Published in Processors
Nvidia details Kal-El further
by Slobodan Simic on20 September 2011
Reveals the fifth "Companion" core
Although there has been many details regarding the Kal-El, Nvidia managed to keep the final and probably most important details for itself. Today, Nvidia released a new batch of details and the fact that it actually has five cores has certainly caught off-guard a lot of people. The fifth, or as Nvidia names it, "companion" ARM core, will stand beside four other cores and the MPE.
The fifth, "companion" core will work together with the rest of the cores but not at the same time as you can either have one or four regular cores working or the lone companion core, all thanks to the little thing that Nvidia calls Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing (vSMP) technology. But the good news is that the companion core will handle all the background tasks, like downloading emails, updating Facebook and tweet updates, etc., when the phone is in active standby.
The fifth core works on lower voltage, can clock to a maximum 500MHz clock and, of course, needs a lot less power, which means higher battery life. According to Nvidia, it is possible to switch between regular cores and the companion one in less than 2ms, so we guess that you won't ever see it.
Nvidia showed some of the numbers that compares the Kal-El to Tegra 2 and claims up to 61 percent power saving in HD video playback and even up to 34 percent in gaming.
Nvidia also compared the gameing performance between the Tegra 2 and its upcoming Kal-El as well as the performance compared to some of the other competing processors, the OMAP4 and QC8660.
Nvidia's Kal-El sounds like a decent quad-core mobile chip, and all we have to do is wait for it to finally show up so we can see those performance/power efficiency claims come true on some device.
You can find the whitepaper here.