Skip to comments.NVIDIA announces quad-core Kal-El SOC, promises it in tablets by August (video)
Posted on 02/15/2011 7:23:35 PM PST by seton89
So it turns out that NVIDIA roadmap we saw last month was as true and pure as driven snow. The barely conceivable quad-core Tegra chip that it listed has now been made official by none other than NVIDIA itself, with the company also informing us that the new silicon is already sampling out to prospective clients. Known as Kal-El internally, this will most likely turn into NVIDIA's Tegra 3 as and when it's ready to enter the consumer market. Tonight NVIDIA whetted our appetite for what's to come with a demo that can most fittingly be described as an exhibition of unadulterated computational muscle. A 2560 x 1440 stream was being decoded on a developmental device, scaled down to that slate's native 1366 x 768 resolution, and additionally displayed on a connected 30-inch, 2560 x 1600 monitor. That entire voluminous workload was being handled in real time by Kal-El and we saw no signs of it struggling.
By NVIDIA's own estimation, the quad-core newbie provides roughly double the processing power of Tegra 2 and triple the graphics-crunching prowess. In the second demonstration of the evening, we saw an instance of Great Battles Medieval -- ran at 720p with 650 enemy soldiers on the field -- on both a Tegra 2 and a Kal-El platform, which showed the baby superhero handily dusting its still very new brethren. This was in large part down to the full dozen GPU cores contained within Kal-El, though before you freak out about battery-draining insanity, NVIDIA claims things are much, much more efficient as well -- up to 12 hours of HD video playback are promised under the right circumstances.
(Excerpt) Read more at engadget.com ...
Nvidia give a guy a break! I was just getting ready to get the dual core Motorola Xoom when it comes out next month (hopefuly!) and now they say quad cores by August ><, guess I’ll live with the iPad till then and get the Motorola Atrix in the meantime :(
There are persistent rumors that the Apple A5 processing chip used on the 2G iPad will be a dual-core unit so it could process video faster. I wouldn’t be surprised that Apple is looking ahead to 2012, when the 3G iPad will get a multiple core CPU and a multiple-core GPU so it could play back 720p video flawlessly on the iPad itself.
Woah. August? There’s your ipad killer right there.
That will fit in a smartphone.
Are you really willing to spend over a grand for the Xoom, when you can get an IPad several hundred $$ cheaper now? For what benefit?
As miserly as those SoC can be, I sure hope the battery tech is keeping pace. All those cores are gonna eat power.
We are testing different tablets at work to see what will work for field staff as laptop replacements, because for most all they need is e-mail and a phone, maybe some office apps, which can be achieved through Citrix. So that’s why the Xoom looked like a good contender.
I have a wifi iPad now (that I tether to my phone for 3g when needed) and I love it, nothing wrong with it, but it is a little on the large side for carrying around and somewhat slow when it comes to things like working with documents, not to mention that Job’s hates Adobe and so we are unlikely to see proper Flash support. The size is great for around the house but not so great for carrying around outside.
We tried the Samsung Galaxy which has a nice size, but then they gimped it for North America, removed the phone feature, so half its functionality is gone. Next its still running Android 2.x, and its more expensive than the iPad, though the Gorilla glass feature is nice, so we have given a couple to field staff who only need e-mail instead of laptops and they like them.
So finally that leaves the Xoom which has the power and size to be truly useful plus storage expandability, yes it is overpriced from what we are hearing, but I am hoping that comes down once we actually see it and maybe more so if I wait for the quad core. In any case its still cheaper than a decent laptop, but almost as powerful for business needs.
We will also be testing the Blackberry Playbook soon as those are out. HTC’s new tablet with an actual usable pen/stylus system looks interesting too so if those become available might have to look at them. There are so many players in the field now that we won’t truly know till we test the promising ones. Cost is only one factor in the consideration, we need durability too which again the iPad is not best suited for, compared to things like the Galaxy, these a big construction worker type guys who will be using the devices and tossing them into their trucks :) Motorola has had issues with quality in the past so will have to see how the Xoom fares on this point too.
I mentioned the Atrix phone which may end up being the better all round solution above all these tablets given its power and ability to dock and be used sort of as a laptop or pc, depending on the dock you get.
Of course there is also that factor of wow a new toy, I wouldn’t be in the tech field and not have that feeling :)
I am not sure all of the players have arrived as yet.
Wow! Thanks for the in depth answer. I shall habve to look back at ot in the future to refresh my memory on the points you’ve raised.
Indeed exciting times ahead for sure :)
Thanks Ernest. If they can deliver it in quantity, on time, and without quirks (like solder-melting problems), and it doesn’t gulp down battery power, this could be significant. It’s a bet-the-company gamble for now. Clearly they need an OS, and a portable OS that runs on a lot of platforms probably won’t help them crack into the processor market. They need to be able to show off any superior performance, and for that matter, not be confined to mobile phones and tablets.