Nvidia’s Tegra K1, Powering the Nexus 9, Is the Most Powerful Mobile CPU Ever

October 16, 2014 - Written By Nick Sutrich

In the world of CPUs, particularly mobile ones, there’s always someone vying for supremacy among the rest of the crowd.  This is particularly true in the world of tablets where manufacturers can stick more powerful processors in with bigger batteries and better heat dissipation, allowing for better performance.  Google’s Nexus 9, made by HTC, was announced just yesterday, and it not only features the Nvidia Tegra K1 processor and Kepler GPU inside, but it’s also the first 64-bit Android device on the market.  This is an upgraded version of the Tegra K1 that launched with Nvidia’s Shield tablet just a few months ago, and being 64-bit has some inherent performance increases when used in conjunction with a 64-bit OS like Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Looking at Geekbench, one of the many popular benchmarking suites out there that works on both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems, we can see just how much more powerful the Tegra K1 is than every single other Android SoC on the market.  We’re also seeing Apple’s A8 chipset, which is inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, get outperformed by the Tegra K1.  That’s one seriously beastly chipset, and this pretty much confirms just how much of a leap 64-bit Android with a 64-bit CPU is bringing to the table.

What will be really interesting is seeing whether or not the assumed A8x chipset inside today’s new iPads outperforms the Tegra, or if Apple is going to use the same A8 chipset that’s found inside the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.  What’s also going to be fun to see is Qualcomm’s response to this when the 64-bit Snapdragons finally make their appearance in devices early next year.  Now that we’ve got a final build of a 64-bit version of Android to run on these beastly chipsets it’s very likely that early next year we’re going to see some truly incredible performance out of our mobile devices, even more than what we see today, and the Tegra K1 is the start of all of it.