We’ve been hoping to hear more about NVIDIA’s next-gen mobile processors at the Mobile World Congress, specifically the updated Tegra 2 3D and the quad-core Tegra 3. Based on the slides we got a look at last month, it seemed like it would still be a long way off before we saw these chips, especially the Tegra 3, in any consumer devices. Now the company has not only shown off its quad-core product, but says we’ll see the first Androids running off it as soon as August of this year.
NVIDIA has code-named the chip Kal-El, which it claims offers a five-fold performance boost over the currently-available Tegra 2. It may be overselling itself, but its benchmark puts Kal-El at a higher performance bracket than even Intel’s Core 2 Duo full-on-PC processors.
Kal-El integrates a dozen GPU cores along with its four processing cores to deliver graphics performance the likes of which you’ve never seen on a smartphone before. In its MWC demo, NVIDIA hooked up a prototype unit to a 1440p monitor where it delivered better-than-HD quality video without slowdown.
It’s no big surprise that tablets will be the first Android gadgets to enjoy this kind of power, but smartphones should be able to share in it as well by the end of the year. If NVIDIA’s lofty promises ring true, you’d even be able to enjoy a Kal-El-based system without a huge battery-life hit. We’ll believe it when we see it, which should now be quite sooner than imagined.