Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

64-bit Nvidia Tegra 6 "Parker" Chip May Arrive in 2014

By - Source: ExtremeTech | B 28 comments

Devices with a 64-bit Tegra 6 could launch before the end of 2014.

Thanks to Apple and its A7 chip, the race to bring another 64-bit SoC to the market is on, and it seems to be between Samsung, Qualcomm, Intel and Nvidia. Samsung has already acknowledged that it's working on a 64-bit Exynos, and Qualcomm has reportedly been tight-lipped about its 64-bit plans. Intel is already a given, so that leaves Nvidia, which may be forced to accelerate its schedule to keep from lagging behind.

A report from ExtremeTech argues that Nvidia may actually release its "Parker" chip, AKA Tegra 6, in 2014 rather than in 2015. This theory is based on Nvidia reportedly having licensed and started working with ARMv8 back in 2010 or early 2011. If that is indeed the case, then the company may have samples of the 64-bit "Denver" CPU cores ready in early 2014.

Currently Nvidia is expected to churn out the Tegra 5 "Logan" chip in early 2014, packed with CPU cores based on ARM Cortex-A15, Kepler GPU cores, CUDA support and OpenGL 4.3 support. With samples of the Denver cores arriving in the same timeframe, Nvidia may end up with Tegra 6 chips in phones and tablets by the end of the year, cutting the Tegra 5's lifespan a bit short.

Nvidia introduced the Tegra 4 chip during CES 2013 back in January, and is just now starting to work its way into devices such as Microsoft's upcoming Surface 2, the M.O.J.O. Android console, HP's SlateBook x2 and Slate21, and more. The chip even appears in Nvidia's own Shield Android handheld console and the Tegra Note tablet reference design.

AnandTech points out that with the current Tegra 4 and in past ARM-based chips, Nvidia has used CPU designs licensed directly from ARM Holdings, which are then paired with Nvidia's own custom low-power GeForce GPU cores. Apple and Qualcomm design their own CPU cores based on the ARM instruction set, allowing them to produce custom chips. For instance, Qualcomm's chips can dynamically change clock speed of each core based on system load, whereas Nvidia had to throw in a fifth "companion" core to handle low-power tasks.

However in the case of Tegra 6, Nvidia is reportedly creating custom "Denver" 64-bit cores. Forbes seems to agree with ExtremeTech's argument, reporting that Nvidia just may well power the first 64-bit Android devices next year. The report also points to the team, packed full of CPU "jockeys" from Intel, AMD, HP, Sun and Transmeta. They have tons of experience in superscalar, OoO (out of order) execution design, micro-code, VLIW, hyper-threading, and multi-core. The team doesn't promise success, but does provide an opportunity to put Nvidia in the same "custom" group shared by Apple and Qualcomm.

The big race here, it seems, is to get the first 64-bit chip into an Android device. The only immediate benefit is eliminating the 32-bit limit of 4 GB of RAM, allowing for up to 16 exabytes of memory. What else 64-bit currently brings to the table has been widely debatable since Apple's introduction of the A7 chip. But the move is inevitable, even necessary if these chip makers plan to do battle in the enterprise arena.

Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Display 28 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 1 Hide
    cmartin011 , October 14, 2013 7:37 AM
    If they can prove there's an application id be surprised
  • 0 Hide
    blubbey , October 14, 2013 7:56 AM
    That'd be something. Supposedly the GPU is about 2x as powerful of current consoles.
  • 5 Hide
    deltatux , October 14, 2013 8:51 AM
    Ummm, Intel's Bay Trail SoCs are 64-bit ready... article seems to forget that little nugget and we're starting to see Intel Bay Trail SoCs beginning this month in devices like the Dell Venue 8 Pro and 11 Pro.
  • 0 Hide
    ragenalien , October 14, 2013 9:02 AM
    Could intel make bay trail 64 bit? Easily. They know that it's a marketing gimmick. Technically speaking they're bay trail chips for the server market already have that feature "turned on".
  • 0 Hide
    Hans Schenk , October 14, 2013 9:39 AM
    lol i bet in a couple of years mobile phones will be more powerful then next gen consoles
  • 6 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , October 14, 2013 9:45 AM
    Somebody needs to force Intel to move a bit faster. We should already have 8-core CPUs by now in mainstream CPUs.
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , October 14, 2013 9:58 AM
    @ragealien: Bay Trail supports 64 bit instructions already (since it's a feature of Silvermont) but only Windows 8 x86 supports connected standby, hence it isn't used. Android doesn't have any official x64 builds either (afaik) so it's not possible on that front either.
  • 6 Hide
    jasonpwns , October 14, 2013 10:48 AM
    People think 64 bit is a gimmick? Tablets are eventually going to want over 4GB of memory.
  • -3 Hide
    antilycus , October 14, 2013 11:09 AM
    Welcome to the original 3D acceleration race all over again, this time developers aren't going to jump an any bandwagon until things settle down. Nvidia is going to burn its bridges and if things are expect correctly, someone else will just copy their technology (cough AMD) and make a name for itself in the mobile GPU market.
  • -7 Hide
    antilycus , October 14, 2013 11:12 AM
    The ONLY need for 64bit computing in the mobile sector is bad memory management on java's part. Android is java ontop of linux. iOS and everything Apple has always been extremely poor at memory management. Instead of FIXING the problem, everyone's idea is to increase the ram. Linux on 1GB of ram can run better than the same hardware specs on a Windows 7 / 8 machine with 12 GB of ram. Whats the real problem? ...THE OPERATING SYSTEM KERNEL. Linux owns memory management, the rest just pretend they know how to optimize. I say this as someone who actually knows, not just a fanboy.
  • 0 Hide
    digiex , October 14, 2013 12:13 PM
    Windows watch out!, Android may overtake you in the use of 64bit Apps...

    x64 and Windows 64 is here for a long time but 64 bit Apps are difficult to catch up.
  • 0 Hide
    kenyee , October 14, 2013 1:02 PM
    Not too surprising...ARM released their 64-bit cores for licensing last year (2012) targeting low power servers for the cloud.
    And 64-bit code uses an additional 30% space, so it'll need more memory for all that anyways :-)
  • 0 Hide
    todicamer , October 14, 2013 1:53 PM
    >antilycus , IOS use BSD an unix-like operating system, Android use Linux also an Unix like operating system, so the memory managment is almost the same, what do you know?
  • -3 Hide
    DavidC1 , October 14, 2013 3:18 PM
    O RLY?!!?

    They've barely got Tegra 4's out now which is early Q4 and they want to have Tegra SIX in a year? Are the artcle writers naïve, retarded, or perhaps both? I've seen countless articles previously saying the same thing.
  • -1 Hide
    hakesterman , October 14, 2013 3:51 PM
    It is a Complete waist of time for anyone to buy a Tegra4 Device if they know Tegra 6 is just around the Corner.
  • -2 Hide
    Vladimir83 , October 14, 2013 4:01 PM
    Oh wait...this sounds familiar?! Ah..... yes,ten years ago AMD release Athlon x64.
    So whats the deal?Guess it,it is poor Java virtual machines called android&iOS.
    Back in the day Win XP was(still) perfectly work with 32bit binaries.Now this mega popular bloatwares called OSes cant be optimized and even worse they all depend on third party developers for optimization on their poor virtual machines :/ 

    P.S. i have eery feeling like we are going backwards with technology :( 
  • 1 Hide
    monsta , October 14, 2013 4:50 PM
    Lets hope Nvidia doesn't have more delays with their Tegra line up , the Tegra 4 was too late in the game.
  • -1 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , October 14, 2013 5:19 PM
    Quote:
    Oh wait...this sounds familiar?! Ah..... yes,ten years ago AMD release Athlon x64.
    So whats the deal?Guess it,it is poor Java virtual machines called android&iOS.
    Back in the day Win XP was(still) perfectly work with 32bit binaries.Now this mega popular bloatwares called OSes cant be optimized and even worse they all depend on third party developers for optimization on their poor virtual machines :/ 

    P.S. i have eery feeling like we are going backwards with technology :( 

    the iSheep are increasing, and the intelligent human being are dying, we are going backward indeed.
  • -1 Hide
    Fullmetal_Alchemist , October 14, 2013 5:39 PM
    Sounds like these mobile companies are trying to incite some new buying craze among their devoted fans. Really do phones really need to be more powerful than a desktop pc or gaming console? What's next, battlefield 4 for smartphone??? But really why would a phone really need a 64 bit processor? This smells like a money making scheme to me. Having a powerful cpu on a phone right now may be a gimmick, but how would a mobile device utilize all that power (other than waste battery power)?
  • 0 Hide
    renz496 , October 14, 2013 9:35 PM
    so far this talks about Parker will comes out in 2014 are just speculation. ExtremeTech speculate that if nvidia want comes out with their 64 bit SoC in 2014 then they need to move Parker release to 2014 (instead 2015 from nvidia own roadmap) hence cutting the life of Tegra 5 short (right now Tegra 5 is expected to be based on A15 with Kepler graphic core). but the article on Forbes were talking about Logan (T5) will use 64 bit cpu. so no nvidia did not cut Tegra 5 short so they can bring in Parker in 2014 timeline. this is from the article itself:

    Quote:
    What about Nvidia’s Tegra? Confirmed by Nvidia, the follow-on to Nvidia’s Logan will be 64-bits and will be a custom core like Apple’s Cyclone


    Quote:
    It could be all of those, but what Nvidia has confirmed to me is that the Logan SoC follow-on for mobile devices does have a custom 64-bit processor core, based on Denver.


    so far i haven't seen nvidia talking about this yet but the article's author from Forbes said nvidia has confirmed to him about those thing.
Display more comments