Nvidia Rolls with '4-Plus-1' Nomenclature for Tegra 3's Five-Core Architecture

We're all familiar with the KISS principle, a favorite acronym among teachers who love to tell their students to "Keep It Simple, Silly" (or Stupid, depending on your professor). It's a lesson that wasn't lost on NVIDIA, which has decided to simply dub the unique architecture in its Tegra 3 processor as "4-Plus'1" instead of all the other names it had been using, including "variable symmetric multiprocessing" and calling the battery-saving fifth core a "companion core" or "ninja core."

"Today, we’re officially calling it the 4-Plus-1 quad-core architecture and trademarking the name," NVIDIA announced in a blog post. "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."

From this point forward, NVIDIA will refer to its five-core architecture in Tegra 3 as "4-Plus-1," the GPU maker announced today.

It's a simple name that accurately reflects the multi-core design of Tegra 3, which includes four main processing cores (it's essentially a quad-core chip) for demanding tasks like gaming, along with a fifth "battery saver core" that takes over when less processing power is needed, like firing off an email or swiping through the home screen. The best of both worlds (performance and battery life), as it were.

NVIDIA also hinted at several 4-Plus-1 devices showing up next week at Mobile World Congress, but stopped short of giving away any big reveals.