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Electronics Production | March 16, 2012

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime sets industry first

Asus Prime’s Nvidia Tegra 3 doubles processing performance over dual-core competition.
​As expected, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime sets an industry first, with nearly double the performance scores of the prior top devices running dual-core processors, all at 4 watts of power consumption. Jim Mielke, vice president of engineering, says, “Other quad-core processors, yet to hit production, should have similar or better performance. The differentiators this year will be time to market, power consumption, and cost.”

The 40nm process node choice by Nvidia influenced all three variables of time to market, power consumption, and cost. While positively affecting time to market, the other two variables suffered some consequences:

• Nvidia choose to stay on the same node as prior products and that gave them a time to market advantage.
• The Tegra 2 mobile device drew 1.3 watts while encoding a 720p video, while the Tegra 3 draws 2 watts.
• A big factor in the product cost is the die area and the Tegra 3 is 50% larger than the Tegra 2.

Mielke adds, “Nvidia has taken the early lead for quad-core processors just like it did last year for dual-core processors. Last year, the competitors’ products followed shortly behind but on the same process node. The quad-core race is a bit different, as a few competitors have selected to use more aggressive process technologies.”
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