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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nvidia Reveals Tegra 2's Powerful Successors-in-Waiting

A couple weeks after Nvidia unveiled Tegra 2 to oohs and ahhs at CES, a leaked roadmap slide hinted that Tegra 2’s quad-core successor could show up in devices as early as Fall 2011. Apparently that slide was dead on--Nvidia formally announced the world's first quad-core mobile processor is currently sampling to device makers and is scheduled for production in August. The quad-core processor, codename Kal-El (aka Superman) offers five times the performance of Tegra 2 with twice as many cores, but that performance bump pales in comparison to what Nvidia has planned for 2012 and beyond.

By 2014, Nvidia plans to deliver a chip that demonstrates 75 times the performance of Tegra 2--which is just now on the verge of hitting the market!

With a trio of superhero codenames attached to its mobile processors, Nvidia is clearly setting its sights on greatness--the company plans to release a new chip on a yearly schedule from 2012-2014. Kal-El will show up at the end of 2011, while Wayne is scheduled for 2012 with a 10 times performance increase over Tegra 2. From there, the improvements only get more insane: Logan is projected to be about 50 times more powerful, while Stark will offer something like 75 Tegra 2’s performance.

Kal-El includes a 12 core GPU, up from the 8 cores in Tegra 2. That number will likely skyrocket with 2012’s Wayne if it's going to improve over Kal-El by a factor of ten. Kal-El is already powerful enough to run 1440p video and output it to a 2560x1600 panel. In the web browsing and CPU benchmarks shown below, Kal-El delivers twice the performance on CPU performance alone--which makes sense, since it has four cores to Tegra 2’s two. Kal-El actually outperforms a Core 2 Duo processor clocked around 2GHz.

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