Although we have seen the above tech demo before, there is some new info regarding NVIDIA’s development of the technology. As a refresher, the above tech demo is being rendered in real-time using the Tegra 5 (Logan) Core architecture married with their mobile Kepler based GPU chips. Mobile Kepler is a variation of the same GPU technology NVIDIA currently employs in their GTX 600 and 700 series graphics cards for the PC. Since the video above (titled “Digital Ira”) was first presented back in July of this year, NVIDIA has made some refinements to the technology pushing it closer to mainstream production in future tablet devices.
Not only has NVIDIA been able to shrink SOC down to smaller than a dime, they have also reduced the power requirements down to 2-3 Watts. This is still to much for a smartphone, but is in a good range for tablets. That’s not all, NVIDIA has also been able to improve the graphics performance on top of these other refinements of the hardware. Here’s a quote with some additional detail,
As the Tegra 5 SoC continues to develop, Nvidia has been able to boost Ira’s shader passes to render more realistic textures (as seen below). Much of this is thanks to Nvidia’s GameWorks developer tools. Many of the top Tegra-optimized Android titles have been built with this software in recent years, and it has now been updated for Tegra 5 (and to show off Ira). Still, the Logan dev kit only pulls 2-3W of power to do all this — the final Tegra 5 for phones should run at about 1W whereas a Titan needs at least 250W.
In a tablet, Nvidia believes the beefier 2W version of Logan will be more powerful than the PS3 or the GeForce 8800 GTX — in the neighborhood of 400 GFLOPS. Granted, these are both a few years out of date, but we’re clearly into the realm of desktop-level graphics. These raw numbers put the mobile Kepler GPU at around 5.2x the power of the PowerVR SGX 554MP4 in the most recent iPad. At this level there is the potential for memory bandwidth to bottleneck performance, but the company has not yet commented on this.
It’s almost frightening how quickly the technology continues to evolve. Versions of Tegra 5 are expected to hit retail mobile devices sometime next year.