Nvidia announces blistering 'Kal-El' Tegra 3 chip

Nvidia announces blistering 'Kal-El' Tegra 3 chipMost of us might still be getting our heads around Tegra 2 and its lightning-fast dual-core goodness.

But not Nvidia. It's used the grand stage of Mobile World Congress to debut the quad-core Kal-El that will replace it, and revealed its processors will be hitting speeds 75 times higher than we're currently seeing by the year 2014.

Kal-El itself may not be quite that fast, but it's impressive enough all the same, boasting double the processing clout and triple the graphics performance.

Nvidia had the system running on a tablet, and showed off some extreme video decoding action that put the chipset through its paces.

A formidable 2,560 x 1,440 video stream was decoded, and downscaled to the tablet's native 1,366 x 768, while also being displayed on a massive 30in screen set up at 2,560 x 1,600, all in real time. Kal-El handled the task with ease.

Another demo showed off the brawn of Kal-El's 12 cores running in concert. Nvidia had the system taking charge of a Great Battles Medieval battlefield, complete with 650 soldiers on the field and the resolution fired up to 720p. As you'd expect, this posed no problems either, even when the same demo running on a Tegra 2 setup stretched the dual-core chip to its limits.

To round things off, Nvidia says battery life is improved too despite the ramp up in cores, and you'll happily be able to watch as much as 12 hours of HD video with the right settings.

We're expecting Kal-El to emerge into the mainstream with the more predictable Tegra 3 moniker, and to do so around August on tablets and around the end of the year on smartphones – though the latter are likely to get a slightly downgraded version.

But it doesn't stop there, and Nvidia's roadmap has new generations of Tegra processing goodness penned in for 2012, 2013 and 2014 too under the codenames Wayne, Logan and Stark. And by the time Stark rolls around, we'll be speeding along at a frankly mental 75 times our current rate.

Image via CrunchGear

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