Tegra 2 SoC brought major success for NVidia and allowed it to enter and gain market share in the highly competitive mobile CPU+GPU SoC market. In fact, its so popular that until recently we used to see some android devices released based on Tegra 2 chipset. Earlier, in this year there were even some rumors floating around that Samsung might release a version of the Galaxy S2 with the Tegra 2 chipset for some markets. Although, it didn’t turn out to be true. NVidia has now moved on to its successor called Tegra 3 (Kal-E1). It was expected earlier that we will be able to see some Android devices based on Tegra 3 SoC maybe in August or September time-frame of 2011, but it didn’t happen. But finally after a lot of wait now we know that there are some tablets such Asus Transformer Prime as well as Lenovo Idea Pad K2 possibly some other as well as that will be based on NVidia’s shiny new quad-core chipset which is indeed its main selling point. Also, it has been reported that Tegra 3 includes advanced power management features including a 5th lower–clocked core that will allow it to consume much less power under light load. In fact, if the early reports are any indication than power consumption shouldn’t be more than most of the currently available dual-core chipsets.
Any way most people has high hopes for the Tegra 3 that it will finally allow the Android based devices tablets/smartphones to finally able to compete with the mighty Apple A5 chip(SGX543MP2) which has been used in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. Apparently some anonymous user have got hang of the Lenovo Idea Pad K2 and posted the benchmark results data from this Tegra 3 based tablet for the GL Benchmark which gives us a peek at the GPU performance of this quad-core tablet as compared to iPhone 4S and iPad 2 which are using the Apple A5 chip as mentioned earlier. Note that Lenovo tablet is running the Honey Comb (Android 3.0) not the latest Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0).
As you can see from these results GPU performance is a major improvement over the Tegra 2 and is indeed the fastest SoC for the Android based devices beating even the Galaxy S2 (Exynos 4210), but still it can’t match the performance of the Apple 5 chip which is at the heart of iPhone 4S (down-clocked) and iPad 2. I must say that I am a bit surprised (or should I say shocked) by having a look at these results as I was hoping much better performance from a chip that is based on quad-core architecture particularly when compared to an advanced but still a dual-core architecture of Apple A5. However, take these results with a grain of salt for now until we have the retail availability of the Tegra 3 based tablets such Nexus Prime based on Ice Cream Sandwich to judge the CPU and GPU performance.
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