Project Kal-el: Nvidia llevará los cuatro núcleos a tablets en verano
Nvidia is doing a great job in the field of embedded processors for mobile devices and whether the Tegra 2 series (consisting of a 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and a GeForce ULP GPU between 10 and 30% faster than the PowerVR SGX540) has become a benchmark in the market and a key piece in the power of a good number of Android terminals, the Kal-El project will turn everything upside down with the first mobile quad-core processor and a GPU five times more powerful than the current one.
The new platform will be released this August, just in time for the next generation of Android tablets (while we are still waiting for the commercialization of the announced first generation by many companies) and, perhaps, the rumored and premature iPad 3 . Do you remember those crazy resolutions that were (or still are, depending on the rumor we listen to) attributed to the iPad 2? Well, Kal-El can do that and much more.
In Nvidia’s demonstration during the Mobile World Congress, Kal-El showed that he can work with ease at a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels that, when translated to the iPad screen size, would match the pixel density of the iPhone 4’s Retina display perfectly.
But not only that. As you can see in the videos, Kal-El offers a much higher graphics performance than Tegra 2, being able to offer up to 60 images per second compared to Tegra 2’s 20 even with twice as many polygons on screen, support stereo 3D, offer simultaneous video output at different resolutions, and rival a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with a fraction of its consumption. Mind-blowing.
To give you an idea, Apple’s A4 processor integrates a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor and a PowerVR SGX 535 GPU, leaving behind not only Kal-El (Tegra 3), but also the current Tegra 2. Seeing how well the iPhone 4 or iPad processor performs, can you imagine the power of this new processor now?
We don’t know if Apple will decide to adopt it or not and the only thing that seems clear is that if it does, it won’t be until the launch of iPhone 5 and the third generation of the iPad at the earliest. For the iPad 2, my bet remains the same as I did last year: same resolution as the current model or, at best, a small increase to 1280×960 pixels suitable for playing videos at 720p in the iTunes store and proportional to that of the iPhone 4.
PD Friki: As editor of Zona Fandom I couldn’t miss the opportunity to point out that Nvidia’s roadmap is a tribute to the comic book fans USA with key names like Kal-El (Superman), Wayne (Batman), Logan (Wolverine, X-Men) and Stark (Ironman). If things go on like this, this last processor planned for 2014, might well be able to control J.A.R.V.I.S., the artificial intelligence of Tony Stark’s computer with which he designs the armor.