The former world number one, coming off a wretched 2013, channelled the halcyon days of his new coach Stefan Edberg, dominating at the net to humble the stunned Frenchman in 112 electrifying minutes under the lights of Rod Laver Arena.
Having suffered early exits at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, Federer muscled into his 41st grand slam quarter-final, equalling the record of American Jimmy Connors in the professional era.
The 17-times grand slam winner sealed the match with an imperious cross-court volley to book a blockbuster clash with Wimbledon champion Andy Murray for a place in the semi-finals.
"I thought I played really well tonight," Federer said. "Against Jo-Willie you've gotta bring your best game because he dictates play a lot.
"I thought I did a good job myself dictating a lot of the play tonight. It helped that I played well in the first three matches to come in and play a solid match tonight."
As for Tsonga, he had to admit that Federer was on another level.
"He was playing unbelievable. I was not good enough to destabilise him," said the Frenchman.
"I played good tennis, but maybe I didn't serve well enough. Everything in my game was there. I was pretty strong on the baseline. But he took the ball very early today, and he was always taking [time away from me]."