufficient numbers of Tegra 2 based products to create a viable market for the developers.