by Michael Rayfield

We’ve described Tegra 3’s unique architecture in a number of ways since its launch back in November 2011 – as variable symmetric multiprocessing, as having a “companion core” or as wielding a “ninja core“.

Today, we’re officially calling it the 4-PLUS-1 quad-core architecture and trademarking the name.

The reason is that, the more popular this technology became, the more our customers wanted a name for it that’s unique and descriptive. A name they could put on a box or a store sign that immediately represents its value.

The Tegra 3 processor’s 4-PLUS-1
quad-core architecture,

What this revolutionary architecture does is simple: It provides both exceptional processing power and great battery life. It does this by using four powerful CPU cores to handle demanding tasks, such as gaming, and a fifth low-power, battery-saver core to manage less strenuous tasks – like processing e-mail or operating in standby mode.

Don’t be surprised to see it turning up more and more in devices at next week’s Mobile World Congress and beyond.

And while Prince Rogers Nelson initially changed his stage name to Prince and then to TAFKAP (the Artist Formerly Known as Prince) when he took up a symbol combining elements of male and female symbology, 4-PLUS-1 is here to stay.

You can learn more about it in our whitepaper on the technology, which has just been updated.

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  • Abdullah Hamdan Alghamdi

    The processor of the year

  • Дмитрий Негодаев

    За этой технологией мобильное будущее…

  • Bhairav pardiwala

    when will windows 8 tablets with it be coming to devs ?

  • Shane Huesdon

    So is this in, and active, in the transformer prime?

  • Christian Lopez


  • Christian Lopez

     *cough* Cortex-A15 *cough*

  • Michael McGraw

    Our lives our wrapped around Browsers….

  • Shane Huesdon

    I love that thing even more now.  The next obvious question is, does it (5th core) do it’s thing passively or does Android need special instructions integrated to the OS and if so is that already in ICS?

  • Anonymous

    I’ll answer myself after a walk through the Nvidia whitepaper:
    “The technology does not require any application or OS modifications”

  • Jerry

    4-PLUS-1 seems destined for obsolescensce, as a nomenclature based on # of cores is going to be dated almost immediately as the number rapidly increases.

    N-PLUS-1 would be much more resilient over time and would also mesh nicely with the brand logo/theme don’t you think?  If you decide to use it feel free to pass me some Nvidia swag. 🙂

  • Matt Wuebbling

    Good idea. We’re happy with where 4-PLUS-1 netted out but who knows what the future holds. 

  • Matt Wuebbling

    It absolutely is at work in the Prime – it’s one of the reasons it delivers great perf and the long battery life. It’s completely transparent to the OS and apps, so it works regardless of what’s modified or coded.

  • Matt Wuebbling

    *cough* here now *cough* :).  seriously, tegra 3 and it’s 5 cores delivers amazing experience. and we like A15 – we’ve licensed it, and it’s coming in the future, but don’t believe everything you see on youtube.

  • Anonymous

    Well from what I have read one of the big advantages of the 5th core is that it runs at lower frequencies. If Asus modifies the kernel and disallows lower frequencies I would expect that would have a significant impact. 
    I doubt it is relevant anymore as the .14 patch that Ausus put out a couple of days ago has restored the lower frequencies again. Still I wonder if that impacted this feature of the tegra 3.

  • Dan Nevill

    It took you how long to come up with this name? 😛