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Nvidia Quad-Core processor Kal-El expected in Markets by August 2011:

Posted in Computing and Operating Systems by Manas Ganguly on February 17, 2011

Nvidia is turning the heat on in the battle of the x-cored ARM chips and has declared quad core ARM chips this August codenamed Project Kal-El (Superman’s name on Krypton). Nvidia showcased one of the Tegra “super chips” streaming video on a 10-inch 2560×1600 Android tablet at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona a few days back.

Nvidia published a roadmap anticipating yearly follow-ons called Wayne, Logan and Stark between now and 2014 that will progressively offer 10x-75x more performance than the company’s current Tegra 2 used in the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Kal-El is supposed to 5x better than the existing Tegra 2 micro-processor. Beside its four compute cores, Kal-El has a 12-core GPU for running Nvidia graphics. Kal-El also enables “retina tablets,” meaning all tablets 10-inches or smaller can have resolution “as high as the eye can perceive, at a comfortable viewing distance.”

Interestingly, this came right after Qualcomm that its Andreno 320 quad-core Snapdragon widget won’t sample until early next year.The Qualcomm chipset is supposed to be the flagship of a new Snapdragon family based on a new 28nm microarchitecture code named Krait, which in real life is a very venomous snake.

It should achieve speeds of up to 2.5GHz per core and minimize power consumption and heat generation in thinner, lighter devices with bigger screens, higher resolutions, integrated WiFi, more complex operating systems, devices capable of multitasking, multi-channel audio, HD gaming and stereoscopic 3D (S3D) photo and video capture and playback.

It’s supposed to offer 15 times Qualcomm’s available performance and 75% lower power consumption than the first Snapdragons.
The Interim analysis thus is a thumbs up for Nvidia over Qualcomm and in the overall context, ARM has a huge edge going forward against Intel. From the computing domain perspective, ARM is rapidly adding processing power on chips which are that much more energy and heat efficient. That’s great news from the smartphone and tablet perspectives.

Here’s a video on the quadcore engine Kal-El demonstration:

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