Nvidia Designs Quad-Core CPU for Mobiles
Nvidia is making some serious noise in the channel, and not just about graphics cards. The company’s Tegra line of mobile CPUs have been cropping up everywhere as the mobile tablet/phone wars heat up. Nvidia recently showed off its powerhouse of a CPU dubbed “Kal-El” (which is Superman’s Kryptonian name). But how super is it, and what are the implications for the channel and the ongoing consumerization of IT?
In two years, your phone will be less valuable than a paperweight. (Hey, at least a paperweight was designed to be a paperweight.) The new line of Tegra CPU/GPUs are intense little chips that not only provide ultra-HD resolutions (2560×1600) on both a 10-inch tablet screen and an external monitor simultaneously, they also come complete with a GPU.
It’s not proof of concept — Kal-El is real and was demoed at Mobile World Congress 2011 running on an Android tablet with 1440p video playing and running 3D games. According to Nvidia’s blog, Kal-El is also:
The first mobile quad-core processor. And it contains a new 12-core GeForce GPU. Our customers are getting samples now, and they’re planning production in August.
Wrap your head around that, if you can. That’s a system-on-a-chip with enough density and muscle to outpace anything currently on the market, and could easily outperform current netbooks with a little extra RAM.
So why should the channel care? These devices will be in the hands of your customers, or demanded by them, very soon. Either way, be on the lookout for ultra-powerful tablets and smartphones powered by Kal-El. They have the potential to do so much more than their predecessors, and by proxy, VARs and MSPs have the potential for more services wrapped around those devices.
Flipside: You might want these things for yourself. I think we’re getting very close to a world where an instant-on, always-on powerhouse in your back pocket is easily available and affordable.
The future is here! Get excited!