Nvidia Corp.'s next-generation code-named Kal El system-on-chip for media tablets and high-end smartphones will not only be considerably faster than the current Tegra 2, but will also be more energy-efficient, according to the company. Nvidia believes that the new Tegra "Kal El" will further boost the company's momentum on the market of ultra-portable devices.
"Kal-El is going to be world's first quad-core [ARM] processor [for ultra-portable devices]. It has so much higher performance than Tegra 2 and at so much lower power! Very few people have internalizes that Kal-El is lower power in every use case compared to Tegra 2. So this is, it is really a great breakthrough based on the technology we call variable SMP, variable symmetric multiprocessing, that makes it possible for us to achieve much higher performance where performance is needed and much lower power in almost everything that you do," said Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia, during the company's most recent conference call with financial analysts.
At present Nvidia has 53 design wins with Tegra 2. In the current quarter the company will add more design wins as more smartphones powered by the SoC get announced. Besides, Nvidia expects "a whole lot of design wins with Kal El".
"We ramped [our Tegra business] up pretty hard, and we have a whole lot of new design wins on Tegra 2, and we have a whole lot of new design wins on Kal-El. [...] I would say that the [Tegra] business is doing better than on track in a sense that our design win momentum is better than ever," said Mr. Huang.
Nvidia again did not reveal precise specifications of Tegra "Kal El", but based on a previous reports we know that the system-on-chip (SoC) is based on four Cortex-A9 application cores, will feature a GeForce graphics processor with twelve stream processors and will have a new display and video engines capable of supporting Blu-ray disc video playback and stereo-3D graphics output. Other capabilities and clock-speeds of the novelty are not known previously. The chip developer claims that the new chip outperforms Nvidia Tegra 2 by up to five times.
Earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), Nvidia demonstrated that the Tegra 3 can browse the Web, run games and stream/decode video with 2560x1440 (1440p) extreme HD resolution. At the trade-show Nvidia demonstrated its Tegra "Kal El" in an Android-based tablet with 10.1" screen.
Nvidia promises that the Glowball demo will be available on the Android Market and that everyone will be able to check it on their devices.
Back in February Nvidia said that its partners would produce devices powered by Tegra "Kal-El" starting from August and therefore those products will be available sometimes in Q4 2011.