As the Computex show kicked off in Taipei, Nvidia showed off its upcoming "Kal-El" quad-core Tegra chip for mobile devices, including tablets.
Nvidia is using the Computex 2011 show
in Taipei, Taiwan, to show off its upcoming quad-core Tegra mobile chip, code-named
Nvidia officials were at the show May
30 demonstrating a prototype tablet running the chip, which they first
announced at the Mobile World Congress show in February. Kal-El offers four Cortex-A9 computing cores
a 12-core GeForce graphics engine, and represents the next step in an
aggressive road map Nvidia is pushing that will include chips by 2014 that will
offer 100 times the processing power of the current dual-core Tegra 2.
The day before Nvidia officials spoke
with reporters in Taiwan, the company also posted a demonstration online about
the capabilities of Kal-El.
"Given that dual-core processors are
already on market, you might be wondering how Project Kal-El's quad-core
technology will improve the mobile experience," Nvidia blogger Matt Wuebbling
said in a post May
29. "Rather than try to explain it, we've put together a hands-on demo to give
you a sneak peek at the new capabilities coming to superphones and tablets
later this year."
The "Glowball" demonstration is
designed to show off the computing and graphics capabilities of the quad-core
Tegra chip to offer a greater user experience, according to Wuebbling.
"Notice how the visual
quality degrades when only two CPU cores are used," he wrote. "It's clear
that the quad-core processor in Project Kal-El is required for this level of
According to reports, at the Computex
show, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said products running the new chips will hit
the market in September. He also said that the Tegra 2, which is found in such
devices as Samsung's Galaxy Tab tablet, will hit the 10-million-sold mark by
the end of June.
Nvidia officials said the Kal-El chip
will improve applications and graphics performance over the Tegra 2, and will
be more energy-efficient.
Nvidia is among a number of chip
makers-including Samsung, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments-that use designs from
ARM Holdings for their products. It comes at a time when Intel and Advanced
Micro Devices are looking to expand beyond their server and PC roots and into
the mobile device space. Those two have to continue making strides to bring
down the power consumption of their x86-based processors before they can
challenge ARM's chip designs, but both are rapidly moving in that direction.
Given that, ARM and its partners need
to continue to innovate as they try to stay ahead of Intel and AMD. Nvidia and
Qualcomm in February both unveiled plans for quad-core mobile chips. Qualcomm
officials said before the Mobile World Congress show that the next version of its
Snapdragon will come in one-, two- and four-core models; run at speeds up to
2.5GHz; offer up to 150 percent more performance than current CPU cores running
on ARM designs; and consume 65 percent less power.
ARM chips also will get a boost when
Microsoft rolls out the next version of Windows, which executives said will
support SoC (system-on-a-chip) architectures, including those based on ARM designs.