SAN JOSE, Calif. – Nvidia leapfrogged rival Qualcomm by showing a working version of its next-generation Tegra, a four-core mobile processor. The demo at the Mobile World Congress, described in an Nvidia blog, came one day after Qualcomm said it will ship a quad-core Snapdragon in early 2012.
Nvidia's Kal-El chip was demonstrated running in an Android tablet. It can support up to 2,560 x 1,600 pixel resolution and 1,440-progressive video thanks in part to a 12-core graphics unit on the chip that also supports 3-D audio.
The Kal-El chip delivers five times the performance of the current Tegra 2, Nvidia claimed. The company rated the processor at 11,352 on the Coremark benchmark, significantly above the Intel Core2Duo T7200.
Nvidia also revealed a road map of annual upgrades planned for the Tegra line out to 2014. The next generation, called Wayne, delivers nearly ten times the performance of the Tegra2 in 2012 and is followed by Logan in 2013 and Stark in 2013 hitting nearly 100x the Tegra2 performance.
Nvidia said it is sampling the part now and it will be in production in August.
Qualcomm said Monday its quad-core chip, called Krait will hit data rates up to 2.5 GHz. Nvidia did not reveal data rates or other details for its future Tegra parts.
In November, Marvell announced a quad-core ARM chip, the Armada XL aimed at servers and other data center systems.