With NVIDIA’s quad-core “Kal-El” processors already announced, has the company effectively killed the sales of dual-core devices?
At CES last month in Las Vegas, you couldn’t walk more than ten feet without someone talking about how they had a new product coming out with NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 dual-core processor. From tablets to phones, it seemed like everyone was prepping some sort of device that would ship in the near future with one of these powerful new chips in it. The device to garner the most attention was the Motorola XOOM which is launching next week. This is the first product to hit the market with this new revolution in mobile devices, and it seems to have a price to reflect that step-up in computing power.
Too bad it’s already obsolete.
As we noted yesterday, NVIDIA has announced its quad-core processors codenamed “Kal-El”, the Kryptonian name for Superman. As you can see in the video above, they appear to be ridiculously powerful, rendering the same video to a 1366×768 screen and a 2560×1440 30-inch television at the same time. Besides the awesome amount of computing power that takes, the representative from NVIDIA talks about how there are currently no consumer products pushing 1440P (your TV at home, if you’re lucky, is 1080P), and that devices running this new chip will probably be the first.
This is all fine and dandy, but seeing as the first tablets with a quad-core processor expected to ship in Aug. of this year, and phones may follow up by as soon as this Christmas season, why would anyone in their right mind run out and by a Tegra 2 device right now? True, your average consumer isn’t going to know this is happening. Don’t believe me? Just go ask your parents if they know what a Tegra 2 is and see how much they care. For those of us that do know this sort of thing, how are we supposed to feel right about buying anything running NVIDIA’s dual-core processor now when we know six months from now the quad-core devices will literally be on the shelves?
There used to be a saying amongst computer users about how your computer was out of date by the time you hit the cash register, but in the case of the XOOM and other devices with the Tegra 2, they’ve just been made out of date before they even left the assembly line in China.
This is one time where I don’t feel bad as a consumer because I am armed with the knowledge that these chips are coming. The people I feel bad for are all those companies who slapped in Tegra 2 chips thinking they would be state of the art, and now they’ve just sold a few less devices because people like me are going to be saying, “Eh, I’ll wait for the quad-cores.” NVIDIA actually may have hurt themselves on this one with the timing of this announcement. Apparently someone couldn’t wait for Christmas morning to open their gifts.
What say you? Did NVIDIA jump the gun by announcing the quad-core chips even before the dual-cores were released?