Asus Touts World’s First Tablet Powered By Nvidia’s Kal-El Quad-Core Processor: Report4:18 PM EST Wed. Oct. 26, 2011
Asus will deliver a "formal statement" on November 9 regarding its much-anticipated Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet, the next-generation model of the company's tablet series running on Android, according to The Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD.com. Whether the product will officially be released on this date is unconfirmed.
The 10-inch, 8.3 mm-thick Transformer Prime will be the world’s first tablet to run on Nvidia’s Kal-El quad-core system-on-chip (SoC). Production delays prevented Nvidia’s Kal-El processor from meeting its initial late-summer launch date, but Asus has confirmed that the quad-core SoC will be delivered within its Transformer Prime tablet, AllThingsD.com reported.
The Kal-El quad-core SoC marks the third-generation of Nvidia’s Tegra mobile processor. According to Matt Wuebbling, director of product marketing for Tegra, the Kal-El processor is based on new Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing (vSMP) technology, which arms the processor with a fifth CPU or "companion" core, crafted with a low-power silicon to execute mobile tasks at lower frequencies.
The four primary cores within the Kal-El quad-core architecture were created through standard silicon processes to reach higher frequencies. The vSMP technology leverages these four standard cores for performance-demanding tasks, but switches to its fifth companion core to preserve energy during web reading or other low-power activities.
Nvidia president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang also emphasized the power-conserving capabilities of the company’s third-generation Tegra processors at the AsiaD event last week.
"The challenging part [of chip design] is how to deliver that performance with extremely low power and with better and better efficiency with every generation," Huang said at the AsiaD event. "Kal-El actually has five cores. The first is built from extremely low, energy-conserving technology and, as a result, it’s kind of like a hybrid car. The four CPU cores are 20 times more power hungry or, if you will, the low power core is 20 times less power hungry. So most of the things you do – whether it’s browsing the web, watching an HD video, or reading a book – all of that would just utilize the low-energy core."
The Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet fueled by Kal-El will boast an approximate 14.5-hour battery life, include USB and mini-HDMI ports, and have an optional keyboard dock, according to reports from the EE Times.
When asked at AsiaD whether the Transformer Prime tablet will include the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich by the end of year, Shih replied, "maybe earlier than that."