Not that it was exactly secret, but NVIDIA has officially announced the Tegra 3 quad core mobile CPU. The chip formerly known as Kal-El will first appear in the Asus Transformer Prime that's due out in a few days. The new chip can efficiently use just 1 or 2 cores when needed, and ramp up all 4 when you're playing crazy 3D games or outputting 3D video over HDMI.
NVIDIA promises the chip will be extremely power efficient while accelerating web browsing (can't wait to see the Sunspider test results!), 3D gaming and multi-tasking. It delivers up to 5x the performance of the first dual-core processor - Tegra 2 - which powers many of today’s most popular Android tablets and phones.
• Tegra 3 combines a PC-class CPU and 3X faster GPU with stereo 3D support to deliver BOTH high performance and low power consumption.
• Tegra 3’s new patented Variable SMP (vSMP) architecture provides the best combination of high performance and extended battery life by switching between the four main CPU cores and a fifth lower-power "Companion" CPU core that is used for less stressful tasks and active standby mode.
The chip will be in the Transformer Prime Android Honeycomb tablet (ICS will come later), pictured below. And yes, we'll be reviewing the Prime!
NVIDIA has a YouTube demo, in case you doubt the CPU's serious 3D capabilities: