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Nov 9, 2011

NVIDIA Launches Tegra 3 Kal-El 'Five-Core' Mobile Chip

The NVIDIA Kal-El SoC was a long time coming but, at long last, it has been officially introduced by the Santa Clara, California-based company. 

Indeed, after previous reports had already disclosed the capabilities of the platform, NVIDIA not only confirmed them, but demonstrated those assets on video.

Multiple videos, it turns out, as there is one that shows how much better flash, HTML and webGL applications run, games included.

Speaking of games, NVIDIA really didn't cut any corners this time and made a special  video of the Tegra
3 running the underwater level of Glowball on Android Honeycomb OS.

We actually already put up the Glowball video, since having a game with nearly two million rendered triangles run so smoothly on a mobile platform is no mean feat (go here and watch it).

As a reminder, Kal-El has four ARM Cortex A9 MPcore cores which can attain 1.5 GHz speeds.

In addition to those cores, there is also a GPU with 12 cores of its own, which basically turns the Tegra 3 into a five-core chip of sorts.

“NVIDIA's fifth core is ingenious,” said Nathan Brookwood, Research Fellow at Insight 64.

“Tegra 3's vSMP technology extends the battery life of next-generation mobile devices by using less power when they're handling undemanding tasks and then ratcheting up performance when it's really needed.”

All in all, it is about five times faster than the Tegra 2, which could already play Full HD media just fine (1,080p), Flash animations or apps, etc.

Tegra 2 has already proved its worth by powering most Android tablets selling at the moment. Also, the newcomer is more effective at distributing workload, as well as more power-efficient.

There is little doubt that the ASUS Transformer Prime, delayed to December or not, will be very closely monitored.

After all, being the first product to actually incorporate NVIDIA's latest invention, it will fall to it to put on a good show.

Then again, with Android Ice Cream Sandwich added to the mix, it is more a matter of how badly Kal-El will overshadow competing platforms than anything else.


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