Nvidia had one of the more impressive booths at Computex in Taipei this year. One particular tablet really caught our eye, locked behind thick glass. This was the fabled first preview of the new Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-Core processor, dubbed Kal El. They had 3 units encased behind bullet proof glass and many of the Nvidia reps said it would be impossible to get some hands on time with the unit. We saw them push away various people asking about it, but at Good e-Reader nothing is impossible. Not only did we journey over 10,000 kilometers to get here, but we were not willing to take NO for an answer. We managed to get nearly 15 minutes hands-on review time with this prototype tablet and its new processor! Although the new quad core processor is named “Kal el” right now, the reps did mention a few times during the interview that it was going to be known as “Tegra 3.”
We met with 2 senior Nvidia representatives who gave us a technical demonstration of the prototype Nvidia Tegra 3 quad core processor. This unit was amazing featuring 12 GPU cores! The resolution for this new processor does take it to the next level with 1440p! This is two times 720p and is 1.5X better then the latest 1080p. This is indeed next level of processing power and is absolutely a very adequate progression from Tegra 2, which featured only 2 cores.
Not only will this new Nvidia Tegra 3 processor be able to handle superior resolution, but the lead engineer told us that it easily handles 3D. In general, 3D requires double the frame rate (120 frames per second) and double the pixels.
Many of the features they showed off will allow specific vendors to take advantage of some very handy new features. The Tegra 4, or Kal el, processor will allow for higher polygon count characters and scenes in video games. Often in the video games industry one of the limiting factors when developing games for consoles and PC’s is the dreaded polygon count. In order for hardware to render things properly you need to have a certain number of polygons on the screen at any given time. This includes character art, environments and all other assets included in any given scene.
Not only will the Tegra 3 processor be able to display more polygons on the screen at any given time, but it will allow for dynamic cloth and dynamic lighting. In the video below you will notice many lights and cloth fabrics dynamically changing depending on how you interact with it on the screen. Not only will this help attract AAA publishers to make content for tablet computers, but it will allow for some excellent artistic applications and games. Speaking of games, we saw a preview of Lost Planet 2 for tablets and some cool stuff by Capcom.
Nvidia was hesitant to give us any kind of details on vendors who had signed on to implement the quad core processor, but did say we will see it displayed on tablets in Q4 of 2011.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.