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CES 2013: Tegra 4 Will Revolutionize Mobile Photography

At NVIDIA?s CES 2013 press conference, Nvidia’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, agreed that the ?best camera you can have is the one that?s readily available.? It?s no secret that photography on smartphones and mobile devices has become more advanced and popular over the past three years. Tegra 4 will usher in a platform so powerful that capturing and processing your images will become practically instantaneous.

One of the most popular processing techniques in mobile photography is using HDR, or high-dynamic range. This is currently a native feature on many of the latest smartphones and captures two images of different exposures, then its CPU superimposes them, calculating the best overall exposure before drawing the newly combined image. 

For example, on the iPhone?s HDR setting, both images need to be captured and stored to memory individually before they are sent to the CPU for processing and drawing. With the A6 processor, this takes about 2 seconds/frame. Tegra 4?s ?Computational Photography Engine? effectively combines the processing power between the GPU, CPU, and image-signal processor, resulting in an HDR image that is processed in 0.2 seconds before reaching the memory.

That?s 10 times faster than any mobile SoC to date.

Another issue with HDR photography is the potential blur of moving subjects in the background, because both images take extra time processing before reaching the CPU. This can cause blurring or doubling of moving visuals behind your subject. With the Tegra 4?s new engine, both images are captured much quicker, eliminating this side-effect.

So what else can Tegra 4 mean for mobile media creation? Imagine being able to capture and process HDR video in the palm of your hand. How about real time focus tracking for not-so still life photography? Once this platform becomes sees adoption, it will welcome a new future of mobile photography that we will always have ?readily available.?