NVIDIA announces Mobile Kepler GPU; exceeds PS3’s power, comes to mobile in Project Logan [VIDEO]


NVIDIA was at SIGGRAPH this week to announce some exciting new developments for its mobile computing platform. The company has revealed new details about the GPU that’ll be going inside its latest Logan chipset (which is set to be here in 2014). The GPU is based on Kepler technology, the same architecture being used in cards such as NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX Titan card for desktop PCs. What does that bring us on the mobile side of things?

Kepler supports the full spectrum of OpenGL – including the just-announced OpenGL 4.4 full-featured graphics specification and the OpenGL ES 3.0 embedded standard. It also supports DirectX 11, Microsoft’s latest graphics API.

Alright, so what exactly does that mean? Well, it means being able to achieve a very high level of graphics. In fact, it’s so high that NVIDIA confidently advertises it delivers even more power than Sony’s PlayStation 3 (yes, that’s the same console which delivered highly-detailed titles such as Killzone, Uncharted and The Last of Us.

Asked if that sort of performance was only theoretical, NVIDIA said no — that sort of stuff can be achieved in a real mobile computing environment as long as the developers have the technical know-how.

NVIDIA mobile kepler graphics graph

To give us a look at just how nice this Kepler-based mobile GPU will be, NVIDIA put together a handy video of a demo that was run on an NVIDIA reference table with the Logan chipset inside. It’s the FaceWorks “Ira” demo you see above, which shows a life-like human face making many different emotions. The demo shows off things like advanced tessellation, realistic light modeling, and more.

NVIDIA revealed that there were a few trade-offs that had to be made in order to get Ira to run this beautifully and smoothly, but the very minuscule degradation in graphics allowed them to get the type of performance they needed to be able to run such a beautiful demo at full HD resolution.

And it’s all doing this while sipping on power. Whereas desktop Kepler systems rely on 250-watt power draws, Mobile Kepler only needs about 2-3 watts. That efficiency alongside other power-saving tweaks make it possible to run these graphics using the limited supply of power that mobile devices tend to have.

NVIDIA didn’t want to reveal absolutely everything there is to know about this beast just yet, but just know it’ll be on its way starting at some point in 2014 (and if you don’t believe me, NVIDIA revealed that Project Logan silicon is already being sampled by major OEMs today).

Sure, it’s a bit odd to be talking about Project Logan when we haven’t even started seeing the first readily available Tegra 4 devices yet, but we’re excited regardless. Be sure to watch the two video demos above, and let us know if you’re just about ready to throw your money at the first Logan device that comes our way late next year.

[via NVIDIA]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. shield 2?

    1. Well… if the first one doesn’t belly flop enough, maybe.

      1. Flop or not i think we might see shield 2 anyway. It’s not like nvidia intend to make shield as their butter and bread like they do with their dekstop gpu. The main purpose is to promote tegra platform to the public and developer

  2. ouya 2. that’s what I’ll wait for.

    1. you and one other person. lol

    2. Amen brother… And with the close relationship both companies have… I have no doubt for something like this to done at an affordable price… Maybe not $99 but a fair price at that $199 is more than fair on top of that the ability to port ur games and have the option to use the new n improved controller or the original would be pretty nice

  3. Well let’s be honest, I’d hope it was better than a 7 year old GPU. It’s an achievement certainly, but the PS3 GPU is starting to get a little long in the tooth. I’m more impressed with the power conservation techniques than the actual graphical power.

    1. It’s more powerful than a 8800GTX, a $500 card back in 2008 and is still being used by many.

      1. That’s not true. A 8800 GTX — which came out in early 2007 — is way more capable/powerful than what a PS3 can offer.

        I was using a 9600 GT back in 2008 — which is ‘slower’ than a 8800 GTX — and the games I played on it, which had console counter parts and were not a total crap-port, ran substantially better than the console versions at a higher resolution and way higher detail settings; consoles are towardss the low end of the setting’s spectrum.

        Here’s one example:

        Resident Evil 5 on my PC running @ 1400 x 900 on near max-detail settings( 4x anti-aliasing vs 16x ), vertical sync on — averaged 55+ fps. Turning VSYNC off pushed my framerate up to an average of the high eighties.

        RE5 on the PS3 @ 1280 x 720 on a noticably lesser detail level and absolutely no anti-aliasing and no vsync — averages in the mid twenties;

        My PC at that time with a lesser GPU than the 880GTX ran circles around the PS3 and the XBox. I had to deal with lots of crap ports from developers that didn’t care, but even in those cases, the performance advantage on the PC helped to smooth things out.

        1. He’s saying Mobile Kepler is more powerful than the 8800gtx not that PS3 is more powerful than the 8800gtx. Look at the chart above.

          Point being, Mobile Kepler is awesome sounding!

          1. Thanks. I see that now. :)

  4. What will this do to that battery life though?

    1. help save it… did you not hear that it was running on only 2-3 watts vs 300+ on desktop.

      1. I didn’t HEAR anything at all. But thanks for the info

        1. np, it was in the video that it why i used the word hear, if you weren’t able to watch it due to work or whatever check it out later, its actually a decent quick teaser video showing the advantages of it on mobile

  5. GPU’s are the next mobile battleground.

    1. IMO, not until the battery technology evolves a lot more. Mobile Beast GPUs are already possible, but not in a form that makes the battery last a decent amount of time while in use. Tablet and Phones are different than Notebooks, because It’s way more absurd to keep a phone or tablet hooked to the outlet than a notebook.

  6. Going down from 250 Watts to 2-3 watts is incredible!

  7. I don’t believe them about battery life. Everyone always advertises how awesome the battery life of a phone will be with the new chips…

    1. actually showed the chips using as low as 900 milli watts when compared to 2 to 3 watts on the ipad 4.

  8. some pretty old devices on that chart by mobile standards, wonder where they would consider tegra 4 to place? I would say we are easily equal to PS3 if not surpassed it already (with Snap Dragon 800 + Adreno 330), the big thing is no ones making Android games with PS3 game budgets and developers dont like to push current superphones phones to their limits because they would exclude millions of older devices .

    Want a real life example? Look at the PS Vita.It runs on older phone hardware thats been well surpassed by now.

    1. the ps3 has about 176 gigaflofs of performance vs 96.8 gigaflofs of performance for tegra 4 fyi!
      Tegra 5 is capable of 400 gigaflofs but not at 2-3 watts.

  9. at this rate mobile performance will catch up with next generation of consoles mid life cycle lol.

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