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NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 Finally Gets Somewhere During Google I/O, Powers Android TV, Android Auto and More

June 25, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

It’s no secret that NVIDIA has been struggling getting their latest chips into partner devices, as the Tegra K1, which was announced quite some time ago now, has only appeared in one device so far. While NVIDIA might have struggled to get the K1 off the ground, it now looks like they were just biding their time. Google I/O has been full of treats for us Android fans already, with one of the biggest changes to the Android platform since Ice Cream Sandwich already announced onstage with Android Wear, Android TV and Android Auto all coming along for the ride as well. It turns out that at the heart of many new features Google has been working on, is NVIDIA’s Tegra K1, flexing its graphical muscle.

During the announcement of Android L and the new Material Design, the Android Extension Pack was announced. Essentially a whole bunch of new technologies heading to Android like Tesselation and more, the AEP brings with it graphical performance like we’ve never seen before. A demo of the Unreal Engine 4, the desktop version of it no less, was demoed onstage during the event. It turned out that this demo was running on Android TV, which was, as you’ve already guessed, running on a Tegra K1 CPU. We’re assuming it’s the dual-core 64-bit version of the Tegra K1 that was demoed during I/O, as NVIDIA is making quite a bit of noise out of their 64-bit support over at their blog. Thanks to the fact that the Tegra K1 features a Kepler GPU, the same that’s in the TITAN Graphics Card (as well the one in my PC I use to wind down with) NVIDIA’s latest processor can really dole out the pixels and polygons like nothing else out there.

With the rumored Nexus 9, apparently being built by HTC, said to run a Tegra K1 it could be the rekindling of a good working relationship we last saw between Google and NVIDIA with the original Nexus 7 and Tegra 3. Android L and Android Android TV are great new ground for Android and we’re sure that NVIDIA is pretty happy about Google’s involvement with their latest chip. Develop builds of L are supposed to be hitting the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) later on today, so while we won’t get to see what L has to offer on NVIDIA hardware, some of us will be able to get a taste.