The stock Nexus 7 peaks at a 1.3GHz clock speed when it’s at full burn. That’s certainly good enough for the $199 price tag, but eager adopters have just hit a new record in trying to wring out even more of a bang for the buck. Courtesy of a custom Elite kernel from XDA-Developers‘ Clemsyn, the Tegra 3 in the mini tablet will scale all the way to a heady 2GHz. You’d be right in suspecting that it leads to some dramatic speed boosts: the Nexus 7 at this pace can put a Transformer Prime to shame in common benchmarks, let alone most smartphones. Reaching the loftier heights of performance does require nerves of steel, however. The Elite kernel is very much a rough build that the creator doesn’t yet trust with the public, and NVIDIA’s processor is already known to get toasty under significantly added stress. There’s hope a refined kernel will make for a safer venture into unknown territory. If you can’t wait to throw at least some caution (and the warranty) to the wind, though, hit the second source link for code that will reach a slightly less melt-prone 1.8GHz.
Siete pronti a folli corse sotto l’oceano? Arriva nel Play Store un nuovo titolo molto piacevole e simpatico per tutti i device dotati di SoC Nvidia. Stiamo parlando di Jett Tailfin Racers THD, una gara tra pesci che vi terrà in apnea per un divertimento sicuramente particolare. Una sorta di corsa in stile Mario Kart dove tra bonus, scudi energetici e trappole, dovrete nuotare per arrivare primi al traguardo.
Asus can’t be absorbing all those limelight photons today. Not when its freshly detailed Transformer Prime depends so heavily on NVIDIA’s special sauce. Admittedly, we already know a lot about Tegra 3 from its Kal-El days, but we haven’t seen much in the way of real-world performance claims. Until now, that is. Below you’ll see newly released screenshots of Android games that have been souped-up to capitalize on the imminent Asus Eee Pad as well as other Tegra 3-powered devices — including smartphones — that are expected early next year. NVIDIA has also put out slides containing in-house benchmarks and head-to-head comparisons with the Tegra 2, which you’ll find right after the break.
We’ve known about Kal-El — the quad-core mobile processor from NVIDIA — for a fair amount of time, but a lot of the finer details have remained a secret as we’ve anxiously awaited its debut in tablets and smartphones. Fortunately, we have some reading material to bide our time as the company published white papers discussing benefits of the new CPU, and for the most part it’s what you’d expect: NVIDIA touts higher performance, better battery life and improved physics-based gaming when more cores are involved and working together.
What came as a surprise to us was the fact that this quad-core CPU actually utilizes five cores: in addition to the standard four main Cortex A9 high-performance cores, Kal-El throws in a fifth Cortex A9 “companion” core specifically designed to handle less demanding tasks in effort to minimize power consumption caused by active standby processes. How is it done? The Companion core’s max operating frequency gets capped at 500MHz, offering higher performance and greater efficiency per watt when running menial tasks such as push email, Twitter / Facebook sync, widgets, background apps and live wallpapers. This leaves the four main cores free to take care of the stuff it does best — games, web browsing, transcoding / editing audio and video, 3D, physics simulations and image processing, to name a few — allowing performance bumps of up to 50 percent when compared to Tegra 2. We can tell that quad-core devices are going to make us very, very happy. If charts and geeky stats brighten up your day like it does ours, head to the source to read the papers in their entirety.
As if showing up in two of the first four reference devices for Windows on ARM wasn’t enough of an achievement for NVIDIA’s quad-core Kal-El superchip, it decided to visit us in person here at Computex to demonstrate its splendid graphical prowess. Running Android 3.1 on a 10-inch WVGA screen, it gave us a first-hand look at the Glow Ball demo that wowed us in video form just a couple of days ago. What we saw on the dev tablet before us was no less impressive; lighting was being rendered in real time and scattering all over a multiplicity of surfaces, while the cloth simulation was, to use a terrible pun, silky smooth. NVIDIA also ran us through a sightseeing tour of the Unreal Development Kit and Lost Planet 2, noting that the PC game took only a couple of months to port over to work on the Kal-El architecture. Unfortunately, no new details were forthcoming about when Kal-El devices might be coming or what developers we should expect to see coding games and other content to exploit the platform’s evidently mighty capabilities. For now, we’ll just have to sate ourselves with the video after the break.
Remember how Microsoft unveiled that whole “Windows 8″ thing earlier today? It’s back for more: here at Computex 2011 in Taipei, prototype ARM-based Windows 8 slates and smartbooks are coming out of the woodwork. Foxconn, Wistron and Quanta all unveiled early hardware for the new OS, with chips from Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and NVIDIA powering their live tiles — including NVIDIA’s upcoming Kal-El, which got both a tablet and a super-slim prototype notebook to call its own. Dell’s also got a XPS development station up on stage, which Microsoft used to demo the UI — it’s bulky and ugly as such things are, but it suggests that Dell’s also likely to have a portable Windows 8 machine at some point. For its part, Qualcomm is promising a chip that can instantly wake from sleep, and one of the devices showed that USB host support works fine and dandy. Unfortunately, none of these machines will make their way to market, but it’s nice to know that the OEMs care enough to show their solidarity here.
You might think yourself too grown-up to be wowed by shiny, glittery things, but we doubt many will be able to watch NVIDIA’s new Glow Ball tech demo without a smidgen of childlike glee. Built to run on the company’s quad-core Kal-El processor, it shows us the first example of true dynamic lighting on mobile devices and also throws in some impressive physics calculations like fully modeled cloth motion. Instead of the pre-canned, static lights that we see on mobile games today, NVIDIA’s new hardware will make it possible to create lighting that moves, fluctuates in intensity, and responds realistically to its environment — all rendered in real time. The titular glow ball can be skinned with different textures, each one allowing a different amount and hue of illumination to escape to surrounding objects, and is directed around the screen using the accelerometer in your tablet or smartphone.
NVIDIA demoed the new goodness on a Honeycomb slate with 1280 x 800 resolution and the frame rates remained smooth throughout. In order to emphasize the generational leap that we can expect with Kal-El, the company switched off two of the four cores momentarily, which plunged performance down to less than 10fps. That means the simulations we’re watching require a full quartet of processing cores on top of the 12-core GPU NVIDIA has in Kal-El. Mind-boggling stuff. Glow Ball will be available as a game on Android tablets once this crazy new chip makes its way into retail devices — which are still expected in the latter half of this year, August if everything goes perfectly to plan. One final note if you’re still feeling jaded: NVIDIA promises the production chip will be 25 to 30 percent faster than the one on display today. Full video demo follows after the break.
The other device, Seaboard, has been floating around the Chrome OS flaw depot for some time, but reports are finally starting to reveal some tantalizing details. We now know that it is powered by a Tegra 2 and sports a touchscreen — the perfect place to test out those finger-friendly tweaks we’ve heard so much about. There are also mentions of a “lid switch” and a physical keyboard, indicating it may be a convertible or something in the vein of the Eee Pad Slider rather than a pure slate. The hybrid form factor would make perfect sense since it will house a pair of USB ports and an HDMI jack, which could make for a rather chunky tablet. Obviously, neither of these devices are confirmed yet (and Seaboard is most likely being used for internal testing only) but at least we’ve got a better idea of what to expect when the browser-based OS comes to consumers later this year.
The world’s love affair with tablets may have been bubbling along under the surface for a while, but it really got started in earnest during CES 2010. Back in those wild days, you could see 15-inch jumbo screens, TV tuners, and even hybrid pseudo-laptops stalking the tablet area of your favorite trade show. ASUS was there too, of course, though it still believed in the upstart smartbook category — a modernized take on the netbook that relied on an ARM CPU and a mobile OS to extract more battery life out of a lighter, thinner device — and was busy showing off a seductively slim prototype of just such a machine. Alas, nothing came of that Neo concept, most likely because it was relying on Android 1.6 and a Tegra 2 system-on-chip that was then still months away from hitting the market.
Japan’s NTT DOCOMO just announced a March 31st retail offering of LG’s Optimus Pad. The Honeycomb tablet listed as model L-06C is the same 8.9-inch 1280 x 768 pixel slab known as the G-Slate ’round T-Mobile subscribers. Besides its 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor and internationally compatible 3G data and GPS, the Optimus Pad’s most noteworthy features are the stereoscopic rear-facing video cameras capable of 1080p 3D capture which can viewed directly on the L-06C with a pair of passive glasses. Unfortunately, NTT DOCOMO is mum on pricing. Remember, although T-Mobile originally hedged with a spring launch (recently rumored for April 20th), LG told us that it’d be arriving on US soil in March. So… T-Mobile, anything you’d like to add before Thursday?
LG, you big tease! T-Mobile must be feeling a tinge of regret for hooking up with the Korean hardware manufacturer lately, as TmoNews reports both the G-Slate tablet and a new G2X smartphone (believed to be the US moniker for the Optimus 2X) won’t be coming Stateside for at least another month. Neither will be exactly late, mind you, since both feature dual-core Tegra 2 chips and the G-Slate runs Google’s freshest Honeycomb software, however a launch date of April 20th does put LG a step behind its direct competitors. Motorola has already rolled out its own Xoom and Atrix alternatives, while Samsung is making noise about its new Galaxy devices, which might well beat LG’s wares to the market. Rumor is we’ll get an official date out of T-Mobile at CTIA next week, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.
Sanjay Jha and various leaks already told us as much, but here’s the official word: the WiFi-only Motorola Xoom is launching on March 27th for $599. Retail availability will be truly widespread, with Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, Sam’s Club, Staples and Walmart all offering up the Honeycomb tablet. Other than the omission of the 3G and 4G radios of the original Xoom, you’re basically looking at an identical hardware package. That includes a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 5 megapixel autofocus camera, and a 10.1-inch display with 1280 x 800 resolution.
Lamborghini supercars have traditionally never been known as sophisticated beasts, bullish logo proof positive of that, but that’s all changed since the company fell in under the Volkswagen Group banner. The company’s newly unveiled Aventador LP700-4 supercar has more tech than any Lambo before, much of it scattered about the decidedly fighter-inspired interior layout that borrows a few elements from the Audi stable. Most interesting is the MMI infotainment system, which has been given some tweaks but clearly hasn’t fallen far from its parent’s Tegra-powered tree. All the dials and visuals on the car are rendered on LCDs, as can be seen in the video below, along with 3D maps for navigation and a suite of customization menus controlled either by the familiar MMI jog dial in the middle or by a stalk on the steering wheel. Of course, with a brand new, 691HP V-12 tucked in the back we’re thinking owners will have things more important than render quality on their minds, but those of us who can’t afford the expected $350,000+ price tag will have to simply entertain ourselves by saying “Aventador” over and over again. Aventador. Aventador. Aventador…
It’s the first of March, which in NVIDIA land means no longer just talking about Tegra Zone, but actually activating it and letting users see what all the fuss is about. For those who’ve not yet heard of it, the Tegra Zone is an Android application that curates and highlights content that would most benefit from having the dual-core power of that Tegra 2 chip within your device. At launch, that means a hand-picked selection of games whose makers have gone the extra mile and thrown in additional geometric detail, heavier computation loads, and higher-resolution textures specifically for Tegra 2 smartphones and tablets. The snazzier, more interactive games will still be sourced from the Android Market, the Tegra Zone is no more than a portal unto the vast world of Android content, but it’s hoped that its presence will help convey the full value of owning a dual-core mobile device. Even if that value will go down considerably when NVIDIA introduces its quad-core SOC in August — but, one super chip at a time!