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Nvidia Demonstrates Quad-core Kal-El Chip

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 31 comments

Gaming on tablets could take off with this muscle.

Dual-core Tegra 2 chips are the brains and brawn behind the top performing Android smartphones and tablets, but Nvidia is already promising a quad-core version it calls Kal-El (the birth name of Superman) for later this year.

Nvidia has just revealed a tech demo/game called Glowball that shows off what the quad-core CPU and its 12-core GPU can do when it comes to dynamic lighting and real-time physics. Nvidia says that this marks the first time that this type of lighting is possible on  a mobile device.

The Glowball demo runs smoothly on the early Kal-El silicon, but when Nvidia disables two of the cores to make it effectively a dual-core affair, performance chugs noticeably – helping to prove Nvidia's push for more cores.

Nvidia Kal-El Glowball demo

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  • 16 Hide
    Parsian , June 1, 2011 3:14 PM
    This is practically PS3/XBX360 graphics but at full HD 1080p judging from native size of the video. Unbelievable.
  • 14 Hide
    milktea , June 1, 2011 2:51 PM
    Amazing what smart-phone graphics have come to.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    milktea , June 1, 2011 2:51 PM
    Amazing what smart-phone graphics have come to.
  • 3 Hide
    christop , June 1, 2011 2:52 PM
    Nice.
  • -7 Hide
    back_by_demand , June 1, 2011 2:53 PM
    Now allow us to run Windows on the tablet so we can install Crysis
  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , June 1, 2011 3:06 PM
    All I can say is wow...Nvidia was getting too pinched in the desktop market, but with all their GPU experience they are pushing the limits in mobile devices...I think home computers days are now really numbered....peace.

    SEADRIVE
  • 16 Hide
    Parsian , June 1, 2011 3:14 PM
    This is practically PS3/XBX360 graphics but at full HD 1080p judging from native size of the video. Unbelievable.
  • -1 Hide
    Parsian , June 1, 2011 3:27 PM
    back_by_demandNow allow us to run Windows on the tablet so we can install Crysis


    Current generation of Windows cannot run on ARM because it is designed for X86 platform. The new version Windows 8 does support ARM as well but in ARM mode, it wont be able to run legacy windows softwares including Crysis. Assuming the hardware matches the requirement to run Crysis, the game needs to be redesigned so it can run on Windows 8 in ARM mode.
  • 6 Hide
    hixbot , June 1, 2011 3:32 PM
    Nvidia need to release an Android handheld gaming device with dual analog sticks. The PSP2 offers something but it's another closed console platform. We need the equivalent of PC gaming on handheld, and until Windows runs on ARM (or x86 goes mobile), Android could make a decent gaming platform. Current android smartphones can game, but input sucks, we need proper dual sticks with shoulder buttons for shooters. Nvidia have the GPU muscle and combined with quad core ARM, it could make for an excellent gaming platform.
    I say drop cell support to get prices down, and boom, an affordable handheld gaming "PC. With mobile hardware advancing so fast it would make PSP2 and 3DS obsolete in no time.
  • 0 Hide
    rohitbaran , June 1, 2011 3:39 PM
    Good
  • 5 Hide
    kenyee , June 1, 2011 3:50 PM
    Damned cool demo :-O
  • 1 Hide
    the_krasno , June 1, 2011 3:55 PM
    Isn't Kal-El a copyright of DC Comics?
  • 0 Hide
    borisof007 , June 1, 2011 3:56 PM
    Now if they can only make a substitute for the crappy touch screen d-pad.
  • 4 Hide
    hixbot , June 1, 2011 4:07 PM
    the_krasnoIsn't Kal-El a copyright of DC Comics?

    The copyright issue of Superman intellectual property has been in legal battles between Time Warner and the estates of Shuster and Siegel.
    No matter who owns the copyrights, I don't think that can stop Nvidia from using it in a product code-name. Now a fullfledged product name, that's a different story.
  • -3 Hide
    Parsian , June 1, 2011 4:09 PM
    Check out this video, Kal-El beats Core 2 Duo T7200 @ 2.0 GHz in CPU benchmark:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VATNyBTPltI
  • 0 Hide
    burnley14 , June 1, 2011 4:14 PM
    Very impressive. As powerful as today's consoles, from the looks of it.
  • 0 Hide
    Reynod , June 1, 2011 4:19 PM
    Now Intel and AMD have integrated GPU's that are good enough for very light gaming (Joe Public's home desktop) NVidia knows its days are numbered in the lower end volume discrete GPU market so options like these are important for their survival.

    Hopefully reality meets their hype.
  • 5 Hide
    hixbot , June 1, 2011 5:20 PM
    ParsianCheck out this video, Kal-El beats Core 2 Duo T7200 @ 2.0 GHz in CPU benchmark:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VATNyBTPltI

    The benchmarks are tainted. The core2 benchmark is running on an old unoptimized coremark, while kal-el is on a newer build with optimizations.
    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Nvidia-s-Kal-El-Quad-Core-ARM-Chip-Is-Actually-Slower-Than-Intel-s-Core-2-Duo-T7200-185406.shtml
    http://www.ilsistemista.net/index.php/hardware-analysis/10-published-kal-el-performance-is-nvidia-soc-truly-faster-than-a-core2-.html
  • 1 Hide
    Parsian , June 1, 2011 6:03 PM
    hixbotThe benchmarks are tainted. The core2 benchmark is running on an old unoptimized coremark, while kal-el is on a newer build with optimizations.http://news.softpedia.com/news/Nvi [...] 5406.shtmlhttp://www.ilsistemista.net/index. [...] ore2-.html


    Thanks for correction, I was surprised to see Kal El beating Core 2 Duo so i had doubts about it especially when it comes to nVidia.
  • 0 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , June 1, 2011 6:57 PM
    ParsianThis is practically PS3/XBX360 graphics but at full HD 1080p judging from native size of the video. Unbelievable.

    Ya, it's certainly getting amazingly close. We'll probably see PS3/XBox360 level graphics performance in high-end SOC's within the next 1 to 2 generations.
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , June 1, 2011 7:13 PM
    It'll be interesting to see a mobile processor battle similar to Intel v AMD. Each company will keep upping the number of cores. Will we see an 8 core ARM processor before we see an 8 core desktop processor?
  • 0 Hide
    Haserath , June 1, 2011 7:56 PM
    GreaseMonkey_62It'll be interesting to see a mobile processor battle similar to Intel v AMD. Each company will keep upping the number of cores. Will we see an 8 core ARM processor before we see an 8 core desktop processor?

    Bulldozer should be out in a few months with 8 cores. What counts as desktop anyway, Intel and AMD have had 8+ cores in chips for quite a while.
    They should make the jump to A15 cores before making an 8 core SOC, with a 50% speed boost per core that would definitely be greater in more situations than more cores.
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