For the past few years there have been claims that mobile graphics performance and capabilities are about to reach that of gaming consoles like the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Obviously because this has been going on for a few years that point hasn't quite been reached yet. But if a new tech demo from NVIDIA and Epic Games is any indication of where graphics performance is headed that goal of matching the previous generation of game consoles on a mobile device may not be far off. The below video was made in Unreal Engine 4 and rendered on NVIDIA's Tegra K1.

This tech demo was played during the keynote at Google IO. To achieve some of the effects in the video the teams at Epic Games and NVIDIA used Google's new Android Extension Pack and OpenGL ES 3.1 which are supported in the upcoming Android L release. The Android Extension Pack is a set of extensions to OpenGL ES which provides features like tessellation to improve the detail of geometry rendered onscreen, and geometry shaders which can also be used to add detail to what is rendered onscreen as well as to add shadows to a scene. The Android Extension Pack also includes support for compute shaders, and Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC) which we've talked about in depth previously.

Of course software is just one half of the equation. The GPU in NVIDIA's Tegra K1 breaks free of the old GeForce ULP design and works with the same architecture as Nvidia's desktop GPUs. Specifically, the GPU in Tegra K1 is a Kepler based GPU with 192 CUDA cores, 4 ROPs (render output units), and 8 texture units. The 64-bit version of NVIDIA's Tegra K1 will also be one of the first chips to ship in a new wave of 64-bit Android L devices with Google having updated the OS and their ART runtime to support the ARMv8 instruction set. It will be exciting to see a new generation of games enabled by more powerful hardware like NVIDIA's Tegra K1

Source: Unreal Engine on Youtube

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  • drewmsmith - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    arm64? Reply
  • tuxRoller - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    Link? Reply
  • Krysto - Friday, June 27, 2014 - link

    What benchmarks are those? Benchmarks like Antutu can be misleading, because they give too much weight to every core, so even if a quad-core A15 gets higher score than a dual-core Denver, it doesn't mean the A15 one is faster. In fact, Denver is likely to feel MUCH faster (some rumors were saying Sandy Bridge level). Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Thursday, July 03, 2014 - link

    Sandy Bridge? Hardly.
    These SoC's aren't packing the TDP, transistor counts to get that kind of performance.
    Reply
  • fivefeet8 - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    I'm pretty excited about getting a Tegra K1 device if only because of this:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/Sonicadvance1/videos
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    What's this new obsession with chromatic aberration? It just looks blurry. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    Much like the recent Watch Dogs "scandal", there are many effects that are useful only when taking screenshots or making gameplay videos, but are utterly useless for actual gameplay. SOME effects can make the game look better while playing (lighting, shadows, particles), but others just detract from the experience (DOF and some HDR) by artificially replicating the human eye's natural functions. It's redundant and cumbersome. Reply
  • Keisari - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    Exactly. The instagram of demoes. I literally had to check the quality of the video, which was already set to the max. Reply
  • lucam - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    I don't see anything special considering the Apple A7 was running Unreal Engine 4 with the new API Metal. Reply
  • UpSpin - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    Is it really so difficult to listen to the commentator in the video?
    "We build this demo in collaboration with nVidia and it's running our FULL DESKTOP renderer on nVidias K1 mobile GPU."

    I hope you can spot the special thing about K1 now.
    Reply

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