NVIDIA Kal-El

It's been about six months since we got our first look at NVIDIA's quad-core test platform -- codenamed "Kal-El" -- and it pretty much floored us. The initial window for seeing any sort of Kal-El device at the time was said to be August. But initial time frames are just that -- initial.

NVIDIA now tells us the following:

“Project Kal-El-powered tablets are coming this Fall, and phones around the CES 2012 timeframe.”

You read that right. We'll see quad-core phones about a year after first seeing dual-core phones and tablets. Now that doesn't mean you'll be buying a quad-core phone come CES (which is scheduled for Jan. 10-13), but figure if they're announced then, we could see them in the spring or early summer.

One other thing of note: While people have been throwing around the Tegra 3 name for the next-gen platform (NVIDIA's dual-core platform is Tegra 2), Kal-El is still just a code name, and Tegra 3's not official. Just sayin'.

Regardless, as powerful as 2011 has been, 2012's going to be even more so. Hit the break for our hands-on with Kal-El from Mobile World Congress.


Youtube link for mobile viewing
 

Reader comments

NVIDIA: Kal-El quad-core tablets coming this fall, phones in early 2012

45 Comments

Hopefully phone manufacturers can finally announce and release a phone properly like Apple did with the iPad2: Hey, here's a new product, and it goes on sale next week. Enough with the CES "hey, here's the shell of the next phone, but don't touch it, it won't be ready for 3-8 months from now" BS.

Bets on whether Sense, TouchWiz and Blur will still lag with quad-core processors? Sadly, I'd bet yes.

This is why its becoming redundant to purchase new devices. Theres hardly any Dual core devices out and now theyre giving estimates on Quad core stuff. There just needs to be a yearly Refresh cycle like apple. None of this every other week we double the power of phones kinda thing. Also I love my Atrix so this isnt any kinda of apple fanboy rant or anything.

I went to Best Buy today to get a new case for my Droid 2 Global and the employee working there told me that my phone is too old and they don't carry cases for them anymore. I was thinking "WTF?!" The phone hasn't been out a year and it's too old?

True but I bought my Galaxy S and people said wait for the SGS2. I am now ready to upgrade my Galaxy S a year later... Still waiting on the SGS2.

that's totally ridiculous. why the hell would you want new technologies to be held back on some sort of artificially imposed year long cycle? Why wouldn't you want them to be released as they are made ready for the public? Is it so in your mind you can have the latest and greatest for a longer time which makes you feel better about yourself?

Then don't buy it?

This is good news for everyone because it pleases the people who want the latest and greatest AND it reduces the cost of older technology.

Who says you have to get the newest when last gen works great? Buy that -- it'll be cheaper.

Video is only laggy where developers didn't take the time to optimize. The Thunderbolt is single core and my experience is two fold. The app market video store movies run like a champ. No lag, no sound problems even while using a stereo bluetooth headset which is awesome. The same can be said when watching a music video on Vevo and youtube videos play just fine. Now I just got the Netflix app when it became available for the phone and it works just okay at best. A) The buffering the videos do for Netflix make the sound through stereo bluetooth off sync. That's just annoying. With wired headset or through phones speakers the sound is fine for about ten minutes and then the playback starts to lag. You have to pause for a second and then when you hit play it speeds up to catch up. It definitely can be optimized much better since it's proven other streaming services can work just fine. I say they work on it instead of expecting a consumer to buy a $250 phone.

One, I'm sure it was ported to the pad and not optimized to run on it. And two, there were over 600 highly rendered soldiers moving all at once. It takes a high-end desktop processor and video card to make that run smoothly.

I will not buy a quad core phone till they work on a beytery that can properly support. Dual core phones ...I'm sorry but i think to many people are worried about super thin phones but they aren't leaving enough room for a decent battery ...i would gladly give up a lil bulk to have more then a full day on one charge most phone batteries are 1500 or 1600 ...i think we need to get into the 2000 range ..as a standard battery ...i had the atrix and i beleive it had a 1900 battery ...that is reasonable ...but please give us more juice ...or my solution is small solar panels on the front of the phone maybe by the ear piece ..like the top strip and let it just collect every hour and then add that charge to the battery ...i dunno something like that

Yeah, my jeans aren't skinny. I have a 3500mA battery in my Epic, and it fits just fine. More battery please!

Personally, and I know this isn't a common opinion, but I'm leaning to favor form factor over battery life. I currently have an Epic4G, and it's a little clunky for my taste. While the keyboard comes in handy once in awhile, I think I'd rather a good looking skinny slab.

Its rare that I go an extended period of time without a charger. I've got a couple plugs at home, a dock in the car, and a plug at work. If I know I'm going to be away from a plug for longer than the phone would last, I disable the data network for all but the few times I want to use it. The phone would last days, that way.

Yes, please design the phone to work with the larger battery so they don't look and feel so odd with an aftermarket battery poking out of the back of them.

There is a very very simple solution for you. Buy an extra battery! I bought an extra battery for my Galaxy S II and it ran me under $20 (for the OEM replacement battery) and it fits in my wallet without even noticing that it's in there. So I get very thin form factor and great battery life. Swapping the battery takes about 10 seconds and rebooting the phone takes about 15-20 seconds. Simple.

Is Android even capable or efficient for a quad core? I thought it took some tweaking for Android to recognize and utilize the second core in dual core phones?

Im guessing thats what Ice Cream is going to have mainstreamed in, for multiple processors.

It's Linux. You only need a few kernel tweaks and *BAM!* 'optimized'. You don't even have to wait for ICS, hence all the dual core phones out now. :)

Ah the life of mobile technology. It seems it's every 6 months to a year that a major bump in hardware occurs and you either have to stick with your device or bite your losses to have the bleeding edge.

If only upgrades could be on a yearly basis, this whole process wouldn't be such a low blow to the wallet. The trick is to sell after a year and only shell out a bit out of pocket for the next device and then sell again the following year but actually making a small profit by getting the the next phone at the subsidized (renew contract) problem. The main problem is that these phones are being pushed out so quickly that they lose their value at crazy rates.

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I honestly don't see how some of you even survive in the tech world... Yeah, new things come out. All the time. And yeah, you won't have the newest thing on the block for very long. Is that so unbearable? Can you not live with the device you have for a little while longer?

I mean seriously, if it bothers you that much, just shut yourself out of following tech news for awhile until you can afford to get something new. Then it'll be just like nothing new happened! Just like everyone waited until *you* could get a new device to upgrade the specs.

Only they didn't really, so the rest of us who aren't on your upgrade schedule can enjoy our new toys...

I agree, the only reason I have a need to update my Evo 4G is because of the limited internal memory. I hope to be able to wait until Sprint has LTE in my area before I upgrade. My area was one of the early Wimax 4G rollouts so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

If you want to fix the internal memory problem, I'd highly recommend partitioning your SD card and flashing a ROM that supports a2sd such as Synergy or Kingdom... Just remember to backup your entire SD card to your computer first. I've got over 100 apps on my phone and 90+ MB free internal. Works great. I never get the damn "low space" warning any more! I'm sure there are guides in the AC forums, but I used this guide from xda. It's not difficult at all. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=16219366&postcount=10758 Note that a step 4.5 should be added, which is "copy the backed up files back onto the partitioned SD card"

All i need to know is, does it support "high profile" encoded playback with h264? Tegra 2's support for h264 is utterly worthless to me and many others without it.

Really, I see very little benefit in throwing yet more cores in phones, not with current programming, not for a long while. The OS isn't going to benefit much on a single user device. And most end-user programs can't make but so much use of threads. So you would have two more cores, both idle 99.999999% of the time...

Users would benefit from increased CPU clock speeds, memory speeds, and GPU speeds, not from more cores.

And Battery tech can not keep up with all these high powered CPUs. So Battery life is going to go down too.

So i will be able to run Diablo 3 on a tablet? niiice. i did post on Blizzard's wall a few months ago to make it Android compatible. i hope they listened! i guess that's why it is taking to long to get it out.

So if we got the quad core's goin, and dope as hell framerates. I thought for sure by now we would be able to power up our bluetooth xbox or ps3 controllers and connect them wirelessly to these bluetooth devices! Im sick of playing first person shooters with my ugly ass thumbs! The closest thing i've seen so far is someone hook up a ps3 controller via micro-usb wire. Are we all forgetting that they can be paired using bluetooth? Imagine a halo1 tablet port (remember halo ran on the xbox at 733mhz with 64mb of ram just dandy?),then hooking the tablet or smartphone up to a 55 inch HDTV via HDMI than playing with four people using xbox controllers. I just don't understand why not, all the resources are there! Someone teach me how to write programs and we're half way there!

I can imagine all the possibilities!

Omg cs:source with keyboard and mouse paired wireless bluetooth

Omg n64 emulator four players playing mario party or 007

Omg i can picture tablets with terrabyte harddrives, and a universal O/S that can switch between Microsoft, linux, xbox, ps3, n64, nintendo wii, all with the push of a button! Its like yo let me just throw my smartphone into xbox360 mode and plug it into this 55inch hdtv, you guys all bring a controller?

Don't you guys understand all the possibilites!! ITS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!!

Micro-usb attatchable blue ray drives to burn dvds!
Micro-usb attatchable keyboard mouse combo's
Micro-usb attacthable mics/webcams/even connect other smartphones together to share files!

We will be throwing our desktops into the garbage!! Soon Cpu/Gpu/RAM/SSD storage will all exist on one chip!! OMFGG

Why are all these smartphone/tablet producers taking such small steps every year? Tablets can replace PCS right now!