At this years CES Nvidia introduced their new entry into their mobile graphics processor line with the Tegra K1.
Mobile computing has been taking great strides in the last few years in terms of hardware. The gap between PCs and mobile devices has started to thin. Nvidia’s new mobile processor is looking to make it even closer of a gap. CES 2014 brought the announcement of Nvidia’s new chip called the Tegra K1. Inside this compact processor is 192 Kepler graphics cores at 2.5GHz. Just to put in perspective the Tegra 4 was a 72-core GPU at 1.9 GHz.
There will be two different versions with an “automotive version” for later. The two versions are one sporting a dual-core Project Denver processor with custom cores and one which will be a 32bit quad-core ARM-A15 version.
The K1 is more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3 (which mind you is 8 years old) according to Nvidia and even matches some Low-end to mid PCs; sharing common architecture with desktop GPUs. The Kepler architecture used to build this GPU is the same one used in Nvidia’s current generation desktop graphics cards. This choice also allows the ability for better game optimization and for easier porting of desktop games. An example of this was Trine 2 which was shown during the presentation running on the Tegra K1.
The K1 brings new and improved elements to the table for mobile devices such as sub-surface scattering, HDR lighting, global illumination, photorealism, physics simulation, in depth particle effects, and comes with DirectX 11 support, and OpenGL 4.4. Its pushing boundaries of whats possible on the mobile platform. And to those who this all this will come at the cost of battery life think again. The Tegra K1 only uses 5W of power which is incredible for everything packed inside.
Nvidia also is partnering up with Epic with the K1, getting support from Epic; Unreal Engine 4 is to be fully functional on it and optimized for it. Nvidia showed off the typical face demo we normally see with their desktop GPU demos as well as some UE4 demos. Some impressive lighting and room scenes running on Unreal Engine 4 were shown. One of those scenes can be seen in the picture at the very top.
No word yet as to when we will see the first device sporting the K1. Nvidia is aiming for a first half of 2014 release for the A15 and the Denver model sometime late 2014 release.
At the rate we are moving it won’t be long before we reach the power of a high end desktop PC in mobile form. It’s great seeing leaps in technological advancement. Hopefully the next thing to tackle other than graphical capabilities is battery life, the quality of mobile games and their troublesome touchscreen controls or else all this horsepower will be nothing more than eye candy at best.