NVIDIA Shows Off Project Kal-El Quad-Core SoC Glowball Lighting and Physics Demo

A few months back, NVIDIA demoed its upcoming quad-core SoC for future tablets and related mobile devices, dubbed Kal-El. At the time, NVIDIA claimed that Kal-El would deliver 5x the performance of current Tegra 2 solutions and ship with a 12-core GeForce GPU as well. And now, NVIDIA is showing off Kal-El again, but this time with an impressive graphics and physics demonstration that really shows off what the chip can do.

“Given that dual-core processors are already on market, you might be wondering how Project Kal-El’s quad-core technology will improve the mobile experience. Rather than try to explain it, we’ve put together a hands-on demo to give you a sneak peek at the new capabilities coming to superphones and tablets later this year”, NVIDIA said. We’ve got video of the demo posted below...

The Kal-El Glowball demo being shown in the video includes true dynamic lighting rendered in real time on Kal-El, in addition to real-time physics processing across the 4 CPU cores.

NVIDIA has a blog post up with more details regarding the Glowball demo if you'd like additional information, but we’ve got some of the more pertinent details quoted here. “The ball serves as the light source. As it rolls, it casts its effect on different objects. This shows off the power of true dynamic lighting, rendered in real-time with physics (no canned animations here, folks)." As the video above shows, the effect is very good and is clearly more realistic than virtually everything we’ve seen in the handheld / mobile space to date.

“Glowball also leverages the accelerometer inside the device, affecting real-time movements of drapes throughout the game. As the user tilts the device, the gravity in the scene changes and drapes respond accordingly.” In the PC gaming space, we tend to take stuff like this for granted, but it's not feasible on today's highly-mobile or handheld platforms. “The movements are calculated using physics and are simulated across Project Kal-El’s four CPU cores. Again, no canned animations. As the ball rolls through the drapes, they respond how you’d expect them to in real life. In addition, as the ball collides into the jack-in-the-boxes and barrels, the scene responds. Notice how the visual quality degrades when only two CPU cores are used.”

It’s going to be very interesting to see how well NVIDIA executes with Kal-El in the coming months. If the company delivers on all of their promises, we suspect Kal-El is going to be a serious force to be reckoned with in the tablet space. Even at this stage of its development, NVIDIA quad-core SoC seems impressive.


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