NVIDIA promised big things for their quad-core Kal-El chip, the next-gen Tegra processor that pairs a quartet of CPU cores with twelve GPU cores, and the company is demonstrating some of that goodness at Computex 2011 this week. First up is a gaming demo of a new, homegrown game, Glowball, running on a prototype Kal-El powered Android Honeycomb tablet. As you can see in the video after the cut, the quad-core chip allows for high-quality dynamic lighting effects with responsiveness you simply couldn’t get from a dual-core like the Tegra 2.
In Glowball, the idea of the game is to use the tablet’s accelerometer to guide a glowing ball around a gameplay area, hitting trigger points – in the case of this demo, jack-in-the-boxes – to progress through the levels. The ball itself doesn’t use prebaked lighting animations, with Kal-El instead allowing the app to calculate the play of lighting in real-time, as it shines through the pattern on the ball and onto the various components of the arena. The ball itself can be changed, its pattern and brightness altered, and all with a real-time impact on what the game shows.
There are also various dynamically-animated elements of scenery, like curtains that hang and flutter depending on how you tilt the tablet, and barrels that move and reflect as you bump them. NVIDIA has built in the ability to virtually shut off two of the cores, so that you can see how sluggish it would all be on a dual-core device.
Best of all, production Kal-El chips should be 25- to 30-percent faster, according to NVIDIA, and owners of tablets using the new silicon will be able to test it out with Glowball as the company expects to release it – along with extra levels – in the Android Market. The first Kal-El slates are expected later in 2011.