Ina Fried

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Nvidia’s Quad-Core Mobile Chip Makes Its Debut–On YouTube

Ahead of this week’s Computex trade show in Taiwan, Nvidia is showing off its forthcoming quad-core mobile chip which is slated to arrive on phones and tablets later this year.

In a video posted to YouTube, Nvidia shows the chip, known as Kal-El, powering a graphics-intensive demo called Glowball. A glowing ball is seen moving around, casting light and shadows as it moves through the game space. Nvidia said that the video reflects real, on-the-fly game play powered by an accelerometer as opposed to a canned animation.

“Given that dual-core processors are already on [the] market, you might be wondering how Project Kal-El’s quad-core technology will improve the mobile experience,” Nvidia said in a blog post. “Rather than try to explain it, we’ve put together a hands-on demo to give you a sneak peek at the new capabilities coming to superphones and tablets later this year.”

Nvidia first announced plans for the chip, code-named Kal-El at February’s Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. Kal-El, which packs 12 graphics chip cores in addition to its four processing cores, is slated to be the successor to the company’s Tegra 2 chip, which powers a number of current phones and tablets, including the Motorola Xoom and other Honeycomb-based Android tablets.

For more on how Nvidia sees its future powering mobile phones, tablets and even PCs, check out the on-stage interview I did back in January with CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at our D@CES event.

Nvidia is looking to take on not only ARM-based rivals like Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, but also traditional PC powerhouse Intel as Microsoft looks to support ARM chips with the next version of Windows. Qualcomm has said it expects to have a quad-core chip on the market next year.


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