The push to make mobile processors ever faster and more powerful marches ever onwards with NVIDIA’s Kal-el processor. NVIDIA’s latest effort attempts to balance the consumer desire for ever more powerful devices with the device’s inbuilt limitations that cannot wholly be overcome.
There are limitations when it comes to what a mobile processor can do. Faster, more powerful processors give a faster, smoother, and generally more pleasing user experience; unfortunately, the more powerful a chip is, the more power it needs to run. That means draining the battery more quickly than lower-powered processors would do.
The use of multiple cores in a processor is one possible get around. Using two lower-powered cores drains less power than using a single processor twice the speed of just one of those cores. However, it improves the performance because it gives two completely separate cores for processes to run on, meaning that there is no need to queue the processes. Instead, they can run at the same time, alongside each other, so having the time it takes for them to complete.
Quad-core processors will be most efficient in devices that will have four processes running at the same time. That can include those that allow games to be played or those that continually check email, instant messengers, and other background processes while a video game or movie is played in the front. It will also prove beneficial for running music or other media while creating a document or any other combination of processes that can be run simultaneously.
However, it is also possible for software developers to specifically develop the software for the quad cores, nearly by them breaking down the tasks that the software performs into two or more separate streams. When handled this way, the software itself will be faster and more responsive as it will not always be waiting for the processor to be freed up to run the next task that it has queued.
These processors will be somewhat of an overkill for people who don’t usually run the kinds of software that will require so many processes to be running concurrently. A person who only ever emails, surfs the web, or creates documents on their tablet will find that although a device with a quad-core will run faster than one with a single core, it will typically only ever be using one or two cores at a time. Short-they could save money by going for a device with a more straightforward core.
NVIDIA’s latest processor is five times more powerful than the previous chipset. It is designed primarily for the tablet market, whose devices generally have better and longer-lasting batteries. However, it shows just what the future may have in store for even the most average of smartphones, and maybe a considerable step forward for netbooks, which currently run very lightweight processors.