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Quad-core smart phones and tablets coming this year promises Nvidia

Nvidia has unveiled its latest 'super chip', codenamed Project Kal-El. It's a quad-core processor that will be making its way into smart phones and tablets this year.

Dual-core smart phones? Pfft. Nvidia has been showing off its new Tegra quad-core processor, which includes a 12-core GeForce GPU. Codenamed Project Kal-El, the new processor will be finding its way into smart phones and tablets this year.

"Our customers are getting samples now, and they're planning production in August," writes Nvidia's mobile boss Mike Rayfield on the company's official blog, in a post published as the company started showing off the new processor to press and analysts at Mobile World Congress.

Nvidia has an Android-based tablet running the new processor. "We showed it browsing the Web, running games and streaming amazing video," wrote Rayfield. "This wasn't your average amazing video. It was 1440p video content running on a 2,560x1,600-pixel panel. That will enable mobile devices to output to the highest resolution monitors or tablets equipped with a 10.1-inch display with 300dpi."

Nvidia is pitching the new Tegra chip as the "first mobile quad-core processor", which puzzled us, as earlier this week, Qualcomm announced its own quad-core processor designed for Android devices. Nvidia's representatives, however, are stressing that the company is sampling its new Tegra to partners today, while slyly pointing out Qualcomm's chip won't be in devices until 2012.

You don't care about corporate willy-waving between these two companies. Frankly neither do we. But the point is that with rival quad-core processors facing off late this year and early next, 2012 will see a new wave of ninja-quick tablets and smart phones available to buy.

Nvidia has also talked up its processor roadmap for the next three years. "It includes projects codenamed Wayne, Logan and Stark, coming out in a steady one-year cadence over the next three years," explains Rayfield. "You might well ask, what on earth can be done with nearly 75x improvement in performance over Tegra 2 that Stark will provide in 2014?"

Well?

"Our customers and partners have already indicated that they're confident they can use everything we give them." Oh well. In the absence of firm guidance from Nvidia, we'll suggest that Project Stark will power tablets capable of projecting holographic Angry Birds onto the Moon. In 5D.

You read it here first. Now enjoy some hot Web-browsing benchmark video action.