opening-featureIf iOS is your sole outlet for gaming, you've been missing out on all the cool stuff Nvidia has been up to lately. In a nutshell, the Kepler chips they've been releasing lately scale ridiculously well, allowing similar versions of the same graphics processors to be used in everything from massive supercomputers to mobile devices. This time around, they're combining a 2.3Ghz quad core ARM Cortex A15 processor with a graphics processor packed with 192 Kepler-based cores. It's capable of pushing 4K video with "record levels of performance and battery life" through processor architecture wizardry that allows the K1 to automatically enable and disable cores based on load.

The Verge has a hands-on video of the new K1 in action, featuring a custom build of the Unreal Engine and a realtime face rendering demo. Check it out:

The Verge's takeaway from the facial animation demo was that "it's pretty ridiculous to think that it's all being done with a mobile chip," currently the K1 is being demonstrated inside of 7" tablets, and being a prototype and all it's difficult to say what kind of performance we'll see out of these chips once they've been sandwiched down into smartphones. Regardless, it's still cool seeing Nvidia push the performance envelope, as it undoubtedly means that Apple is going to similarly up the ante with the next revision of the A7 (Presumably, the A8) processor.

[via The Verge]

  • kowwok

    Now we wait for Apple to 1-up Nvidia by creating a chip that can build more cores on the fly; works for me.

  • Tomate Diseño

    I can't remember - was it an update to Freehand that was once meant to be so great that it skipped an entire version? Just cause - you know - it's a marketing stunt that I can see Apple pulling at some point, or at least when it gets to double figures they'll stop calling it the A11 and move on to C1… which of course will get a tad uncomfortable when it moves up to the C5.

  • famousringo

    Nvidia to ship a chip that maybe beats the A7 around the time Apple ships the A8. Golly.

    Nvidia's track record on ARM SoCs is unimpressive. Qualcomm is Apple's only close competitor here. Possibly Intel if they can maintain their process advantage and sacrifice their margins.

    • joaolx

      They always announce the "Best mobile processor" at CES every year but by the time it's released, which usually takes months, it'll be outdated. This happened with every single Tegra chip and nvidia is 100% ready for their marketing gimmicks. They say the GPU is a desktop-class GPU, when a couple of months ago they said that the ps4 and xbox one were underpowered compared to desktop pcs, but this chip is only on par with the ps3 and x360, underpowered compared to a decentlaptop nowadays. They also say it's capable of dx11 and physx but that will never work. So a ps3 probably doesn't have the horsepower to run the most of the dx11 features and physx but a mobile chip with reduced power usage for efficiency is capable? Either way dx11 only has tessellation compared to dx10. I would be more surprised if they completely supported OpenGL 4.

      • Thaurin

        DX11 has many more improvements over DX10, obviously, such as GPGPU support, better multi-core handling and Shader Model 5.0.

  • gsk

    ST-Ericsson is another company that were about to release a 3.0ghz chip named the - NovaThor L8580 (eQuad*) but later was cancelled. I wonder how it would've stacked up against this processor..

  • metalmandave83

    And I guess I'm the only one in the world that noticed all the frame rate drops when an actual game was being played? What good are the graphics if the gameplay is so choppy?

    • metalmandave83

      Nevermind, I see he addresses that in the video.

    • wermy

      This is pretty bleeding-edge stuff, give it some time for drivers to mature and I'm sure it could handle the game they showed just fine.

      • joaolx

        How is that pretty bleeding-edge stuff when the gun looks low quality with few polygons, almost zero tesselation in the environment(main dx11 feature that this system supposedly supports), not even decent shadows are casted from the spiders( just a big shadow, nothing else, no detail in them). There is almost no object in the environment and the game is lagging. There and no real physics going on or any pretty lighting effects and this is what they show? And they're comparing this to ps3 and xbox360 and saying it's faster but even those systems had launch titles like heavenly sword which looks awesome and i doubt this could run it. Most iOS/ Android games out there are a lot better than what they're showing.

      • wermy

        The hardware is bleeding edge, not the software. The chip hasn't even come out yet.

      • Falling Where

        If they're showcasing it now than at least show good test that are able to run well. Because usually benchmarks and demos to show the performance of a system, they show a lot better graphics and performance than you'll ever get when it releases.

      • sbnewsom

        This is CES not some apple convention.

      • ihd1234567890

        They're pushing the device past it's limits to show what it can REALLY do with some sacrifices. The test game is only a hastily made prototype so obviously they couldn't add the extra details.

    • joaolx

      Not only was it lagging but the demo was nothing impressive. They say they have all the physx and dx11 features that next gen systems are capable of when those spiders don't even have decent shadows, just a big soft shadow beneath them. And the texture quality is not very impressive, most games already released look a lot better with way more effects. The textures far way look bland, and the gun looks blocky and low quality with few polygons.

    • B3nlok

      Clearly Serious Sam is not optimized. Low end laptop gpus with less HP than Tegra K can easily handle at 30 fps. Besides the game was never a looker to begin with.

    • Brianwig

      I second your post, the choppy frame rate kinda kills it. I have a ton of respect for Nvidia but that was not the best demo to show. The face was more impressive to me!

  • imuddy

    Imo people dont buy ipods or iphone because it has the best specs. Tgey buy it cause of the apps n its from Apple. So i dont see how this is new or will affect ios users.

    • metalmandave83

      Some of us would like to see PC quality games cone to iOS, the problem isn't with graphics alone, it's with the economy.

  • Scary Guns

    Doesn't seem any different than my iPhone 5 default graphics.

  • speedyph


  • zergslayer69

    Very excited to see this in the next shield. Hope they up the screen size to 6" and have ppsspp run as close to 60fps as possible. Oh sorry wrong site, none of this has to do with ios. But hey, competition will push Apple to make more powerful chips, so that's something.

    • Boris Nguetie

      Competitors are already making 8 cores processors and apple still don't give a damn! Dude if you had seen the tegra 4 introdution and all technical stuff they said about it... And now when you see how it compare to the A6... It says a lot on this one.

      • joaolx

        Nvidia likes to talk every time they announce their chips but their outdated few months after that. And Apple has proven that number of cores or frequency don't mean a single thing in smartphone or tablets, specially when Android even after three updates that were supposed to improve performance still lags behind.

      • zergslayer69

        Not really sure how the A6 and tegra 4 compare. I'm assuming the A6 is better? But the biggest problem is having an OS that isn't tightly integrated with the hardware. iOs feels great because the OS and hardware are designed for each other while android devices are just off the shelf hardware with big numbers that hopefully works well with the operating system (android). Not only that, manufacturers slap on a bunch of crap that bogs down the OS. So maybe the hardware can live up to the spec sheets but is held back by the software.

        What am I even talking about? @_@

      • themostunclean

        Actually makes sense. This would be a nice announcement but it's only going to be used in an OS (android) that doesn't prioritize graphics. The imbalance between specs and actual performance in android is beginning to get ridiculous. It's like trying to lift a marble with a forklift.

        Plus android is still a shite ecosystem for gaming plagued with piracy, rip-offs, freemium and fakes.

      • zergslayer69

        Funny enough, everybody says android is plagued by piracy and stuff, but just for fun I tried looking for pirated apps on ios vs android, and for some reason android is quite a bit more difficult. Anyways, no need to do that since I own most of my games on ios and prefer to game on ipad.

        But anyways, as you mentioned, there's no focus on the android ecosystem. It's just "hey look, we can do this too and we have big numbers to back it up!" PPSSPP on the ipad air can do non buffered 60 fps in soul calibur, I can't say android devices can do the same (tested on note 10.1 2014 and xperia z ultra and note 2) even with their uber specs and almost one whole ghz faster than the A7.

      • Guest


  • Boris Nguetie

    When they released the tegra 3 they showed a table in the tegra 4 teasing that was placing it to about 20x as powerful as the tegra 3..... Which is about right ( when you take out the zero ), so yeah ... I think the A8 will double this performances. Demo tests means nothing to me. Also shocking how the few months old shield is already outdated.

    • joaolx

      Their Tegra 2/3/4 were outdated months after announced, and maybe a month or two after a smartphone/tablet with it released. This year gimmicks and such won't save it from being outdated again.

      • apolloa

        The iPhone 4 CPU was incredibly outdated even when it was launched, just so you know.

  • rewind

    Eventually Apple will probably reach a dead end for how compact a mobile processor can get.

  • sabre31

    Not sure why all the hate for Nvidia on here. Also nobody knows how A8 will be and Qualcomm has the 805 out which is good also. I have shield and all apple devices and android. From a phone perspective I will take android any day I want to customize and make my phone my phone. From tablet I prefer ipad for now. However apple has all the games if that changed and android had all the games most of you all would be jumping on the android band wagon and praising google. Both products are good and android market is gaining a lot of speed. Competition is good for all and if true what Nvidia says about the CPU then yeah it smokes A7 for now.

    • darkcrayon

      It doesn't smoke anything until it's in a shipping product...

      • sabre31

        True and this is where companies like Nvidia need to take lesson from Apple. They are only company that announce a product and ship it within a few weeks or less. If Nvidia sits on this for 6 months then it's a fail on their part.

  • Ultima12

    This is so exciting. I can't wait to see what tablet games will be like in a couple years!

  • B3nlok

    Nice to see TA opening up space to talk about the "other side". Nvidia stepping up their game is good for everybody. It will put pressure on Apple to go all out and stop deliberately holding back performance of their AX chips, because the last thing they want is to see people migrating to Android because of better gaming performance.

    • greatnoob

      Apple has always been in the Bleeding edge when it comes to mobile graphics if you didn't know. The A5 smoked 2 Android generations and it was only surpassed by the S4 (which was already rivaling the unreleased A6 at that time)! Yes not even the S3 could touch it!

  • Kozio235

    What was that controller???

  • NinjaKitteh

    Everything hardware related is outdated in four months, that's pretty much industry standard at this point. From desktops down to mobile. It's still an amazing piece of tech from a computer science standpoint. And yes, even Apple's tech is old by four months. I'm sure the big A has had their next chip ready since before the 5s even came out.

  • Fade to Slack

    That's fine, but my Nexus 7 never truly compared to my iPhone 5. Is it the mobile processor or the operating system to blame? Real Racing 3 was choppy and didn't even render the mirrors on it.

    • zergslayer69

      I blame it on the OS. Android is like windows, they just take a bunch of parts and put it together and then throw an OS on top. As an added bonus, you get a ton of crap you can't delete unless you root and void warranty. While for apple, everything is created with everything else in mind. This is coming from a note 2 owner, love the phone but I sure wish iphones had a bigger screen so I can go back.

      • Satan's Taint

        Those apps are from Samsung, not Android, you dolt. Go back to Apple, you fanboys are too retarded to use Android. Stick with the walled garden toy OS.

  • Satan's Taint

    Apple fanboys prove again they know nothing about Android and too dumb to understand anything.