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NVIDIA Project Kal-El Mobile Processor Demo (Video)

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While dual-core Tegra 2 processors are only starting to roll out on popular devices today, NVIDIA is not sitting cozy. The company has an aggressive roadmap for its Tegra line of ARM-based mobile processors, and the company is looking ahead to quad-core performance by the end of this year. I caught up with NVIDIA at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California last week and saw a demo of the graphics capabilities of the new Project Kal-El chip, which is rumored to be called Tegra 3 when launched. The reason that I am prefacing this to say ‘rumored’ is because NVIDIA hasn’t yet decided what the official name will be called; the company is only referring to the chip as Project Kal-El and says officially that it is part of the Tegra line of mobile CPUs.

Kal-El is expected to be the first quad-core CPU for mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. The chips will be made utilizing a 40 nm–not the smaller 28 nm design like prior rumors–and will incoporate a 12-core GeForce graphics processor from NVIDIA, whose expertise is in the GPU business. With 4 cores for the CPU and 12 cores for the GPU, Kal-El is expected to bring 2 to 5 times the performance of today’s dual-core Tegra 2 chipsets.

Additionally, a recent article that I had read on Laptop Mag suggests that web rendering performance of Kal-El will match those of a Core 2 Duo PC processor! That’s amazing power, speed, and agility for a mobile device. Yet, despite all that horsepower, NVIDIA maintains that Kal-El will continue to be energy efficient, which is a key quality of mobile-grade components and devices. Unlike desktops, which are always plugged into an outlet, mobile devices must last at least a full working day on a single charge so there have to be a balance between power and energy use. In the past, tradeoffs were made power and battery life, but this doesn’t seem to be the case with Kal-El.

Other notable specs include ability to drive display resolutions of 2560-by-1600 pixels, meaning that Kal-El can drive full HD resolution screens. In fact, Kal-El can play videos in 1440p in demoes reported by PC Mag, which is higher than today’s 1080p displays.

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

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