Tegra 3 is a system-on-chip (SOC) designed by Nvidia and released in 2011 for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, primarily from the Google Android lineup. The Tegra 3 SOC is also known as a mobile hardware platform, and is main competitor to the A5X platform or SOC, Apple's version for iOS devices.
The SOC comes with a Nvidia graphical processing unit (GPU) that supports HD gaming and 1080p video playback. It also comes with Nvidia's 4-Plus-One technology. This refers to its quad-core CPU and a fifth core: called the battery-saver CPU core. The quad cores run at 1.4 GHz and at 1.5 GHz for single-core usage. Memory support includes up to 2 GB of RAM. The platform is also known for its strong battery life, due to the battery-saver CPU core that handles light tasks.
Techopedia explains Tegra 3
The Tegra 3 SOC is included in tablets and smartphones operating on Google's Android OS. Before its official release on November 8, 2011, it was referred to as "Project Kal-El." Nvidia boasts that Tegra 3 offers up to three times the performance of the Tegra 2 in graphics and uses 61 percent less power.
Nvidia GM Mike Rayfield said that Nvidia plans to support 30 different smartphones in 2012 with the Tegra 3.