NVIDIA Brings Games Console Graphics to Smartphones
Published on: 6th Jan 2014
By: David Ng
NVIDIA has shown off a new graphics chip that it says would put the processing power of a games console into a smartphone and is actually faster than the current Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 games consoles.
The K1 mobile processor is a 192-core super chip featuring the same Kepler architecture that powers the fastest GPU on the planet, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti.
"Over the past two decades, NVIDIA invented the GPU and has developed more graphics technologies than any other company," said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO, NVIDIA. "With Tegra K1, we're bringing that heritage to mobile. It bridges the gap for developers, who can now build next-gen games and apps that will run on any device."
Tegra K1 is offered in two pin-to-pin compatible versions. The first version uses a 32-bit quad-core, 4-Plus-1 ARM Cortex A15 CPU. The second version uses a custom, NVIDIA-designed 64-bit dual Super Core CPU. This CPU (codenamed "Denver") is based on the ARMv8 architecture, which brings the energy-efficient heritage of ARM processor technology to 64-bit computing.
The 32-bit version is expected in devices in the first half of 2014, while the 64-bit version is expected in devices in the second half of the year.
Tegra K1 provides full support for the latest PC-class gaming technologies -- including DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.4 and tessellation. These capabilities will enable games developers to finally bring their stunning, visually rich titles to mobile devices.
In addition to its graphics and compute capabilities, the Kepler GPU at the heart of Tegra K1 is 1.5 times more efficient than other mobile GPUs.
Such features enable Tegra K1 to run the world's most advanced game engine, Unreal Engine 4. Unreal Engine is the most successful commercially licensed game engine, powering hundreds of games on high-end PCs and consoles.
"With the introduction of this revolutionary processor, we can take applications that run on PC or console and run it on Tegra," said Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games and developer of Unreal Engine. "From here onward, I think we're going to see the performance and feature gap between mobile and PC high-end gaming continue to narrow to the point where the difference between the platforms really blurs."