Quad-core processors in mobile devices - pros and cons

NVidia decided to spur the market and add headaches to its main competitors, Qualcomm in particular. Having launched the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset on the market in early 2011, Nvidia did not stop and continued development. We talked about the characteristics of Tegra 2, the pros and cons, as well as the performance of this solution in one of the materials, I don’t see Toyota meaning to repeat.

Over the past six months, a lot has changed on the market, if initially the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset was positioned as a solution for flagship models, today it can be found in tablets priced at about $300. In fact, the market has pushed the Tegra 2 into the mid-price segment, with between 10 and 12 million devices using it (Nvidia estimate). A decent indicator for a beginner who has just entered the market. In 2011-2012, the use of Tegra2 in mobile phones and tablets will only increase, the growth point for Nvidia remains a change in the technical process, then the life cycle can be extended further. But the key product for the company for 2011-2012 is Nvidia Tegra 3, and the main highlight of this chipset is the Kal-El processor. In addition to being one of the first commercially available processors with four cores, this is also a rather unique solution in terms of the technologies that are used in it.

Project Kal-El: four cores are better than two

The growth of quantitative characteristics has not surprised anyone for a long time. We are used to the fact that the frequency of processors is growing year by year, as is the number of cores. For most consumers, it is an indisputable fact that this is how it should happen, it is akin to sunrise and sunset. At the time the first dual-core processors appeared, most people decided that such processors would be more gluttonous than those used in phones and tablets at that time. One of the main complaints was that the performance will be high, but the battery discharge rate will increase proportionally. The fears were not justified, dual-core processors and products based on them do not have any difference from the previous generation of devices. Often the difference in runtime is due to different screens, usage profile, but not the processor. This can be considered a proven fact, so the arguments that 4 or 8 cores will consume more power and negatively affect the device's operating time can be attributed to the same prejudices. However, Nvidia, with numbers in hand, decided to prove that this is not so, and we will discuss this point below. But now I would like to dwell on the key feature of the Kal-El processor, namely its fifth processor. Yes, I was not mistaken, this processor uses four main cores and one additional one, which was called the Companion CPU. In the block diagram, this core is highlighted separately.

This SoC uses a technology that Nvidia called Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing (vSMP) and patented at the same time. The logic is very simple, most of the operations of a mobile device are not associated with watching videos, playing games or similar resource-intensive operations, but with ordinary things - processing calls, receiving mail in the background, and so on. There is no need for the main processor to work, here the fifth core comes into play, which is called the companion. At the chipset level, a decision is made how to distribute the load, and when only this companion is needed, and when several cores are required. For obvious reasons, the companion processor was limited in frequency, it had to be energy efficient.

The table shows that the processor frequency is limited, and it also consumes less power. This is best seen in the following chart.

But now let's imagine how Kal-El works, with all five cores, it can be seen on the graph.

At the same time, the companion core is used for normal tasks, such as applications running in the background, receiving mail, watching regular video, and so on. As soon as more resources are needed, this core is disabled and the first core is enabled. When working with a flash, another core is connected, in complex games, browsing heavy Internet pages rich in graphics and videos, all 4 cores are turned on.

There is nothing new in this organization of work, as specialized DSPs were responsible for processing, for example, music in Nokia phones a long time ago, which made it possible to achieve more work time. Exactly the same applies to working with the phone, when you do not need to use the main processor, this is done by a specialized chip. That is, in the very logic of the solution, there is zero novelty. But Nvidia did not come up with such a solution from scratch, the company loses to both Qualcomm and TI in that it cannot offer a completely ready-made system on a chip (SoC), which includes, among other things, the radio part. Today, integrating Tegra 2 into mass production is more expensive than using similar solutions from Qualcomm, and technically somewhat more difficult. The benefit is that Nvidia solutions appear faster, the company initiates the development of games for them. But today Nvidia is starting to go exactly in the same direction, that is, the Kal-El project can be considered as the first brick in the future SoC, which integrates not only the processor, graphics, but also the radio part.

An interesting situation is emerging, Nvidia is imposing on the market the speed of the appearance of more productive solutions and aggressively increasing its sales, here we are talking not only and not so much about technologies, but about the positioning of such solutions. Apart from Samsung, no manufacturer is ready to show quad-core processors in 2011 for mobile devices. Traditional players such as Qualcomm have been losing this race for months so far, with no desire to close the gap.

Performance and power consumption of Kal-El

Until Nvidia Tegra 3 phones and tablets are available, we'll just have to rely on the performance and power consumption data provided by Nvidia itself. For obvious reasons, there are no competing quad-core solutions on the market, so the comparison is with the best dual-core solutions. It is possible that this is not entirely fair, but these comparisons give some idea of ​​the possibilities of all such solutions.

The table below shows a comparison with Nvidia Tegra 2, the gains in different modes of operation are obvious.

In a test application, Nvidia achieved lower power consumption when using 2x cores.

The following graph is very interesting, it shows Kal-El's performance and how much less power it consumes. Impressive.

When considering these graphs, we must remember that in real life the increase will not be so large and it is influenced by many other factors (OS version, other phone components, and so on).

For those who like to measure performance, here are a couple of other tables.

Very short conclusion

Nvidia is in a hurry to impose its own rules of the game on the mobile phone and tablet market. While the company's successes are visible in the tablet market, things are not so rosy with phones, partners like LG and Motorola are not very successful in general. But we can say that with the increase in processor power, the release of new versions, the company will begin to expand its presence and push out existing players. She has already managed to eat about 12 million devices from them, which can be considered an excellent result for the first year of sales. In 2012, the company expects to be able to sell about 40 million chipsets for mobile devices. We will talk about this and many other issues in an interview with Nvidia's vice president in charge of technology - Tony Tamasi. The interview will appear in the coming days.

Those who want to read more about the technologies used in Kal-El can download two Nvidia documents:

Quad-core processors in mobile devices - pros and cons

NVidia decided to spur the market and add headaches to its main competitors, Qualcomm in particular. Having launched the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset on the market in early 2011, Nvidia did not stop and continued development. We talked about the characteristics of Tegra 2, the pros and cons, as well as the performance of this solution in one of the materials, I don’t see Toyota meaning to repeat.

Over the past six months, a lot has changed on the market, if initially the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset was positioned as a solution for flagship models, today it can be found in tablets priced at about $300. In fact, the market has pushed the Tegra 2 into the mid-price segment, with between 10 and 12 million devices using it (Nvidia estimate). A decent indicator for a beginner who has just entered the market. In 2011-2012, the use of Tegra2 in mobile phones and tablets will only increase, the growth point for Nvidia remains a change in the technical process, then the life cycle can be extended further. But the key product for the company for 2011-2012 is Nvidia Tegra 3, and the main highlight of this chipset is the Kal-El processor. In addition to being one of the first commercially available processors with four cores, this is also a rather unique solution in terms of the technologies that are used in it.

Project Kal-El: four cores are better than two

The growth of quantitative characteristics has not surprised anyone for a long time. We are used to the fact that the frequency of processors is growing year by year, as is the number of cores. For most consumers, it is an indisputable fact that this is how it should happen, it is akin to sunrise and sunset. At the time the first dual-core processors appeared, most people decided that such processors would be more gluttonous than those used in phones and tablets at that time. One of the main complaints was that the performance will be high, but the battery discharge rate will increase proportionally. The fears were not justified, dual-core processors and products based on them do not have any difference from the previous generation of devices. Often the difference in runtime is due to different screens, usage profile, but not the processor. This can be considered a proven fact, so the arguments that 4 or 8 cores will consume more power and negatively affect the device's operating time can be attributed to the same prejudices. However, Nvidia, with numbers in hand, decided to prove that this is not so, and we will discuss this point below. But now I would like to dwell on the key feature of the Kal-El processor, namely its fifth processor. Yes, I was not mistaken, this processor uses four main cores and one additional one, which was called the Companion CPU. In the block diagram, this core is highlighted separately.

This SoC uses a technology that Nvidia called Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing (vSMP) and patented at the same time. The logic is very simple, most of the operations of a mobile device are not associated with watching videos, playing games or similar resource-intensive operations, but with ordinary things - processing calls, receiving mail in the background, and so on. There is no need for the main processor to work, here the fifth core comes into play, which is called the companion. At the chipset level, a decision is made how to distribute the load, and when only this companion is needed, and when several cores are required. For obvious reasons, the companion processor was limited in frequency, it had to be energy efficient.

The table shows that the processor frequency is limited, and it also consumes less power. This is best seen in the following chart.

But now let's imagine how Kal-El works, with all five cores, it can be seen on the graph.

At the same time, the companion core is used for normal tasks, such as applications running in the background, receiving mail, watching regular video, and so on. As soon as more resources are needed, this core is disabled and the first core is enabled. When working with a flash, another core is connected, in complex games, browsing heavy Internet pages rich in graphics and videos, all 4 cores are turned on.

There is nothing new in this organization of work, as specialized DSPs were responsible for processing, for example, music in Nokia phones a long time ago, which made it possible to achieve more work time. Exactly the same applies to working with the phone, when you do not need to use the main processor, this is done by a specialized chip. That is, in the very logic of the solution, there is zero novelty. But Nvidia did not come up with such a solution from scratch, the company loses to both Qualcomm and TI in that it cannot offer a completely ready-made system on a chip (SoC), which includes, among other things, the radio part. Today, integrating Tegra 2 into mass production is more expensive than using similar solutions from Qualcomm, and technically somewhat more difficult. The benefit is that Nvidia solutions appear faster, the company initiates the development of games for them. But today Nvidia is starting to go exactly in the same direction, that is, the Kal-El project can be considered as the first brick in the future SoC, which integrates not only the processor, graphics, but also the radio part.

An interesting situation is emerging, Nvidia is imposing on the market the speed of the appearance of more productive solutions and aggressively increasing its sales, here we are talking not only and not so much about technologies, but about the positioning of such solutions. Apart from Samsung, no manufacturer is ready to show quad-core processors in 2011 for mobile devices. Traditional players, such as Qualcomm, have been losing this race for months so far, with no desire to close the gap.

Performance and power consumption of Kal-El

Until Nvidia Tegra 3 phones and tablets arrive, we'll just have to rely on the performance and power consumption data provided by Nvidia itself. For obvious reasons, there are no competing quad-core solutions on the market, so the comparison is with the best dual-core solutions. It is possible that this is not entirely fair, but these comparisons give some idea of ​​the possibilities of all such solutions.

The table below shows a comparison with Nvidia Tegra 2, the advantage in different modes of operation is obvious.

In a test application, Nvidia achieved lower power consumption when using 2x cores.

The following graph is very interesting, it shows Kal-El's performance and how much less power it consumes. Impressive.

When considering these graphs, we must remember that in real life the increase will not be so large and it is influenced by many other factors (OS version, other phone components, and so on).

For those who like to measure performance, here are a couple of other tables.

Very short conclusion

Nvidia is in a hurry to impose its own rules of the game on the mobile phone and tablet market. While the company's success is visible on the tablet market, things are not so rosy with phones, partners like LG and Motorola are not very successful in general. But we can say that with the increase in processor power, the release of new versions, the company will begin to expand its presence and push out existing players. She has already managed to eat about 12 million devices from them, which can be considered an excellent result for the first year of sales. In 2012, the company expects to be able to sell about 40 million chipsets for mobile devices. We will talk about this and many other issues in an interview with Nvidia's vice president in charge of technology - Tony Tamasi. The interview will appear in the coming days.

Those who want to read more about the technologies used in Kal-El can download two Nvidia documents:

Quad-core processors in mobile devices - pros and cons

NVidia decided to spur the market and add headaches to its main competitors, Qualcomm in particular. Having launched the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset on the market in early 2011, Nvidia did not stop and continued development. We talked about the characteristics of Tegra 2, the pros and cons, as well as the performance of this solution in one of the materials, I don’t see Toyota meaning to repeat.

Over the past six months, a lot has changed on the market, if initially the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset was positioned as a solution for flagship models, today it can be found in tablets priced at about $300. In fact, the market has pushed the Tegra 2 into the mid-price segment, with between 10 and 12 million devices using it (Nvidia estimate). A decent indicator for a beginner who has just entered the market. In 2011-2012, the use of Tegra2 in mobile phones and tablets will only increase, the growth point for Nvidia remains a change in the technical process, then the life cycle can be extended further. But the key product for the company for 2011-2012 is Nvidia Tegra 3, and the main highlight of this chipset is the Kal-El processor. In addition to being one of the first commercially available processors with four cores, this is also a rather unique solution in terms of the technologies that are used in it.

Project Kal-El: four cores are better than two

The growth of quantitative characteristics has not surprised anyone for a long time. We are used to the fact that the frequency of processors is growing year by year, as is the number of cores. For most consumers, it is an indisputable fact that this is how it should happen, it is akin to sunrise and sunset. At the time the first dual-core processors appeared, most people decided that such processors would be more gluttonous than those used in phones and tablets at that time. One of the main complaints was that the performance will be high, but the battery discharge rate will increase proportionally. The fears were not justified, dual-core processors and products based on them have no difference from the previous generation of devices. Often the difference in runtime is due to different screens, usage profile, but not the processor. This can be considered a proven fact, so the arguments that 4 or 8 cores will consume more power and negatively affect the device's operating time can be attributed to the same prejudices. However, Nvidia, with numbers in hand, decided to prove that this is not so, and we will discuss this point below. But now I would like to dwell on the key feature of the Kal-El processor, namely its fifth processor. Yes, I was not mistaken, this processor uses four main cores and one additional one, which was called the Companion CPU. In the block diagram, this core is highlighted separately.

This SoC uses a technology that Nvidia called Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing (vSMP) and patented at the same time. The logic is very simple, most of the operations of a mobile device are not associated with watching videos, playing games or similar resource-intensive operations, but with ordinary things - processing calls, receiving mail in the background, and so on. There is no need for the main processor to work, here the fifth core comes into play, which is called the companion. At the chipset level, a decision is made how to distribute the load, and when only this companion is needed, and when several cores are required. For obvious reasons, the companion processor was limited in frequency, it had to be energy efficient.

The table shows that the processor frequency is limited, and it also consumes less power. This is best seen in the following chart.

An interesting situation is emerging, Nvidia is imposing on the market the speed of the appearance of more productive solutions and aggressively increasing its sales, here we are talking not only and not so much about technologies, but about the positioning of such solutions. Apart from Samsung, no manufacturer is ready to show quad-core processors in 2011 for mobile devices. Traditional players, such as Qualcomm, have been losing this race for months so far, with no desire to close the gap.

Performance and power consumption of Kal-El

Until Nvidia Tegra 3 phones and tablets arrive, we'll just have to rely on the performance and power consumption data provided by Nvidia itself. For obvious reasons, there are no competing quad-core solutions on the market, so the comparison is with the best dual-core solutions. It is possible that this is not entirely fair, but these comparisons give some idea of ​​the possibilities of all such solutions.

The table below shows a comparison with Nvidia Tegra 2, the advantage in different modes of operation is obvious.

In a test application, Nvidia achieved lower power consumption when using 2x cores.

The following graph is very interesting, it shows Kal-El's performance and how much less power it consumes. Impressive.

When considering these graphs, we must remember that in real life the increase will not be so large and it is influenced by many other factors (OS version, other phone components, and so on).

For those who like to measure performance, here are a couple of other tables.

Very short conclusion

Nvidia is in a hurry to impose its own rules of the game on the mobile phone and tablet market. While the company's success is visible on the tablet market, things are not so rosy with phones, partners like LG and Motorola are not very successful in general. But we can say that with the increase in processor power, the release of new versions, the company will begin to expand its presence and push out existing players. She has already managed to eat about 12 million devices from them, which can be considered an excellent result for the first year of sales. In 2012, the company expects to be able to sell about 40 million chipsets for mobile devices. We will talk about this and many other issues in an interview with Nvidia's vice president in charge of technology - Tony Tamasi. The interview will appear in the coming days.

Those who want to read more about the technologies used in Kal-El can download two Nvidia documents:

Quad-core processors in mobile devices - pros and cons

NVidia decided to spur the market and add headaches to its main competitors, Qualcomm in particular. Having launched the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset on the market in early 2011, Nvidia did not stop and continued development. We talked about the characteristics of Tegra 2, the pros and cons, as well as the performance of this solution in one of the materials, I see no reason for Toyota to repeat.

NVidia decided to spur the market and add headaches to its main competitors, in particular, Qualcomm. Having launched the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset on the market in early 2011, Nvidia did not stop and continued development. We talked about the characteristics of Tegra 2, the pros and cons, as well as the performance of this solution in one of the materials, I don’t see
Toyota Toyota meaning to repeat.

Over the past six months, a lot has changed on the market, if initially the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset was positioned as a solution for flagship models, today it can be found in tablets priced at about $300. In fact, the market has pushed the Tegra 2 into the mid-price segment, with between 10 and 12 million devices using it (Nvidia estimate). A decent indicator for a beginner who has just entered the market.In 2011-2012, the use of Tegra2 in mobile phones and tablets will only increase, the growth point for Nvidia remains a change in the technical process, then the life cycle can be extended further. But the key product for the company for 2011-2012 is Nvidia Tegra 3, and the main highlight of this chipset is the Kal-El processor. In addition to being one of the first commercially available processors with four cores, this is also a rather unique solution in terms of the technologies that are used in it.

Project Kal-El: four cores are better than two

The growth of quantitative characteristics has not surprised anyone for a long time. We are used to the fact that the frequency of processors is growing year by year, as is the number of cores. For most consumers, it is an indisputable fact that this is how it should happen, it is akin to sunrise and sunset. At the time the first dual-core processors appeared, most people decided that such processors would be more gluttonous than those used in phones and tablets at that time. One of the main complaints was that the performance will be high, but the battery discharge rate will increase proportionally. The fears were not justified, dual-core processors and products based on them do not have any difference from the previous generation of devices. Often the difference in runtime is due to different screens, usage profile, but not the processor. This can be considered a proven fact, so the arguments that 4 or 8 cores will consume more power and negatively affect the device's operating time can be attributed to the same prejudices. However, Nvidia, with numbers in hand, decided to prove that this is not so, and we will discuss this point below. But now I would like to dwell on the key feature of the Kal-El processor, namely its fifth processor. Yes, I was not mistaken, this processor uses four main cores and one additional one, which was called the Companion CPU. In the block diagram, this core is highlighted separately.

This SoC uses a technology that Nvidia called Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing (vSMP) and patented at the same time. The logic is very simple, most of the operations of a mobile device are not associated with watching videos, playing games or similar resource-intensive operations, but with ordinary things - processing calls, receiving mail in the background, and so on. There is no need for the main processor to work, here the fifth core comes into play, which is called the companion. At the chipset level, a decision is made how to distribute the load, and when only this companion is needed, and when several cores are required. For obvious reasons, the companion processor was limited in frequency, it had to be energy efficient.

The table shows that the processor frequency is limited, and it also consumes less power. This is best seen in the following chart.

But now let's imagine how Kal-El works, with all five cores, it can be seen on the graph.

At the same time, the companion core is used for normal tasks, such as applications running in the background, receiving mail, watching regular video, and so on. As soon as more resources are needed, this core is disabled and the first core is enabled. When working with a flash, another core is connected, in complex games, browsing heavy Internet pages rich in graphics and videos, all 4 cores are turned on.

There is nothing new in this organization of work, as specialized DSPs were responsible for processing, for example, music in Nokia phones a long time ago, which made it possible to achieve more work time. Exactly the same applies to working with the phone, when you do not need to use the main processor, this is done by a specialized chip. That is, in the very logic of the solution, there is zero novelty. But Nvidia did not come up with such a solution from scratch, the company loses to both Qualcomm and TI in that it cannot offer a completely ready-made system on a chip (SoC), which includes, among other things, the radio part. Today, integrating Tegra 2 into mass production is more expensive than using similar solutions from Qualcomm, and technically somewhat more difficult. The benefit is that Nvidia solutions appear faster, the company initiates the development of games for them. But today Nvidia is starting to go exactly in the same direction, that is, the Kal-El project can be considered as the first brick in the future SoC, which integrates not only the processor, graphics, but also the radio part.

An interesting situation is emerging, Nvidia is imposing on the market the speed of the appearance of more productive solutions and aggressively increasing its sales, here we are talking not only and not so much about technologies, but about the positioning of such solutions. Apart from Samsung, no manufacturer is ready to show quad-core processors in 2011 for mobile devices. Traditional players, such as Qualcomm, have been losing this race for months so far, with no desire to close the gap.

Performance and power consumption of Kal-El

Until Nvidia Tegra 3 phones and tablets arrive, we'll just have to rely on the performance and power consumption data provided by Nvidia itself. For obvious reasons, there are no competing quad-core solutions on the market, so the comparison is with the best dual-core solutions. It is possible that this is not entirely fair, but these comparisons give some idea of ​​the possibilities of all such solutions.

The table below shows a comparison with Nvidia Tegra 2, the gains in different modes of operation are obvious.

In a test application, Nvidia achieved lower power consumption when using 2x cores.

The following graph is very interesting, it shows Kal-El's performance and how much less power it consumes. Impressive.

When considering these graphs, we must remember that in real life the increase will not be so large and it is influenced by many other factors (OS version, other phone components, and so on).

For those who like to measure performance, here are a couple of other tables.

Very short conclusion

Nvidia is in a hurry to impose its own rules of the game on the mobile phone and tablet market. While the company's successes are visible in the tablet market, things are not so rosy with phones, partners like LG and Motorola are not very successful in general. But we can say that with the increase in processor power, the release of new versions, the company will begin to expand its presence and push out existing players. She has already managed to eat about 12 million devices from them, which can be considered an excellent result for the first year of sales. In 2012, the company expects to be able to sell about 40 million chipsets for mobile devices. We will talk about this and many other issues in an interview with Nvidia's vice president in charge of technology - Tony Tamasi. The interview will appear in the coming days.

Those who want to read more about the technologies used in Kal-El can download two Nvidia documents: