Recently, we ran a story about Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon chip packing more graphics horsepower than a Nintendo Wii. But as it turns right now, Snapdragon is not the only chip on the block that can pulverize graphics power of Nintendo’s ultra-successful console. According to information at hand, 18 months old Tegra 650 chip packs even more 3D juice than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip.
Based on a combination of ARM11 core and GeForce 6 graphics subsystem, Tegra 650 achieves a fill-rate of 600 million pixels per second. But with the ROP:TMU [Rasterizer, Texture Memory Unit] at 1:1 ratio, this also means Tegra 650 comes with a 600 million texel/sec. On the other hand, Tegra 650 can output "only" 47 million triangles, which lags behind Snapdragon’s 80 million. But if you’re getting an older version of Qualcomm’s chips, you’re getting sub-20M triangles.
This is some serious 3D horsepower on a chip that is supposed to deliver VGA or SVGA resolution in handhelds and maximum of 1280×720 in smartbooks.
But even with a fill-rate disadvantage [100 MPixel/s and 350MTexel/s], Snapdragon remains more powerful than a Tegra chip, given its dual-core Cortex-A8 CPU, while nVidia is relying on one generation older ARM11 core. But, once that nVidia launches its 2nd Gen Tegra parts in 2010, with dual-core CoreTex-A9 processors and GeForce 9-based hardware, we should see smartphones and smartbooks chewing up lower-end netbooks – to the level where netbooks will have to evolve or stay behind upcoming smartbooks. Unless you’re getting a nVidia ION-based netbook, of course.