Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Aiming to Power Ever More Complex Graphics, Nvidia Plans Quad-Core Mobile Chip This Year

Chipmaker Nvidia plans this year to introduce a four-core processor, code-named Project Kal-El, that should offer roughly five times the processing power of its existing Tegra chip and, what it says, has significantly more horsepower than an Intel Core 2 Duo chip.

Briefing reporters at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nvidia said it plans to include a 12-core graphics processor along with the quad-core CPU. All that processing oomph should support “Extreme HD” graphics with a resolution of up to 2,560 by 1,600 pixels. The chip is now sampling to customers, Nvidia said.

The company has more ambitious goals for subsequent years, with plans to more than double performance in each of the next three years with chips code-named Wayne, Logan and Stark.

Nvidia’s current Tegra 2 chip is at the heart of many Android phones and a number of Android Honeycomb tablets, including the Motorola Xoom, LG G-Slate and the just-introduced Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

However, Nvidia isn’t the only company ramping things up. Qualcomm announced a new series of ARM-based chips on Monday, though its quad-core chip isn’t slated to arrive until 2012.

For more on Nvidia’s plans for the future, check out the onstage interview I did with CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at our D@CES event in January.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik