In the slide you see above from Nvidia's presentation at the 2011 Citi Technology Conference, we get a look at Nvidia's SoC (System on Chip) roadmap for 2012 and 2013. What piques our interest the most, are the two new chips and how they may be used. We've been hearing news and waiting for the Kal-El for a bit now, and the Wayne chip has been thrown around, but what exactly are the Kal-El+ and the Grey?
Forgive us for a bit of speculation here, but there are a few logical progressions that we can make. The Kal-El+ coming in mid-2012 would be an excellent way to introduce a minor spec bump to the Kal-El quad core Tegra we expect to see late this year -- timed just right for Windows 8 ARM devices. A Windows 8 tablet is likely going to include business and productivity tools from the desktop, and would surely benefit from new tech even if it falls in the middle of a release cycle. The good news for us is that those improved specs will surely work their way into Android devices, making the Kal-El better performing and more battery friendly. We certainly won't be complaining about either.
Maybe even more interesting is the Grey. If rumors are to be believed, the Grey will incorporate the 28nm manufacturing process, with its own radio on-board -- in 2G, 3G, and 4G flavors. This would put the new Nvidia SoC's in direct competition with Qualcomm's offerings, and will again be a major player on the Windows Phone 7 side of things. We're not too surprised, as Nvidia acquired Icera (and their ultra-low power software modems) last May, and surely knows the market better than most of us. If Nvidia can pull off an integrated single chip solution that delivers GeForce graphics as well as great power management, it may be the first step towards the long-lasting battery life devices we've all been waiting for.