Project Kal-El (Tegra 3) works with a new Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing technology, also known as vSMP. As NVIDIA notes today for the first time, vSMP includes a fifth CPU core called the “Companion” core that’s built using a “special low power silicone process” which works on tasks at a low frequency – this works well for active standby mode, music playback, and video playback. The other main four cores are made in a more standard silicone process which is able to reach much higher frequencies. Each of these five cores is an identical ARM Cortex A9 CPU that’s individually enabled and disabled based on work load.
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