Nvidia unveils new superpowered processor and handheld console

Nvidia has announced its next-gen processor for tablets and mobile phones, the Tegra 4.

Building on the powerful Tegra 3, the new chip provides dramatically improved processor power and 72 graphics cores -- six times what's built into in its predecessor. A number of well-known devices use the Tegra 3, including Google's record-breaking Nexus 7 tablet.

In practical terms, the new chip will make your devices run faster than before, while being able to perform high-intensity functions. Some of these will be evident in cameras - Nvidia says that the Tegra 4 will take HDR (high dynamic range) photos ten times faster than the iPhone 5.

The new chip is also able to support 4G LTE connectivity - something that has proved problematic for Tegra 3-powered mobile devices.


Project Shield

In a surprise move, Nvidia also used CES to announce plans for its own hand-held video-games console.

Titled Project Shield, the Android-based machine has a 5-inch touch-screen with joysticks, buttons and other controls, all wrapped up in a clam-shell design.

The company's chief executive, Jen-Hsun Huang, did not give a price or release date for the device, but he did reveal some of the specs.

Powered by that Tegra 4 chip, the console is bigger than an Xbox controller but smaller than the Wii U's game-pad.

As well as keys representing the standard Android commands, the console also has a "shield" button that takes users to a games store featuring titles from Google Play. Using Wi-Fi, it can also be connected to a PC to stream games - something shown off using Steam titles.

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