Meet Kal-El, Nvidia's Quad-Core Mobile Processor

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jprahman

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Wasn't there a story here on Toms's about a year back about a report from an industry analyst group predicting that quad-core processors would be seen in smart phones by 2013 and dual core would arrive later this year? Here we are in 2011 and we already have dual core smart phone processors being released and quad cores late this year and early next year. Just think about how these processors stack up against the high power CPUs we were putting in our gaming rigs just 5 years ago. It's pretty amazing the rate at which technology advances.
 

breathesrain

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Maybe this is a stupid question, but whatever happened to true quadcore laptop processors? As far as I know there are no official 4-core mobile processors for laptops, yet Nvidia has already done a lot of work on this quad-core phone processor.
 

jprahman

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There are quad-core laptop CPUs, Intel released quad-core laptop CPUs back in 2009 and with the Sandy Bridge CPU launch 3-4 more quad-core laptop CPUs were released. AMD also has quad-core CPUs available.
 

woshitudou

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Nvidia is awesome at boasting their stuff to epic proportions even if 2 other companies had it a year ago. Pros: Hype, Cons: delivery is meh
 

dman15

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I'll wait till the bring out the one titled "The Flash", well cuz we all know thats going to be the fastest of them all
 

nottheking

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[citation][nom]jprahman[/nom]Just think about how these processors stack up against the high power CPUs we were putting in our gaming rigs just 5 years ago.[/citation]
They don't stack up very well, actually.

The CPU cores in all Tegra processors, including the upcoming Kal-El chip, are ARM cores; specifically, ARM-Cortex A9. While great for battery life in mobile devices... They don't exactly stack up to even the Intel Atom when it comes to media/gaming-related tasks, let alone desktop CPUs. All those benchmarks floating around showing favorable numbers for ARM chips all revolve around stuff like basic HTML rendering; stuff that's what you'll be doing on smartphones, but hardly what you're doing on a gaming rig.
[citation][nom]tsnorquist[/nom]I wonder why they are jumping back and forth from DC to Marvel in the naming scheme?[/citation]
This is a head-scratcher for me as well.
 

f-14

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Kal-El very appropriate name, superman in disguise, but an evil egomaniac religious wing nut with glowing hands of death on buck rogers!
the 2 faces of nvidia finally brought forth as one!
 

jimmysmitty

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[citation][nom]tsnorquist[/nom]I wonder why they are jumping back and forth from DC to Marvel in the naming scheme?[/citation]

Not sure but I hope they don't get into any legal troubles. I am pretty sure Kal-El is copyrighted by DC.

I don't think the demo is that great. Comparing a dual core to a quad core. I would hope that the quad core would do better in apps that are probably aimed at the arch its on.

I wonder what the battery life is going to be.....
 

dragonsqrrl

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What amazes me is that A0 silicon was demonstrated live, and fully functioning samples are already out in the field. To see this kind of fast pace generational cycling and deployment from an SOC developer is very impressive, and somewhat unheard of. Qualcomm recently announced its next gen dual core ARM-based SOC the MSM8960 will be sampling in Q2, with product availability in early 2012, while its quad core derivative the APQ8064 won't even be sampling until early 2012. This reminds me of the strategy Nvidia used to out compete 3dfx back in the 90's.

Besides the demo this early on, what impresses me the most about Kal-El is its video decode capabilities, and the fact that its processing performance is similar to a low end Core 2 Duo. 50Mbps 1440p h.264 decode, streamed to two displays simultaneously, one of them being a 30" desktop monitor, which means Blu-ray quality HD content is now possible. The big unknown is power consumption and battery life, but if Nvidia is to be believed then given similar workloads it should fit into the same power envelope as the Tegra 2. Given the relative success of the Tegra 2, along with its good battery life, I think I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Anandtech recently published a pretty detailed article about Kal-El if anyones interested...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4181/nvidias-project-kalel-quadcore-a9s-coming-to-smartphonestablets-this-year

It looks like the smart phone SOC will be the new battle ground of the tech industry in the coming decade, probably going to see a lot of rapid revisions and exponential increases in performance very soon. Hopefully they remember to keep battery life as a top priority as well.
 

mianmian

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The compiler for the two Tegra score is GCC 4.4.1, but the compiler for the intel CPU is 3.4.4. And the optimization options for Tegra seems more aggrisive. I guess the compare is sort of misleading.
 

Vladislaus

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[citation][nom]jprahman[/nom]Wasn't there a story here on Toms's about a year back about a report from an industry analyst group predicting that quad-core processors would be seen in smart phones by 2013 and dual core would arrive later this year? Here we are in 2011 and we already have dual core smart phone processors being released and quad cores late this year and early next year. Just think about how these processors stack up against the high power CPUs we were putting in our gaming rigs just 5 years ago. It's pretty amazing the rate at which technology advances.[/citation]
All laptops release in the past that had a Core 2 Quad have 4 cores, almost all laptops that have an i7 have 4 cores, also there are laptops with AMD CPUs that have also 4 cores.
 

blubbey

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Damn some smart phones are getting powerful, I think I'll wait a year or two before getting one. Mobile phones as or more powerful than consoles soon?
 
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