Tag Archives: Nvidia

Nvidia Unveils The Tegra 4i – Quad-Core Cortex-A9 Clocked At 2.3GHz And 60 Cores GPU

Nvidia today announced a new addition to its Tegra family of mobile processors – the Tegra 4i. The Tegra 4i uses the same 4-plus-1 architecture that Nvidia used on the Tegra 3 and Tegra 4. However, the company has replaced the Cortex-A15 cores on the Tegra 4i with four Cortex-A9 cores clocked at 2.3GHz.

“NVIDIA is delivering for the first time a single, integrated processor that powers all the major functions of a smartphone,” said Phil Carmack, senior vice president of the Mobile business at NVIDIA. “Tegra 4i phones will provide amazing computing power, world-class phone capabilities, and exceptionally long battery life.”

On the GPU side, Nvidia has bumped the numbers of “cores” from 12 to a whopping 60. The T4i also boasts of the same Chimera camera technology that the Tegra 4 has. This allows the Tegra 4i to shoot and record videos in HDR in less than a second, and even capture HDR panoramas.

One advantage that the Tegra 4i will have over its faster sibling, Tegra 4, is an inbuilt i500 LTE modem. Nvidia showed off the Tegra 4i in its reference Android platform, the Phoenix, that sports a 5-inch 1080p display, 2GB of RAM and an 8/13MP camera sensor from Sony or Aptina.

Nvidia Tegra 4i powered Android smartphones and tablets should hit the retail shelves sometime in the second half of Q2, 2013.

 

Nvidia’s GeForce Experience Tool Optimizes Your Game Settings Automatically

Unless you are lucky (and rich) enough to own the latest Alienware, squeezing the best out of your rig on new games is an exercise in trial and error. Running latest games at maxed out settings will knock your fps (frames per second) down to single digits, but the preset quality modes often don’t do justice to your hardware. Getting the best possible combination of quality and performance often involves carefully balancing individual aspects like texture quality, reflection detail, and shadow quality.

Nvidia GeForce Experience is a new utility that strives to makes things a bit easier for gamers with a GeForce graphics card. The GeForce Experience software analyzes your system configuration and then recommends and applies the optimum configuration for recognized games. The GeForce Experience project maintains a cloud database of top games and their recommended configurations for various specifications. It can scan through your hard disk to detect installed games and their current settings. The Windows app clearly highlights the differences between your current settings and the recommended settings. It also explains the impact of some of the crucial settings with the help of images from the game.

GeForce-Experience

The GeForce Experience tool is currently in beta, and this shows. The tool picked up Max Payne and Team Fortress installations automatically. However, it missed Trine, Portal, Braid, and The Walking Dead. In its defense, none of these games are graphically demanding by today’s standards or they have simple configuration options. I have a hunch that the GeForce Experience uses the pre-existing GeForce guides, and is actually fairly restricted in terms of games available in its database. It also made a couple of questionable recommendations for Max Payne. It completely disregarded the native resolution and aspect ratio of my display, and it recommended turning off shadows completely. I accepted most of its recommendations and found them to be optimal, but changed the display resolution to match my AR, enabled shadows, and decreased the shader quality a notch (to compensate).

[ Download GeForce Experience Beta for Windows ]

First Look At Tegra 4’s Development Board Performance In GLBenchmark

If you follow the mobile industry closely, you will be pretty much aware of the fact that whatever GPU Apple uses in its iOS devices is usually the fastest, which is then followed by Samsung’s Exynos/ARM GPU. While Qualcomm GPU’s never really were top-performers, the release of Adreno 320 GPU with the S4 Pro SoC changed all that. The Adreno 320 gives tough competiton to the ARM GPU in Samsung’s Exynos SoC and even manages to beat Apple’s A6 SoC in some benchmarks.

Yesterday, when Nvidia unveiled the “world’s fastest mobile” SoC, Tegra 4, with quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU and 72 GPU cores, it boasted of the fact that its mobile SoC is faster than even Apple’s A6X SoC found inside the iPad 4. Given Nvidia’s past, I was skeptical about their marketing and I might just be right.

Thanks to some terrific investigation by an XDA member, Turbotab, we may have got our first look on how the Tegra 4 performs in real-world benchmarks or at least GLBenchmark. In an offscreen Egypt HD benchmark at 1080p resolution, Nvidia’s Tegra 4 based developer board managed around 32.6FPS, while the iPad 4 managed a whopping 49.6FPS.

Now, even if we consider that development boards are around 10-20% slower than the ‘retail’ units, the Tegra 4 will still end up playing catch up with the A6X inside the iPad 4.

It was earlier rumored that Nvidia will unveil the Tegra 4 with its new unified Kepler based GPU core, which is similar to its desktop GPUs. However, AnandTech has confirmed that Nvidia has not used Kepler GPU inside the Tegra 4.

Head over to this XDA thread to read about the stunning investigative work done by Turbotab. 

P.S. – All the above information may just turn out to be complete BS, but taking into consideration Nvidia’s past, I am highly doubtful about that. In Nvidia’s slides, the company presumably compared the quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU of Tegra 4 to Apple’s custom Swift cores, and may have intentionally left out the GPU part.

Nvidia Unveils Project Shield Handheld Gaming Console Powered By Tegra 4 With Steam Support

Tegra 4 was not the only thing that Nvidia unveiled at its event in CES 2013. The company also announced a new handheld gaming console — Project Shield — based on its Tegra 4 SoC with which the company aims to compete with the PS Vita, Nintento Wii and other gaming consoles.

Project Shield packs in a 5-inch 720p Retinal display with multi-touch display, Nvidia’s own Tegra 4 which consists of a quad-core Cortex-A15 and 72 GPU cores, along with a microSD card slot. The 5-inch display of Project Shield is integrated on the controller itself, which somewhat resembles Microsoft’s Xbox controller and features a calm-shell design.

On the battery front, Project Shield can provide gamers with up to 5 to 10 hours of battery life for gaming, and up to 24 hours for HD video playback.

The handheld gaming console runs on stock, pure, unadulterated version of Android along with the usual bunch of Google Apps including GMail and Play Store.

The killer feature of Shield is that users can stream their games from their PC to the console over Wi-Fi or Ethernet. They can then even stream the game to their HDTV and play it using the Shield as a controller. It will also provide Project Shield users access to the world’s largest PC gaming platform – Steam.

Even though the company had some live demo units on stage, it did not mention anything about its availability or pricing.

UPDATE: Nvidia says that Project Shield will be coming to the U.S and Canada sometime in Q2 of this year.

Nvidia Unveils The Fastest Mobile SoC – Tegra 4; Quad-Core Cortex-A15 And 72 GPU Cores

Today, Nvidia unveiled its next generation SoC at the CES 2013 in Las Vegas. The company released its successor to the quad-core Cortex-A9 based Tegra 3, the Tegra 4 codenamed Wayne. The Tegra 4 is Nvidia’s aim at offering an SoC that competes with the Exynos and other high-end SoCs directly.

The Tegra 4 packs in a quad-core Cortex-A15 which is accompanied by the company’s patented 5th core to save battery. The SoC is also based on the 28nm fabrication process that should greatly help in improving battery life compared to Tegra 3. On the GPU side, the Tegra 4 packs in a 72-core GPU which should provide at least 10x boost in gaming performance compared to its predecessor.

Nvidia has also worked on improving the imaging capabilities of its SoC, which the company calls “Nvidia Computational photography engine”. The new ISP allows Tegra 4 based devices to take HDR photos in realtime along with live HDR video recording.

The Tegra 4 will also be accompanied by a new i500 Icera modem from Nvidia. The only downside here is that there is no integrated LTE modem on the Tegra 4. This will lead to a higher manufacturing cost for the OEMs, and also higher power consumption. The company aims to release a Tegra 4 variant with integrated LTE modem sometime in the second half of this year.

Nvidia’s CEO also showed some live demo prototypes of Tegra 4 powered tablets, but did not comment as to when Tegra 4 equipped devices will hit the shelves.

Nvidia Tegra 4 Leaked, Features 72 GPU Cores

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 and Samsung’s Exynos might be the current champions of performance in the mobile arena; however, if leaked slides are to be believed, their reign might not last long. Nvidia’s Tegra 4 will be six times as powerful as the Tegra 3 and feature as many as 72 GPU cores.

Nvidia-Tegra-4

Tegra 4, which bears the superhero-themed codename Wayne, will use 28 nanometer process that is already being used by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and Apple’s A6X. The improved 28nm architecture should lower power consumption, but will require enhanced heat dissipation. Nvidia is also updating its mobile powerhouse to ARM’s Cortex-A15 design. The Tegra 4, will retain the quad-core CPU setup, with an additional power saving core. The chip will be capable of powering displays up to 2,560 x 1600, with 1080p output at 120Hz. The slide also mentions 4K or Ultra-HD (UHD) output. The other exciting development is the inclusion of support for USB 3.0, which should give a bump to read and write speeds.

If the leaked slide is accurate, then Nvidia will again jump to the front of the pack and raise the bar for mobile computing. We will know for sure within a couple of months it is almost certain that Nvidia will show off its newest creation at either the CES or the MWC.

After Sitting on a Vulnerability for a Month, Nvidia Finally Fixes Its GPU Driver

The relation between Nvidia and Linux worsens each day, as Linus Torvalds spills hatred for Nvidia publicly. He even went to the extent of uttering the f-word for Nvidia (with a finger gesture), in a public presentation. That should tell us enough, and it is a known fact that every Linux user has had bad experiences with Nvidia’s driver support for Linux, at some point of time.

nvidia

While Nvidia provides the best closed-source graphics driver as compared to AMD, it is not good enough. That is because; AMD provides better open-source graphics drivers and some acceptable documentation too. Nvidia only allows its proprietary driver to be reverse engineered as part of the Nouveau project. To make things worse, the Nvidia proprietary driver for Linux just earned fame that is even more notorious.

The proprietary graphics driver released by Nvidia had a serious security flaw, and it was reported to Nvidia more than a month ago. However, Nvidia decided to ignore the vulnerability completely and did not act upon it until someone went public with it. After a month, David Airlie, who is a well-known Linux developer, made the exploit public. It was then that Nvidia came out of its reluctance and decided to do something.

The vulnerability allowed root access, and it was blocked by denying user-space access to the registers which could be programmed to redirect the VGA window unwantedly. The vulnerability affected not only Linux x86 and x86_64 drivers, it also made FreeBSD and Solaris potentially vulnerable. Nvidia has released a new version of its driver for Unix- version 304.32, and patched older versions.

Nvidia Announces Five New Tegra 3 Optimized Games At E3; Completely Forgets About Tegra 2

Last night Nvidia kicked off its E3 event at the Los Angeles Convention Center by announcing five new games for Tegra 3 powered Android handsets. All the five games announced by Nvidia – Dead Trigger, Puddle THD, Demon’s Score THD, Bounty Arms, and Heroes Call – have been specifically optimized to take advantage of Nvidia’s latest quad-core SoC and provide a stunning and immersive graphics.

Dead Trigger comes from the maker of Shadowngun, and is a FPS (first-person shooter) where the user needs to survive by killing the zombies. The game will also be released for non-Tegra handsets, but the Tegra version will contain some exclusive effects like enhanced water, specular lighting, volumetric fog and ragdoll physics.

Puddle THD is an interesting game where the user needs to guide the water to a target through tilt controls, and is already available for Xbox and Playstation gaming consoles. The Tegra 3 version of the game will contain higher resolution texture, advanced fluid effects, better shadows and advanced physics effects.

Demons’ Score THD is based on EPIC Games’ Unreal Engine 3 to provide outstanding graphics and integrates break-beat action with music. The Tegra 3 version of the game will contain exclusive features like higher resolution texture, advanced bloom effects, rim lighting, dynamic shadows and depth-of-field effects.

Bounty Arms and Heroes Call will also have some Tegra 3 exclusive graphics effects, including co-op play, additional physics interaction and advanced particle effect. The former is a 3D side-scrolling action game, while the latter is an RPG.

Nvidia has not announced a release date for any of these games though, but is providing a hands-on demo of these games at its booth in E3. It is quite surprising to see Nvidia treat its own Tegra 2 SoC as a step-child, with absolutely no mention of the SoC in its blog post or any of the games optimized for it.

Nouveau Moves out of Staging, Releases Same-Day Driver for the First Time

The Nouveau project made two awesome announcements recently. While the first one was related to the latest Kepler chipset released by NVIDIA, the second one was about a long-term change in the project that will be appreciated by the entire FOSS and Linux community.

Recently, NVIDIA has released the GeForce GTX 680, the first NVIDIA GPU with the all-new Kepler architecture. As always, it was released with the official binary drivers.

Nouveau is a software project aiming to develop free software drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards, by reverse engineering NVIDIA’s current proprietary drivers for Linux.

Usually, work on Nouveau drivers starts once the binary drivers are out and available for update. This involves months of reverse engineering the binary drivers. However, to everyone’s surprise, Ben Skeggs from RedHat has managed to reverse engineer the binary driver and commit the reverse engineered code to the Nouveau DRM repository, hours after the launch of the official GPU. Effectively, this made Nouveau drivers available on the same day as the official GPU release.

Although the driver is a bit bland, it does the job nonetheless. This was a major breakthrough for the Nouveau project. Although NVIDIA does not officially support the Nouveau project, it allows this reverse engineering and the project has thrived on this very fact. However, this quick release has raised many questions and we cannot overlook the possibility of NVIDIA’s involvement in this release.

The second breakthrough is the state of the project. The Nouveau driver was a staging driver until now. It was considered stand-alone and was not merged with the mainline Linux kernel because of some technical reasons. Finally, the driver has moved out of staging. It has found a place in the mainline Linux kernel, and it will be available from Kernel version 3.4.

LG Optimus 4X HD Announced; Packs In a Quad-Core Tegra 3 Processor Clocked at 1.5Ghz

Companies generally reveal their greatest and latest handsets at the MWC every year. However, it looks like LG thinks otherwise. The company has announced a slew of handsets in the last 4 days, and has announced another one today – the Optimus 4X HD.

The Optimus 4X HD is the successor to the Optimus 2X, the world’s first dual-core phone, and comes with a, yeah you guessed it right, Nvidia’s Tegra 3 processor. All the four cores on the Tegra 3 SoC can run as high as up to 1.5GHz. The Optimus 4X HD is also pretty slim with a thickness of 8.9mm, and comes with a massive 4.7-inch IPS display with a 720p (1280×720) resolution. The phone still has capacitive keys, and not on-screen buttons like the Galaxy Nexus. The handset also packs in 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, and a microSD card slot.

All the usual connectivity features like SHSPA +21Mbps, GPS with A-GPS and the usual sensors are also present. At the back of the Optimus 4X is an 8MP snapper aided by an LED flash, and accompanied by a 1.3MP shooter in the front for video calling. Thankfully, LG has also packed in a massive 2150mAh batter inside the handset!

Also, the handset will be running on Ice Cream Sandwich with LG’s custom skin on top, to ruin the whole ICS experience. The company will announce more details about the Optimus 4X HD including its price and release date at MWC next week.

(Source)