NVIDIA helped to kick CES 2013 off with its press event this evening, and to the shock of almost no one, the company officially took the wraps off of its Tegra 4 quad-core processor. The Tegra 4 touts four Cortex A15 CPU cores, along with the same low-power companion core for battery savings that we saw in Tegra 3, and 72 GPU cores. NVIDIA has also included a 4G LTE modem, which is a first for the company.
During its introduction of Tegra 4, NVIDIA talked up the processor's power with "One Shot HDR." The company explained that the Tegra 4 is able to go through the process of taking two shots and combining them into one HDR (High Dynamic Range) shot in 0.2 seconds. To compare, NVIDIA said that the process takes around 2 seconds with an iPhone 5. An NVIDIA employee also took part in a demo in which he was preparing to take a photo with a Tegra 4-equipped tablet (much to the Taylor's dismay), and on the screen he was able to show a live feed of what the HDR effect would look like.
The introduction of Tegra 4 comes a little over a year after Tegra 3's debut, and the new processor looks to be a nice step up from Tegra 3. Unfortunately, NVIDIA hasn't said exactly when we can expect to see Tegra 4 start appearing in mobile devices, so for now any processor hounds out there will just have to live with the demos given by NVIDIA during its CES press event.
Before wrapping up its big gathering, NVIDIA also decided to take the wraps off a new device dubbed "Project Shield." This Android-powered portable gaming machine sports a Tegra 4 processor inside its clamshell body and a gaming controller (complete with analog sticks and bumpers) attached to a 5-inch 720p display. There's an array of ports on Project Shield's backside, including HDMI for outputting content to a TV, microSD card slot, micro-USB and a 3.5mm headphone jack. NVIDIA also touted the fact that Shield runs a pure version of Android. Two things that the company didn't elaborate on are pricing and availability for Project Shield, but for anyone that's into both mobile gaming and physical buttons, the device may be something to keep an eye on.
UPDATE: NVIDIA has shed a bit more light on Project Shield, telling Engadget that the device is running Jelly Bean and that it's currently only available in Wi-Fi-only form. The device is expected to start shipping to customers in Q2 2012. NVIDIA has also uploaded a brief video of Project Shield to its YouTube channel, which you can find embedded below.