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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  • RMSe17 - Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - link

    That looks amazing!!! Reply
  • designerfx - Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - link

    Not to rain on anyone's parade, but they showed almost no special effects in the demo video. It was all just textures, mostly. Reply
  • fivefeet8 - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    The video showed HDR, Geometry Shaders, and Tessellation effects. At least that's what the Epic voice over detailed about what effects were on display. It's probably not as flashy if most other demos, but I find it more of a technical demo than anything else. Reply
  • mattbe - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    You just made yourself look like an idiot with your ignorant spew.
  • wuzelwazel - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    Out of curiosity, what would you qualify as a "special effect"? Reply
  • evolucion8 - Friday, June 27, 2014 - link

    I think I know what he means. The demo looks great for a mobile device, but looks canned, like it doesn't have lots of light reflections, shader particles, like a hybrid between PS2 and PS3. Still good for a mobile chip. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    It looking good isn't unexpected given it's mostly a static scene set in a small corridor. The two characters basically walk and stand in front of the cabinet and occasionally the camera pans to show some sparks fly. Reply
  • CiccioB - Friday, June 27, 2014 - link

    Yes, and light effects, reflections, volumetric smoke together with high geometric models of the two characters have not importance.
    The "special effect" are only the sparks.

    This demo runs on a mobile SoC that includes a GPU that few years ago could be considered high end and could have difficulties at playing that. But yes, no special effects but those sparkles.
  • jjj - Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - link

    Tegra K1 should hit retail next week (The Xiaomi Mipad) so hopefully we'll see how it really performs soon.Guess we don't know if this was on the quad A15 or the dual Denver and i haven't seen any updates on the Denver version release date. Reply
  • Morawka - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    The Denver version (x64) has shown to be a bit slower in all benchmarks (2%-3%). But it's using much much less power Reply

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