Nvidia releases the Kal-El quad-core mobile chip

Feb 16, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog
Nvidia releases the Kal-El chip

(PhysOrg.com) -- Nvidia has announced their brand new quad-core mobile processor at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The new processor was given the interestingly superheroic name Kal-El. Just in case you did not read a lot of comic books as a kid, this is the name that Superman was given by his parents on his home planet of Krypton.

During a live demonstration at the Mobile World Congress Nvidia showed off the speed that Kal-El can give to web browsing, with speeds that are two times faster than other dual-core processors currently on the market. Of course, you really cannot simply take the companies word for it. A lot of factors can effect the speed of browsing.

It is time for us to bring in an objective measure. When tested, Kal-El received a CoreMark score of 11,352. That score is, as promised, roughly twice the performance rating score of Nvidia's Tegra 2. The Tegra 2 received a CoreMark score of 5,840.

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Project Kal-El web-browsing benchmark

The Kal-El processor is expected to ship in as-yet-unnamed tablets by August of 2011 and be featured in smartphones by Christmas 2011. Though a few lucky customers are already getting samples of the products made with the new chip currently. The names of the devices that are sporting these enhanced chips were not released.

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Coremark performance on Kal-El

As it turns out Kal-El is only the beginning of these super hero themed chips. A whole line of heroic processors are expected to come to the market between now and 2014, with increasing speeds. Future chips will sport names such as Wayne, Logan, and Stark. Stark is expected to be the most advanced of the planned chips in this line with an improvement in performance of up to 75x, when compared to the Tegra 2.


Explore further: Technology to reduce network switches in cluster supercomputers by 40 percent

More information: Nvidia blog: blogs.nvidia.com/2011/02/tegra… re-mobile-processor/

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Quantum_Conundrum
2 / 5 (2) Feb 16, 2011
Stark is expected to be the most advanced of the planned chips in this line with an improvement in performance of up to 75x, when compared to the Tegra 2


Based on the projected time frame for these releases, I think Moore's Law is obsolete.

"Stark" would represent something like doubling every 8.5 months. An appropriate name indeed.

"Tony Stark was able to make this work in a cave...with a box of scrap!"

If these projections how true, they may end up being way ahead of all their competitors.
fuviss_co_uk
not rated yet Feb 16, 2011
I am waiting for Stark
bugmenot23
not rated yet Feb 16, 2011
I wonder if Marvel & DC will sue them...
El_Nose
5 / 5 (2) Feb 16, 2011
hey QC that is a release roadmap -- that does not mean that the number of transistors will double... And Moore's law isn't a law but just an observation-- we now know that packing transistors on a chip isn't necessarily useful -- and increasing chip clock speed isn't nessecarilly useful either

-- soon we will get to the point we WILL ALL KNOW consumers actually do not need these fast speedy multicored chips but they are subsidising the cost of creating chips meant for servers and scientific computing.

I'm not really complaining though, you're allowing a price point that the average person can purcahse a cheap super computer.... if you own a nvidia 480 graphics cards then you own a super computer of 2002 as far as ability.

-- what you should note is that a logorithmic increase in 2 years is phenonmenal -- and yes taht means purchasing a Kal-el is a little silly if the Stark is 10x better and only 2 years away
Pete83
3.3 / 5 (6) Feb 16, 2011
The race is really on now. Will we survive as a species? We're destroying our environment at such a fast rate, but we're advancing technologically at such a phenomenal rate as well, I'm not sure which one is going to win out. Unfortunately the required social change will almost certainly not happen, so our only hope is more technology...

Ultimately, I think we're in big trouble, but articles such as this give me some hope. Although I guess all logarithmic scales make me tingly regardless of the data shown.
maxcypher
5 / 5 (4) Feb 16, 2011
Hey, Pete83. I've been watching the race for many years now because I find it fascinating. I'm 56 and have already accomplished the goals I find interesting. I'm pretty sure that the only reason I'm alive today is because I want to see how this race turns out. On one extreme, I see an indefinitely long and healthy life-span along with a greatly enhanced intelligence accompanied by an expanded since of self; but on the other extreme, I see many different end-of-the-world scenarios. Do we reach Omega Point or End Game? Best game in town.
Pete83
3 / 5 (3) Feb 16, 2011
Hi Max. Unfortunately I find it to be the most frustrating game in town, because it is our human greed and stupidity that is allowing so many end-of-the-world scenarios to become more and more likely.

I'm just so angry that we are allowing this cancerous social and economic system of ours to continue, and we do so simply because we are kept happy by our big screen TV's, etc. It's sickening.
trekgeek1
not rated yet Feb 16, 2011
Moore's law only deals with the size of transistors, and thus, how many can be placed on a chip. If you increase performance by other means (frequency, number of cores, parallelism), that isn't predicted by Moore's law.
Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2011
Moore's law only deals with the size of transistors, and thus, how many can be placed on a chip. If you increase performance by other means (frequency, number of cores, parallelism), that isn't predicted by Moore's law.


Actually, it is, because all the cores are on the same chip. That's what a multi-core processor is. They miniaturized the components so far over the years that the entire computer fits on one chip, and then they minaturized it to the point that now we have many computers, and "L3" cache, which is replacing what used to be called RAM. What we now call "RAM", though it looks the same and has the same name, is now serving as another intermediate form of memory.

They fit like 2 billion transistors on a single chip the size of the fingernail on your pinky, and there are 4 processor cores and 24 megabytes of L3 cache, and a couple other logic circuits and security devices all built in there...on one chip.
Kingsix
5 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2011
Whoa Pete and Max you guys need to chill.
While yes, current humans such as we are adversely affecting our planet, yes we are building awesome tech that will eventually solve all of our current problems.

Just don't underestimate the technology that is nature, it can take a pretty tough beating and recover just fine, even better than Gorilla glass I bet.

Right about now I would look at this so called "race" as one between a robotic sprinter built for sprinting (tech) and a fat, slow, old man who has been smoking for 80 years. The real threat is the lack of unity of the human species when dealing with each other. War and the device of it still have the greater potential to destroy us all.
SteveL
2 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2011
yes we are building awesome tech that will eventually solve all of our current problems.


How?

I simply don't see that tech development will solve anything. Only people with the proper motivation and perspective create solutions. Tech is just a tool. Tech is a means, not an end.
Pete83
5 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2011
I simply don't see that tech development will solve anything


Surely you would agree that tech development COULD solve a lot of things. It's not a certainty, human environmental destruction could win before technology can overcome the problems we create.

The way technology can "win", to answer your question, is that there is a developmental curve to tech advancement, and the exponential nature of this advancement means that resource efficiency increases over time. I.e, more food from less farmland is a simple example. If one follows the trend, we should be able to feed our current population with only 1 square kilometer of land at some time in the future (Maybe an incredibly tall hydroponic tower thing).

Anyway, the point I'm making is that there is a tipping point where technology advances faster than we even really need it to, and we switch to an abundant society.
yoowhoo
5 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2011
Kal-el is Hebrew and means Voice of God.
TechnoPagan
not rated yet Feb 18, 2011
I wonder if Marvel & DC will sue them...


They probably see it as free product placement.
zslewis91
1 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2011
QC- just shut your mouth,,,once again your wrong...just drop it, fucking d-bag, its called wiki, and its perfect for your frame of mind
El_Nose
not rated yet Feb 22, 2011
I love the way people create secondary accounts just to argue with QC