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Freescale i.MX6 Vs. Nvidia Tegra 2

March 23rd, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

After Nvidia announced the first dual core chip targeted for mobile devices, Freescale followed fast on its heels with an introduction to the i.MX 6 chip series. So how do the i.MX 6 and Tegra 2 stack up against each other?

Both the i.MX 6 and Tegra 2 are based on the ARM Cortex A9 architecture, and both are vying for the mobile marketplace, including smartphones, tablets, automotive infotainment, and e-Readers. The Tegra 2 is a dual core processor while the Freescale i.MX 6 will offer three core options: single, dual, and quad. At 1.2 GHz per core, all three options provide an impressive amount of speed and some decent competition to Tegra 2’s 1.5 GHz.

Both processors advertise similar specifications in up to 1 MB of L2 cache and 1080p video encode and decode. Freescale emphasizes cutting edge HD video, HD 1080p videoconferencing, and 3-D video playback in HD. While Tegra offers 16 hours of consecutive HD movie play on one battery charge, Freescale delivers 24 hours of HD video. The extent of Freescale’s battery life details has not been clearly delineated. They do say however that power consumption is extremely low with 1080p playback at an incredible 350 mW.

In alignment with Tegra’s background and history, gaming and graphics improvements are a large part of the Tegra 2’s marketability. Cross platform gaming is now an option thanks to Tegra 2 support. Tegra 2 is listed to have a peak rate of 71 million triangles per second. Also offered by Tegra 2 are dual display support and 12 MP camera support.

The i.MX6 supports a MIPI CSI-2 camera and also offers desktop PC quality gaming. Freescale stands out from the crowd however, not only in the multi-core options, but also in several key features. It is rumored that the i.MX6 series will enable picture taking in 3D. As for triangle speed, this series is said to do 200 million triangles per second. Considering the leading mobile GPU in today’s market does 90 million triangles, this is a significant selling point. This chip will also be the first to support with hardware Google’s video compression technology, VP8.

Since the market will not see i.MX6 supported samples until late in 2011, head to head performance tests will have to wait. Until then, consumers will have to make decisions on who takes the trophy based on what specification in most important to them. To be sure, Freescale makes several claims that cannot be ignored. In either case, the question has been raised more than once, what on earth are we going to do with all this power? Chances are, we will find ways to use it and continue to ask for more.

About Author : Niki worked in the semiconductor engineering industry for nearly 10 years before taking a break to stay at home with her two children. Residing in the Texas countryside, she enjoys running and keeping up with the latest in semiconductor news. Her spare time is spent trying to keep up with husband Rick, son Caleb, and daughter Kerith Grace.

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