If you’ve been following NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 chip, you probably know that it features 5 cores: 4 powerful cores and one “companion” core that is optimized for low-power states (media playback, stand by…). This is called variable symmetric multiprocessing (VSMP), but NVIDIA has decided to name it 4-PLUS-1, probably to make it friendlier to the general public.

As we always say in our smartphone reviews, the most important element in battery life is how slowly the phone sips away power when you’re not actively using it. NVIDIA has found an elegant solution to address both processing power and battery life, and it seems like others are taking the same direction.

Today’s (small) bit of news is that NVIDIA calls its 5-core architecture 4-PLUS-1, so I wanted to let you know that this just came out as you may hear it quite a bit next week at Mobile Word Congress. This is not really earth-shattering news, but I wonder why NVIDIA is putting as much marketing efforts into this name, and this maybe an indication that the company will be using quad-core systems (vs. 6 or more…) for the foreseeable future. [NVIDIA’s blog post about 4-plus-1]

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about NVIDIA, SoC and Tegra 3.

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