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NVIDIA: Kal-El to pack fifth 'companion' core

NVIDIA says Kal-El will have a fifth 'companion' core

By Anthony Garreffa from Sep 20, 2011 @ 22:11 CDT

Kal-El has had a lot of news since it was first announced, but now NVIDIA have said it will not only arrive sometime in Q4, but it will sport a fifth core which is a "companion" core. This is built using a "special low-power silicone process" which works on tasks at a low frequency. NVIDIA calls this approach "variable symmetric multiprocessing" and it basically allows it to use this extra core for handling low overhead tasks such as e-mail syncs, social media syncs, etc.

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Each core is an ARM Cortex A9 CPU that is individually enabled and disabled based on the workload or task, but all five can't run at once. The low-power 'companion' core runs at a lower voltage than the other four cores and is only used when the performance state requested by the OS/apps isn't higher than a predetermined threshold. Once the threshold is reached, the low-power core is disabled and the high-performance A9 cores take over, enabling between 1 and 4 cores as needed.

The result? A quad-core processor that consumes less power and yet provides higher performance than the Tegra 2.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer 2 is rumored to launch in October, so we might see this five-core NVIDIA Kal-El chip rocking inside of it shortly.

NEWS SOURCES:Techspot.com

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