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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  • TheJian - Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - link

    "Don't jump the gun. Mobile has made impressive leaps and bounds, but don't overestimate the capabilities."

    I took that, along with your other comments to mean you aren't that impressed ;) So I attempted to correct it with a more meaningful comparison. SSam3 BFE is NOT san andreas so proves MORE right? You can say that quote wasn't directed at K1, but that's what the whole page here is about, and the comments too. If you weren't saying it about K1 then I'd think you meant all of mobile which would include K1 etc. You're saying it proves nothing, so I gave something that DOES prove something since it seems you're casting doubts here. I'm saying the gun "hasn't been jumped" so to speak ;)

    It's a desktop based gpu, we shouldn't be surprised it's quite a leap in visuals etc. We'll see what the rest come up with to combat it (and all future NV socs now that they are desktop based), but K1 is the gaming gpu bar now for at least tablets, if not some high-end phones which NV is still interested in (they're only giving up on the low-end which isn't where the massive profits are anyway). If power is low they can pair it with any number of modems since they don't seem to want to integrate one at this time. Considering krait is no longer in house (off the shelf IP) it should be anybody's race even without the modem integrated. Off the shelf IP won't have krait like power/perf advantages until they go back in house a year later.
  • FITCamaro - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    Showing a scripted scene is one thing. Showing that level of detail during gameplay is another. Reply
  • Willhouse - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    So when do tablets with this chip hit the states? Reply
  • Jumangi - Friday, June 27, 2014 - link

    Probably never. Nvidia despite all their hype has been pretty much shut out of the mobile world the last couple of years, at least in the west. The Tegra 4 was never used by anyone and this chip has one Chinese tablet to show. Reply
  • TheJian - Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - link

    Nvidia Shield, Tegra Note 7, Microsoft Surface 2, HP SlateBook x2, ZTE N988S, Nuvola NP-1, Project Mojo, Asus Transformer Pad Infinity (2013 model), Toshiba AT10-LE-A (Excite Pro), Vizio 10" tablet, Wexler.Terra 7, Wexler.Terra 10, Acer TA272HUL AIO, HP Slate 21 AIO, Xiaomi Phone 3, Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid, Coolpad 4

    I'm not sure that's all but you should get the point. Also, how can anyone use something that is NOT SHIPPING to oems yet? There is a reason shield comes first. It allows them to showcase the product in something that is lower volume until they can fully ramp a quarter later. Do you see any S810 products available? NO. Because you can buy what isn't shipping yet. See the point. You're not making sense. You're either ignoring the facts (well not like Anandtech would tell you all the T4 products, they hate NV, hence the AMD portal while NOT having an NV one...LOL), or you just hate NV so blatantly lie. Which is it? Or just plain ignorant? K1 has one tablet that will likely not be a HUGE volume seller so NV can accommodate them. You can't supply someone like HP/Toshiba/Dell/Google/Asus until you've ramped up. But note also, K1 was all over the show floor at Google I/O (it's in their AndroidTV, Automotive stuff, 9in Nexus etc).

    And other devices are coming, here's the list from wikipedia already on the way or here:
    Jetson TK1 development board,Lenovo ThinkVision 28, XiaoMi MiPad, HTC Nexus 9,Google Project Tango Tablet, Acer Chromebook CB5, nVidia Shield 2. Not a bad start for a device barely shipping. Start reading more than anandtech, you'll get more NV news ;)
  • TheJian - Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - link

    One more comment on S805:
    Where are all the S805 devices? :)
    Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE-A (Korea)
    Wikipedia only lists one.
    Anything past ref devices besides the listed one? Seems K1 has a lead and both are shipping if only barely I guess (to OEM's anyway). But you can BUY some K1 stuff now. Jetson, Tango not sure about mipad yet (I'm not in china...thank god). Note 4 is rumored to have S805, but not confirmed AFAIK. So you should get the point, things that aren't shipping massively (ramped yet) don't show up much, but K1 appears to have the lead vs. a SOC that was supposed to ship in May according to Qcom.

    T4 was also in BungBunggame's Kalos. Not sure if wikipedia is missing more. Oh one more was Toshiba Excite Write (wikipedia only lists the PRO). The note7 is made by PNY, EVGA, ZOTAC, Gigabyte, and Xolo (so you can count those as one or five devices I guess). Few more, HP Slate 8, and Slate 7. Tegra 4 used by nobody? FALSE.
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    It looks great.

    However, it's hard to be very excited when Google can't even get Epic to port any Infinity Blade to Android and when they are asked why, they routinely say because the performance isn't there despite multiple demos running the Unreal Engine showing the hardware exists.

    Other games seem to make money off Android, so why can't Epic? This tempers my enthusiasm whenever an Unreal demo is used even though I know other games on Android do use the Unreal engine...
  • TheJian - Friday, June 27, 2014 - link

    It's not that it can't be done, it's apple cash that stops this. Infinity Blade is apple only. They paid for Infinity Blade 1, 2 and 3 to be APPLE only. And yes the power is there, but what do you expect Epic to say? They can't exactly force Apple to let them port to anything else if they paid for a forever exclusive deal. They may have even paid enough to get them to blame perf, which clearly isn't the problem. With $140B in cash this should be no surprise when it happens. Apple can buy whatever they want pretty much, whether it's lies, preferential treatment, exclusive crap etc.

    removed the last link to infinity blade LIKE games since being called spam for some reason.
    But yeah, there are many unreal3 engine games out already on android and also some great looking ones NOT on unreal.

    Serious sam HD 1st & 2nd encounters coming soon too says croteam. I've played most of the stuff they're all porting, but it won't be long after they re-collect on these old games that they make new stuff aimed directly at the top shelf hardware on android (knowing even the junk from the next gen will have top end power a year later anyway so not long before all can play your game).

    I can't wait for their new stuff. Clearly devs are interested in android if looking at GDC 2013 & 2014 surveys. HUGE interest. When 20nm versions hit we should start to get out of the ports and into great new content. I expect mostly ports of great games for the next year. Sure there will be some great new content too, but more economical to port and collect on old stuff first since most never sold more than 10mil copies and there are a billion active android devices who clearly haven't played all the old PC/console great games etc. The ports will pay for the new stuff at some point so I'm all for anything they think is worth porting. I thought I'd wait out 20nm shield (r3?) but I'm starting to re-think that. If it's even more feature laden than shield r1 I might just have to buy depending on price. But I can easily wait out a drop or special if needed ;) Android gaming is moving up, no doubt about that with K1 and every soc on 20nm after it. They should all be K1 level by then even on the low end, so more reason to aim higher with graphics etc.

    Jeez, one link and called spam? For what? Anandtech get tired of my posts? LOL.
  • Hrel - Friday, June 27, 2014 - link

    An Nvidia Shield with this GPU, a 1080p screen and some minor revisions to design would mean I can finally get back into hand held gaming! I'm pretty excited. Streaming a game from my desktop is a pretty niche use case scenario, but I could see using it a little. More importantly, having something that would last more than 2 hours while gaming on it would be awesome. Especially if they get some "real" video games on it. Like Civ and Total War. I could see playing chivalry on it; so hopefully it'll have tri-band 802.11ac.

    Technology is so cool.
  • iAPX - Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - link

    720p is 1280x720, a quarter of what's actual Android smartphone and tablets are offering as resolution. It's interesting to see a demo for 2 years old-devices, or for low-end devices that WON'T use the K1.

    Is it a joke?

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