Kal el has 5 cores not 4.

Nvidia's quad-core Kal-El processor, the next in line to the tablet powerhouse throne, does in fact have five cores.

Why is this important? Well as an Nvidia white paper reveals, the extra "companion core" means parts of Kal-El can be power optimised, allowing for better battery performance.

Without getting too bogged down in all the technical niceties of the Nvidia paper, which some of you will enjoy we're sure, it basically explains how Kal-El means more power and less battery drain.

"Using the combination of performance-optimized main cores and a power-optimized Companion core, Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing technology not only delivers ultra-low power consumption in active standby states, but also on-demand peak quad core performance for performance hungry mobile applications such as gaming, Web browsing, Flash media, and video conferencing."

So there you have it, straight from the horses mouth, Kal-El will bring better battery and better processor intensive experiences, thanks in part to its secret fifth core. The four main cores will come to life when things get hairy in the processor department, whereas the fifth, capped at 500MHz is geared up for more simple applications. This means Kal-El can divvy things up between gaming and general smartphone/tablet usage.

We can't say we aren't surprised, Nvidia keeps on getting it right on the portable processor front. Now all we have to do is wait for Kal-El to drop and let the next batch of smartphone core-wars to get started.

Until then, enjoy reading through Nvidia's white papers, they are insanely complicated.

pretty interesting? 1 core is designed for simple things such as browsing before the other 4 kicks in for the heavy gear :D could be an interesting few months.

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matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 20, 2011 at 18:58

Interesting, has the clock speed of the main 4 cores been announced yet? The Tegra2 clocks at 1ghz, but it's by far the weakest of the dual core processors.

In order of power at stock speeds:

I think that's all that are currently available for smartphones, you could throw in the Apple A5, but since it's only available on the iPad so it's hard to benchmark, I decided not to. It'd probably be about powerful as the OMAP or Exynos, it's a very good chip.

Anyway, my point, Nvidia's current chip is popular but...crappy...I hope they make the Kal-El an absolute beast :).

CTPAHHIK  Sep. 21, 2011 at 15:13

Sorry, but we are having empty speculative discussions about proprietary technologies that still remain black boxes.

Tegra 2 is dual core CPU that has four programmable shaders. GPU runs at 300Mhz and able to push 4.8 GFLOPS. Desktop graphic cards can have up to 64-128 shaders with varying architectures, but I don’t see anyone calling them 64 cores. It makes me wonder which smart guy branded Mali as quad core chip.

Clock speeds are not irrelevant – compare nVidia and ATI PC chips, which run at different speeds, have different architecture with same performance results. Five core Tegra is marketing hype trying to attract prospective customers. There is no way of telling how fast it will be until actual hardware arrives and someone writes “Crysis” for smartphones.

OMAP has similar chip in pipeline - 1.8 GHz Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 + 266 MHz Dual-Core ARM Cortex-M3. Slower chip takes over when processing power is not required.

Treab  Sep. 21, 2011 at 15:17

"and someone writes “Crysis” for smartphones."

rofl please let that happen :p

CTPAHHIK  Sep. 21, 2011 at 15:20

"Can your phone run Crysis?"

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 21, 2011 at 16:08

Crysis on a phone would be awesome, especially with a Bluetooth controller :p.


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