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NVIDIA Announced Quad-Core Tegra Chip Project KAL-EL Demos at MWC 2011

At Mobile World Congress 2011, NVIDIA has announced its upcoming world’s first quad-core Tegra mobile processor with the demonstration of the new chip project KAL-EL is the Tegra 3 chip and according to nVidia, it will have 5x faster than the speed of Tegra 2. The company also released a Tegra roadmap that shows a new generation of the chip being released each year through 2014.

Nvidia demonstrated the latest Tegra running video on an Android-based tablet at a resolution of 1440p on a screen that was 2560 by 1600 pixels. The resolution was much higher than what’s considered true high definition today, which is 1080p, and is the highest possible for a 10-inch screen with 300 pixels per inch. The company did not say how much power the chip was consuming and did not release pricing.

The demonstrated showed the new Tegra running games, browsing the Web, and streaming video at speeds five times faster than the current Tegra 2, Michael Rayfield, general manager of Nvidia’s mobile business unit, said on the company’s blog. Along with the Tegra CPU, the complete tablet chipset included a 12-core Nvidia GeForce graphics processor, which will also be part of the product used by device manufacturers.

Nvidia won’t be alone in shipping quad-core ARM processors for the tablet market. Qualcomm and Texas Instruments have similar chips planned, as do other manufacturers of ARM chips. Intel, which offers an x86 Atom processor for tablets, might take a bit longer, because it is still working on reducing the power consumption and size of its microarchitecture to fit mobile devices much smaller than a laptop. Over time, all the chipmakers are expected to move to quad-core tablet processors, which is an important step in the evolution of tablets.

NVIDIA also revealed their timeline with three new chips planned for release which includes Projects codenamed Wayne, Logan, and Stark, coming out in a steady one-year cadence over the next three years. You might well ask, What on earth can be done with nearly 75x improvement in performance over Tegra 2 that Stark will provide in 2014.

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