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NVIDIA demos quad-core Tegra with intense physics

updated 11:30 pm EDT, Sun May 29, 2011

NVIDIA Kal-El gets early video demo

NVIDIA in another phase of its Computex show rollouts gave the first real demo of its quad-core Kal-El chip (below). A graphics and physics demo, Glowball, showed the future Tegra as the first smartphone-class chip of doing true dynamic lighting while still keeping a smooth frame rate, even with advanced physics for cloth and obstacles. Kal-El is the first mobile chip that can do this at a reasonable speed, NVIDIA said, and dropping to just two cores showed a dramatic slowdown.

The design isn't even fully optimized, according to the company. When it ships, it should be about 25 to 30 percent faster than what's been seen so far.

NVIDIA hasn't provided more details. The chipset is due to enter mass production in August and ship later in the year through phones and tablets from unidentified partners, although it will likely focus on Android 3.0 and later hardware.

Kal-El won't be the only quad-core chip arriving in late 2011 and should be joined by the custom silicon in the Sony NGP and, most likely in early 2012, a quad-core Apple chip for the next iPad. NVIDIA is counting on the quad Tegra as its Tegra 2 was recently outperformed by Apple's A5 and should give Apple an unambiguous speed advantage for the next several months.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ASathin8R

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Really looking forward to this, the Apple A6, and the Sony NGP. Handheld console gaming dreams are starting to come true!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. linlijunhh

    Joined: Dec 1969


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  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: Sick

    Yeah I agree. I can't wait to see all the Android Tablets to pack this punch in the next few months.

    Apple and their iPad users will have to play catch up in. Should see this revolutionary technology in the iPad 4 in about 2 years.

  1. WaltFrench

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Android == nVidia?

    This awesome power looks like a nice advance but it raises the question of how it will be used.

    There's already a problem with the economics of writing software for the small marketplace of Android tablets; now, apps will only run on those that have Kal-El. It sure makes sense for nVidia to have a test bed for its CPU designs (that also shows well), but commercial developers will have to budget their efforts very carefully.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    3D anything and he Mac..

    ..Is a joke anyways!

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