NVIDIA CEO WRAPS UP ALL THINGS D ASIA EVENT

by Bob Sherbin

As the wrap-up speaker at this week’s All Things D Asia conference, NVIDIA’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, looked ahead to the launch of the next generation of Tegra mobile chip called Kal-El. The challenge, he said, hasn’t been making it more powerful. It’s making it more efficient.

Noting that Asus will likely be the first company to use quad-core Kal-El in a tablet — expected to launch early next month — Jen-Hsun said the chip has a stealth super-low-power fifth core. It uses 20-times less power than the four main cores.

Another key power-saving innovation of Kal-El is an image-processing technique that radically simplifies the way color is displayed , saving “tons of power” without reducing the visual experience, he said.

NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang on stage with
Walt Mossberg at All Things D Asia
[Photo Credit: Asa Mathat]

Reviewing plans for future iterations of Tegra, Jen-Hsun said NVIDIA is working on three generations of the chip at a time. The timing of their launch remains fully on track, aligned to the cadence revealed last spring at Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona.

No delays are anticipated for coming generations that succeed Kal-El, including Projects Wayne, Logan and Stark, he said.

In response to a question about Microsoft’s efforts to make Windows 8 available on ARM-based processors, he dismissed concerns that legacy applications may not run on them.

Backward compatability may well be an issue for certain software. But key titles that users really care about, like Microsoft Office, are likely to be released in forms that do run on ARM processors. That, he said, would be a killer app.