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NVIDIA "Glowball" demo
NVIDIA's Kal-El features quad CPU cores, and 12 GPU cores

We first brought you news of NVIDIA's superhero-esque Kal-El processor back in February. Now, NVIDIA is showcasing some demo footage of what this new mobile processor can actually achieve.

Kal-El is powerful enough to allow real-time dynamic lighting in mobile games and applications which is something that today's mobile GPUs either struggle with or simply are not capable of delivering.

The "Glowball" demo [YouTube video] shows a ball rolling through a room casting light over all of the objects in the room. Real-time physics are on display, which are made possible by using Kal-El's four processing cores. The person running the demo showed that running with two cores disabled, but it's is nearly unplayable in that configuration. 

If "Glowball" is an indication of where future smartphone and tablet games are headed with regards to art direction and real-time effects, it appears that we are in good hands with the new hardware that is coming out this fall. Just as we saw with games like Infinity Blade which push current dual-core tablet hardware to the max, Kal-El will once again raise the bar for developers. 

For those that are keeping score, Kal-El features four CPU cores and 12 GPU cores. It will have five times the performance and lower power consumption than Tegra 2 (which is used in today's Honeycomb tablets).

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From a gaming perspective ...
By 2ManyOptions on 5/30/2011 9:56:36 AM , Rating: 2
While this sounds good, I can't but think if gaming on a 4-5" inch display will be that thrilling. Also, are there any console/PC like games available which can run on any of the tablet OS which this is targeted at? This is not going to targeted at Angry Birds Extreme or something like that in future, so there should be games/apps which can utilize the power of these many cores.

RE: From a gaming perspective ...
By tviceman on 5/30/2011 10:01:13 AM , Rating: 2
If you build it, they will come. ...or something...

RE: From a gaming perspective ...
By Ushio01 on 5/30/2011 10:03:43 AM , Rating: 5
Yeah I mean it's not like the gameboy with it's 2.6" screen was a success ... Oh wait.

RE: From a gaming perspective ...
By Da W on 5/30/2011 10:20:36 AM , Rating: 2
Not to forget that non-apple tablets will be fragmented like crazy with all sorts of models having all sort of GPU power. Like the PC, but on a MUCH smaller scale. Why would you develop a game that max-out Kal-El performance if you have only a 3-5 million user market? Games run on the lowest common denominator.

RE: From a gaming perspective ...
By andre-bch on 5/30/2011 10:28:08 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe they can develop the game with different graphical levels and then put a mechanism in it to detect the SOC it's running on and then select the appropriate level automatically.

RE: From a gaming perspective ...
By 2ManyOptions on 5/30/2011 10:32:06 AM , Rating: 2
Something like Optimus for a smartphone/tablet? It might be in the making already!

RE: From a gaming perspective ...
By andre-bch on 5/30/2011 11:56:16 AM , Rating: 2
I'm talking about games, not hardware. Imagine "Glow Ball" with three different graphical settings: low, medium, high.
Low for Tegra 2, medium for a possible dual-core Kal-El, high for quad-core Kal-El.
You install the game, it detects the processor, and automatically selects the right setting.

RE: From a gaming perspective ...
By 2ManyOptions on 5/30/2011 10:29:26 AM , Rating: 2
Why would you develop a game that max-out Kal-El performance if you have only a 3-5 million user market?

I hope NVidia might have an answer, a very compelling answer :) . A fantastic piece of hardware is overkill if there is no software to utilize it. If the same work can be done by Tegra 2/Snapdragon etc. then why even bother?
There aren't many softwares (excluding games) out there that the "regular/casual desktop user" has, which extracts all the juice out of a Core i5/7 for that matter.

RE: From a gaming perspective ...
By Da W on 5/30/2011 11:42:35 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, and sales of Core i5/i7 is not as good as intel would like it to be.

As far as gaming goes, the industry toke a major shift to console games years ago. The key: common, long lasting architecture. And even if Crysis 2 on Xbox looks nothing like the PC version, i'm sure they get a whole lot more cash from the Xbox version.

I think one solution from Nvidia might be Microsoft. They seem to have adopted tegra 2 for their windows 8 tablets. And if Windows phone are any indication, the strategy seems to adopt a new hardware upgrade once per year and have every devices to run on the same format. Something Android cannot do because of its open source nature.

By Subzero0000 on 5/30/2011 9:48:08 PM , Rating: 2

You are looking at the wrong direction.
Think about PSP/NDS in the form of a tablet.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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