At the Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona, Nvidia officially unveiled the Tegra Roadmap
and confirmed the existence of a successor to Tegra 2 that we brought you a few weeks ago. Nvidia has given Tegra 3 the code name Kal-El as in the birth name for Superman. Given the names in rest of the roadmap belong to other superheroes from the comic universe, it is clear that Nvidia's naming convention for their two product lines are - scientists for the GPUs, and superheroes for the SoC.
Tegra 3 also known as T30 and Kal-El has already been stated to be Nvidia’s quad-core mobile processor offering. Today, though, Nvidia decided to build off of the already leaked knowledge and to simply give the public demos of the said technology and the advancements that are possible as a result of its existence. The odd part about the blog post was claim that Nvidia has the world's first mobile quad-core processor. Given that we saw Marvell Armada XP quad-core processor quite some time ago, as well as played with a prototype of Sony's NGP - we're not exactly certain where does this "claim to fame" comes from.
Nvidia then decided to give more details regarding performance and specifications. Nvidia states that Kal-El will feature a 12-core Nvidia GPU capable of stereo 3D as well as resolutions of up to 2560x1600 (30” display), without disclosing the generation; as we all know, Tegra 2 is based on an cut-down architecture similar to one used in PlayStation 3 (GeForce 6/7 Series). On top of that, they claim a fivefold increase in performance over Tegra 2 which is only just now being introduced into consumer products.
The Tegra roadmap details Tegra 2 as the baseline for performance and considers it to be the beginning point for the Tegra line going into 2014. On top of the five times increase from Tegra 2 to Kal-El, Nvidia claims that the successor to Kal-El will be ten times faster than Tegra 2. This code named Wayne processor is expected to be available in 2012 and be the middle point in Nvidia’s strategy. Also, when taking a close look at the roadmap we can see that Nvidia is comparing the new Tegra chips to the Core 2 Duo in performance. While this is definitely a subtle but aggressive statement, there is very little information beyond Coremark to backup a claim that Tegra 3 will be faster than a Core 2 Duo. Not to mention the fact that a Core 2 Duo is technically - half a decade old architecture.
If we continue down the roadmap, we can see that Nvidia has a new Logan processor planned that appears to be somewhere between the realm of 10x Tegra 2 and 100x Tegra 2 performance. And finally, in 2014, Nvidia foresees themselves reaching 100 times Tegra 2 performance with the Stark processor. While we are extremely excited to see this kind of performance from a mobile processor, we just wanted to point out that Nvidia has decided to go with a superhero based lineup. First they go with Superman, then Batman, then Wolverine and finally (perhaps with a big bang) Ironman.
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