Nvidia intros quad-core Tegra, shares roadmap through 2014

By on February 15, 2011, 8:02 PM
Nvidia has dropped some impressive news during this year's Mobile World Congress, unveiling a quad-core Tegra processor and a three-year roadmap for its speedy SoC. Codenamed "Kal-El," the new Tegra chip is already sampling and could land in products as early as August. Nvidia hasn't shared the chip's official name, but the company supposedly views it as the third-gen Tegra and has referred to it as the Tegra 3.

Kal-El packs four processing cores and twelve graphics cores that promise to double the Tegra 2's CPU performance and triple its graphics performance. Those increases are at least partially supported by the Coremark 1.0 results Nvidia shared. Kal-El scored 11,354 in in the benchmark, which is nearly double the Tegra 2's 5,840 points. The new Tegra also outscored Intel's dual-core Core 2 Duo T7200 mobile processor.


Demonstrating the chip's power, Nvidia fired up a 1440p (2560x1600) video and streamed it from an unreleased tablet to a 30-inch monitor. "[Kal-El is] able to do extreme high-definition video, the likes of which has never been seen in a mobile device, or for that matter, on any consume product," said Nvidia's Phil Carmack. That speed comes without raising the TDP as Kal-El is more efficient than the Tegra 2.

As impressive as the next-gen Tegra processor is, it's only the start of what's to come. According to Nvidia's roadmap, the company plans to launch an updated Tegra architecture every year through 2014. "Wayne" will follow Kal-El in 2012, "Logan" is due in 2013, and by 2014 Nvidia plans to unleash its "Stark" processor, which will bring nearly a 100-fold increase in computational power from 2010's Tegra 2.

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