Author Topic: NVIDIA Kal-EL Variable SMP  (Read 1946 times)

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Stefan

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NVIDIA Kal-EL Variable SMP
« on: September 21, 2011, 04:15:06 AM »
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NVIDIA’s Project Kal-El processor implements a novel new Variable Symmetric
Multiprocessing (vSMP) technology. Not previously disclosed publicly, vSMP includes a fifth
CPU core (the “Companion” core) built using a special low power silicon process that executes
tasks at low frequency for active standby mode, music playback, and even video playback. The
four main “quad” cores are built using a standard silicon process to reach higher frequencies,
while consuming lower power than dual core solutions for many tasks. All five CPU cores are
identical ARM Cortex A9 CPUs, and are individually enabled and disabled (via aggressive
power gating) based on the work load. The “Companion” core is OS transparent, unlike current 
Asynchronous SMP architectures, meaning the OS and applications are not aware of this core,
but automatically take advantage of it. This strategy saves significant software efforts and new
coding requirements.

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In addition to vSMP technology, it’s important to remember that more cores are better for power 
management than fewer cores. As an example, quad core CPUs deliver lower power at all
performance points compared to dual core CPUs. The reason is that four cores can run at a
lower frequency, and hence lower voltage when processing the same amount of work as a dual
core CPU. Since power is proportional to the square of the voltage, the overall CPU power can
be significantly less – and still complete the same amount of work.



Check out these whitepapers:
http://www.nvidia.com/content/PDF/tegra_white_papers/tegra-whitepaper-0911a.pdf
http://www.nvidia.com/content/PDF/tegra_white_papers/tegra-whitepaper-0911b.pdf

ljbade

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Re: NVIDIA Kal-EL Variable SMP
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 10:38:49 AM »
I read that the Apple A5 chip in the iPad 2 (and presumably the iPhone 5) has similar performance to NVIDIA's Kal-El which means NVIDIA will need to catch up again when iPad 3 is released.

Stefan

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Re: NVIDIA Kal-EL Variable SMP
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 01:34:40 PM »
Ipad 2 leads in Kishonti benchmark

I have also read some bad reviews in Android market where people complainted that games built with Unity 3D engine perform worse compared to iOS version of the same game.

We'll know more when Unigine and Unreal release SDKs for both iOS and Android.