NVIDIA has officially announced the follow-up to their Tegra 2 processor, the Tegra 3. Previewed back at Mobile World Congress in February, it wasn’t until they released video footage of the Glowball game that we understood its ability to transform mobile gaming.
The quad-core Tegra 3 CPU is said to be five-times faster than the Tegra 2, with graphics seeing a similar speed boost thanks to the 12-core GForce GPU. It’s more power efficient too, as in addition to the four main CPU cores the Tegra 3 has a fifth ‘companion core’, which takes over during less power-intensive tasks to improve battery life. The fact the companion core’s duties include 1080p video playback means it should be beneficial to most users.
A series of screenshots comparing games running on the Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 show improvements in textures, water effects and lighting; including one of the already impressive Shadowgun, which we recently reviewed on the iPad 2.
Additionally, NVIDIA has released another Glowball demo video, this time showing an underwater level. Here they’re showing off something called ‘caustics effects’, which recreates the reflections seen underwater caused by the sun shining on the surface. Combine this with more than a thousand independently moving objects, real-time physics and the incredibly realistic glow from the ball, and it’s even more mind-blowing than the circus level!
The Tegra 3 will make its debut inside the newly announced Asus Transformer Prime tablet, due out in the UK in January 2012, plus we’ve also seen the leaked HTC Edge smartphone which claimed to house the Tegra 3, and we’d expect to see even more devices during next year’s Mobile World Congress show.