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Kal-El Seen by Analysts as Nvidia's Fortune Maker

By - Source: Forbes | B 22 comments

Nvidia's Kal-El processor is creating quite some buzz in the industry and it seems that there are now analysts jumping on the train and are evaluating the chip's opportunity.

A report published in Forbes now suggests that the idea for a fifth core could be translating into about $3.5 to $4 billion for Nvidia - in stock gains alone.

Based on the idea that a fifth companion core that would run background processes at a very low power consumption value when an Android phone is basically in sleep mode, analysts are making the assumption that Nvidia's stock could climb by about 35 percent to $20 and give the company a market capitalization of more than $12 billion. The report suggests that Kal-El could help Android devices run "better" and therefore attract customers.

Dealing with background process power consumption has turned into the holy grail on the road to mobile devices with greater battery running times. The problem is that simply checking for incoming messages keeps many hardware alive, including the CPU, the graphics processor as well as wireless components.

It is unclear how much Kal-El will be able to reduce standby power consumption in an everyday scenario, but it is our impression that it may not be enough and just part of a much more complex solution. For example, there has been an approach to scale Wi-Fi connections, which could improve battery life by 50 percent.

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  • 3 Hide
    one-shot , September 29, 2011 7:09 PM
    I'll believe it when I see it!
  • 8 Hide
    amdwilliam1985 , September 29, 2011 7:10 PM
    lol, time to buy their stock?
  • 3 Hide
    Godzealot , September 29, 2011 7:40 PM
    lol, I bought some last Fri
  • -3 Hide
    jblack , September 29, 2011 7:41 PM
    Why can't we get this on laptops?
  • -1 Hide
    jblack , September 29, 2011 7:42 PM
    And not Kal-El, I'm talking about a low-power core that uses almost no power. The CPU would then be able to dynamically turn off and on the "main" cores as needed.
  • 3 Hide
    darkxuy , September 29, 2011 7:54 PM
    Thats what you get when combining superman + transformers ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    rylan , September 29, 2011 8:07 PM
    I bought some NVDA in April for my IRA. Not that a short term gain like this matters for my IRA, but innovation like this is good in the long run.
  • -1 Hide
    chomlee , September 29, 2011 8:13 PM
    amdwilliam1985lol, time to buy their stock?

    Still a good time to buy. Techs have been down in the last couple of weeks. AMD certainly took a dive today which could also be a good time to buy as well (since they are down). Another reason to buy is that the general public has not caught on to android tablets yet thinking that the IPAD is the only good tablet out there. Personally, I have both the IPAD 2 and the Acer tablet with the tegra 2 processor. Needless to say, I like the Android tablet better.

    Anyhow, hopefully Kal-El will help android sink into the tablet market and really help Nvidias stock price.
  • 0 Hide
    JamesSneed , September 29, 2011 10:07 PM
    Sounds good on paper but then so does Bulldozer. Of course on both Kal-El and Bulldozer we really won't know until they are out. I'm going to have to miss out on the NVDA stock because I'm not all that confident they will get that kind of market share. Sure wont be mad if I'm wrong but I'm highly skeptical.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 10:39 PM
    I don't foresee this happening with multiple x86 cores, since bringing it down to one wouldn't give that huge of a boost. Don't they do something similar with clock stepping?

    Instead, this could be a progression of Windows 8's support for ARM processors. Use an arm core to run low-end kernel-level services, and wake up the CPU when you run applications that either demand the horsepower or an incompatible with the ARM architecture.
  • 0 Hide
    kinney , September 29, 2011 11:35 PM
    This is a highly competitive market, more so than NV had in the early days of 3D. Not a cakewalk for Nvidia, be skeptical on massive marketshare.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 30, 2011 12:17 AM
    It seems to promise a lot. NVidia's earned a reputation in the mobile industry with their Tegra line of products.
  • -2 Hide
    rohitbaran , September 30, 2011 2:09 AM
    The benchmarks for this on some tablet were out a few days ago and it is left behind by Samsung Galaxy S2. Here is the link
    If nVidia wants it to be its money maker, they will have to do better.
  • 0 Hide
    lamorpa , September 30, 2011 3:18 AM
    very low power energy consumption value number difference...
  • -1 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , September 30, 2011 3:33 AM
    rohitbaranThe benchmarks for this on some tablet were out a few days ago and it is left behind by Samsung Galaxy S2. Here is the link [...] 2908.shtmlIf nVidia wants it to be its money maker, they will have to do better.

  • 0 Hide
    __Miguel_ , September 30, 2011 8:05 AM
    jblackWhy can't we get this on laptops?

    You actually already do. AFAIK, Windows 7 tries to only wake up more than one CPU core when absolutely necessary; and, at the same time, Nehalem-based CPUs (and more recent ones) completely shut down unused cores and cache.

    If the CPU is basically doing nothing, on these laptops, the only power needed is to support the massive amount of transistors being kept on low-power states (it's a HUGE chip, after all, ARM chips are tiny compared to x86 CPUs).

    Now, that being said, it would be rather interesting to see something like a companion Z6xx Atom core (or something similar, since it would probably need to share some logic with the rest of the CPU) on a regular SNB CPU. Those things are like 1W tops, if the rest of the CPU could be mostly shut down the power savings could be sweet. SNB ramps up rather quickly, another core could enable a smoother power ramp.


  • 0 Hide
    tacoslave , September 30, 2011 8:09 AM
    lostmyclanless watts low performance... more watts less batery life...can you run 15km with one liter of gasoline on a v8 engine?

    load the engine on a dolly and have a prius tow it there you go.
  • 1 Hide
    cats_Paw , September 30, 2011 8:39 AM
    kryptonite (AMD should use that name on their next mobile cpu :D .

    This is gonna be interesting at least.
  • 0 Hide
    sync_nine , September 30, 2011 9:30 AM
    jblackAnd not Kal-El, I'm talking about a low-power core that uses almost no power. The CPU would then be able to dynamically turn off and on the "main" cores as needed.

    Well the problem with most modern day devices isn't so much about hardware, but rather the software smart enough to know when to underclock and overclock automatically when needed. Also programs which run on these devices don't optimize the use of the hardware.
    I had read somewhere that android don't make efficient use of the RAM and just offloads everything on it. If its optimized, android phones could get way faster than they already are.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 30, 2011 6:09 PM
    Ironically, Kal-el's graphics performance is old hat. The softpedia link is focusing on graphics. Kel-el is focused on raw compute performance. nVidia will be updating their mobile graphics with their more recent gpu architecture during the next generation.
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