Nvidia Kal-El (Tegra 3) Now Sports a Fifth Core

The ARM based chip will hit the market soon and comes with a few surprises under the hood. The Nvidia mobile quad-core SOC now features a fifth companion core. Now, some might be hesitant to buy a quad-core mobile device considering the amount of power consumption of a five core system. However, Tegra 3 will use less power than the dual-core Tegra 2.

As with Tegra 2, Tegra 3 is still at 40nm and will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Comp., Ltd. So, if the Tegra 3 uses less power than Tegra 2 without a die shink, how does it work? Well, here’s how:

During less power-hungry tasks like web reading, music playback and video playback, Kal-El completely powers down its four performance-tuned cores and instead uses its fifth companion core. For higher performance tasks, Kal-El disables its companion core and turns on its four performance cores, one at a time, as the work load increases.

So, the fifth core is active during low power everyday tasks. This is a great way to dynamically adjust to users’ demands. Additionally, performance over other competitors’ offering is going to be substantial.

In benchmarks, the new chips were also shown posting almost twice the benchmark score of rival Qualcomm Inc.’s (QCOM) MSM8660 dual-core SoC and Texas Instruments Inc.’s (TXN) OMAP4 (1 GHz) processor.

Kal-El will be released within the upcoming months, in Q4 2011 (originally suppose to release in Q3). Tegra 3 will first be released on Android based tablets and later smart phones. Also, a future release on Windows 8 based tablets could be one possibility. Lastly, future releases of the Nvidia Tegra SoC, such as Wayne (Tegra 4 – 2012), Logan (Tegra 5 – 2013), and Stark (Tegra 6 – 2014) promise even more performance and will most likely employ similar power saving techniques.

Source: Dailytech.com