Video Decode

One of the stones we've thrown at NVIDIA is the lack of high profile H.264 decode support. Tegra 2 can decode main profile H.264 at up to 20Mbps, but throw any high profile 1080p content at the chip and it can't do it. This is a problem because a lot of video content out there today is high profile, high bitrate 1080p H.264. Today, even on Tegra 2, you'll have to transcode a lot of your 1080p video content to get it to play on the phone.

With Kal-El, that could change.

NVIDIA's video decoder gets an upgrade in Kal-El to support H.264 at 40Mbps sustained (60Mbps peak) at a resolution of 2560 x 1440. This meets the bandwidth requirements for full Blu-ray disc playback. NVIDIA didn't just make the claim however, it showed us a 50Mbps 1440p H.264 stream decoded and output to two screens simultaneously: a 2560 x 1600 30" desktop PC monitor and a 1366 x 768 tablet display.

Did I mention that this is 12-day-old A0 silicon?

Kal-El also supports stereoscopic 3D video playback, although it's unclear to me what the SoC's capabilities are for 3D capture.

I asked NVIDIA if other parts of the SoC have changed, particularly the ISP as we've seen in both the Optimus 2X and Atrix 4G articles that camera quality is pretty poor on the initial Tegra 2 phones. NVIDIA stated that both ISP performance and quality will go up in Kal-El although we don't know any more than that. NVIDIA did insist that its own development Tegra 2 platforms have good still capture quality, so what we've seen from LG and Motorola may just be limited to those implementations.


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  • wolfman3k5 - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    Does this thing help hair growth?
  • michael2k - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    Testosterone is known to cause hair loss.
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    Actually it's believed to be DHT buildup, but there a lot of breakthroughs that are able to regrow hair straight from the skin/stem cells w/o needing the hair follicle. They did it on rats, but it grew back colorless, human testing is either underway or soon.

    As for Nvidia, could they up the release date for phones? My contract's up in August ;)
  • descendency - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - link

    Colorless isn't a problem. Hair dye... duh.
  • Saidas - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - link

    Yes....but only on your back.
  • Camikazi - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    How is there not a picture of Superman there?
  • quiksilvr - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - link

    Because chesty military girl is cheaper.
  • MeanBruce - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - link

    Chesty? Nah she's barely a C-cup. ;)
  • Ronakbhai - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    She's not superman. She's not even Jor-El's wife!
  • GeorgeH - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    Some guy in tights reversing time by rotating the planet backwards is as believable as perfect scaling from 2 to 4 cores, so I suppose "Kal-El" is an appropriate name.

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