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NVIDIA Unwraps More Features for Tegra 3 - Prism Display and DirectTouch

By Vijay Anand - on 12 Jan 2012, 6:57pm

New Tegra 3 Features - Prism Display Technology and DirectTouch

We all knew about the existence of Tegra 3 even before Tegra 2 went mainstream and we learnt a fair bit about it during NVIDIA’s Computex 2011 update.

However, nobody knew about its fifth processing core and how it would manage all its cores via variable symmetric multiprocessing technology until about a couple of months back.

Well, NVIDIA decided to surprise audience once again with even more features of the Tegra 3 at CES 2012. While it seems they’ve figured out how to efficiently manage the Tegra 3’s multiple processing cores, power consumed by the display’s backlights is a subject that’s hardly broached by anyone even though it contributes significantly to the overall power draw of the tablet. Well, we’re happy to know NVIDIA understands the ecosystem well and unveiled an interesting technology called Prism Display that is featured on the Tegra 3 SoC.

Prism Display Technology at work on the Tegra 3 according to NVIDIA.

What Prism Display Technology does is to analyze the amount of backlight needed conventionally on a frame by frame basis and preserves the required color fidelity while dimming the backlight to conserve battery life. This allows the tablet to consume less power and yet preserve a vibrant display. Sounds clever, but we’ll need more hands-on time to observe this effect to see if it really delivers. Suffice to say that during our hands-on time with the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime, we didn’t really notice anything amiss, so that’s a good note - for now.

DirectTouch is yet another feature implemented on Tegra 3 where it forgoes the use of a third-party touch controller module and instead relies on one of Tegra 3’s cores to accomplish the same function. This directly translates to less components, less cost and better power management. Additionally, NVIDIA claims that it can process thrice the number of samples per second than using a discrete controller. This should translate to a smoother and more responsive tablet experience. This could be the reason why ASUS stressed on its Transfomer Prime’s touch responsiveness as a key highlight during the earlier days of its unveiling.

NVIDIA’s DirectTouch is yet another feature of Tegra 3 and does away with the traditional third-party touch controller for cost/power savings and improved responsiveness.

We wonder if NVIDA has any more surprises left for Tegra 3, but to be honest, we kind of like their style of letting us in on various capabilities at each milestone.