As competition between upcoming mobile processors continues, almost every company out there is pushing to squeeze in as many cores as possible in their upcoming products. NVIDIA’s Kal-El was destined to be a quad-core processor, but an NVIDIA blog post states that it will be a five-core one. The four initially planned cores will be used for mainstream processing of applications whereas the fifth core called the companion core will be for background processes and may be some audio and video playback tasks. The fifth core won’t be as power intensive or as powerful as the other four cores, though. As load on the device reduces, the four performance-oriented cores are slowed down to save power and the low-power companion core takes over the processing. NVIDIA is calling it the Variable SMP architecture.
Companion core to handle background processes
NVIDIA claims that the operating system running the software does not have to be modified or tweaked to take advantage of this. It also claims that the upcoming Kal-El platform with its 12 GPU cores will have three times more power as the existing Tegra 2. With this approach, NVIDIA is trying everything it has to bring down power requirements to extend battery life, while increasing processing capabilities.