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nVidia Preview 'Tegra' MID Platform

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the fits-in-the-something-of-your-something dept.

Portables 117

wild_berry writes "nVidia have previewed their Mobile Internet Device platform which will be officially unveiled at Computex in the next few days. The platform features CPU's named Tegra paired with nVidia chipset and graphics technology. Tegra is a system-on-a-chip featuring an ARM 11 core and nVidia's graphics technologies permitting 1080p HiDef television decode and OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics. Engadget's page has more details, such as the low expected price ($199-249), huge battery life (up to 130 hours audio/30 hours HD video) and enough graphics power to render Quake3 anti-aliased at 40FPS."

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117 comments

Imagine a Beowulf-Cluster... (3, Interesting)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627307)

But seriously, this sounds interesting. If they actually manage to pull it off, this might actually make TV on the go a real possibility (compared to strain your neck trying to watch Sex and the City on your phone...).

Now the only question is, how heavy is the battery to allow for such a long lasting device. You can't tell me it actually is this efficient, if it boasts that kind of computational power.

Re:Imagine a Beowulf-Cluster... (2, Interesting)

YourMotherCalled (888364) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627453)

Now the only question is, how heavy is the battery to allow for such a long lasting device. You can't tell me it actually is this efficient, if it boasts that kind of computational power.
There are two options:

1. A giant battery that you wear on your back.
2. A regular sized battery because the marketing goons aren't talking about running an entire device, just the nVidia portion of it. When you add all the other functions (WiFi, cellular, screen backlight, etc.) the runtime will drop dramatically.

Re:Imagine a Beowulf-Cluster... (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627555)

Heh... Odds are, it's got the same performance profile in that regard, to the OMAP3 devices. And they're delivering that sort of muscle to the prototypes we're seeing from those devices- with estimated 10 hour operating times on a charge.

Re:Imagine a Beowulf-Cluster... (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627731)

"(compared to strain your neck trying to watch Sex and the City on your phone...)."

Yeah, I hate it when that happens. Not that those are the two things I hate most in the world or anything.

Re:Imagine a Beowulf-Cluster... (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627779)

The CPU is one of the Cortex MPCores. Other devices with these IP cores at their heart use under 250mW (compared to 2-5W for Intel's 'low power' offerings). The GPU is likely to use more power when in heavy use, but I'd expect it to scale back well. For reference, the iPhone's GPU is almost identical to the 3D chip found in the Dreamcast, which got similar Quake 3 performance (note they don't specify a resolution for this).

Re:Imagine a Beowulf-Cluster... (1)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23633029)

Dreamcast was Reneases with a PowerVR chip, iPhone is some bastard child Samsung ARM that i was told was doing CPU graphics... nope looks to be PowerVR. Ok, both PowerVR graphics, totally different cpu's though.

Re:Imagine a Beowulf-Cluster... (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628647)

LCD backlight or OLED probably consumes the biggest slice of power anyways. Playing a movie using hardware acceleration and flash media is not that much of a power hog (compared to worse case).

Re:Imagine a Beowulf-Cluster... (1)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23633125)

No.

Close the lid. Does your computer last twice as long? No. I suggest before you shout your mouth off you attempt to gain some grounding in the topic. For starters, try:

watch -n1 cat /proc/acpi/battery/CMB1/state

With an absolute mizer of a cpu, a Crusoe 800, I go from 850ma to 550ma from the display. The reason the backlight is a 50% power hit is because the cpu is sucking almost nothing in the first place.

With LED backlighting or OLED the effect would be less pronounced.

The reason you dont notice movie cpu drain is because you are used to x86 cpus, which drain a lot of power whether you do anything with them or not. Thus some cycles spend on video decoding dont penalize your power consumption too much more. On a cpu like ARM, you would see very clear power differences between 60% cpu use v. 5% cpu use + hardware accel, as the CPU will basically be completely turned off 95% of the time (and all that time off will translate directly to power savings).

Re:Imagine a Beowulf-Cluster... (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635007)

The reason you dont notice movie cpu drain is because you are used to x86 cpus
Actually I am an MX31 person (ARM1136).

Your numbers don't match up with mine, sounds like you're shooting from the hip.

I was at least polite enough to speak in very general terms and use qualifiers.

Re:Imagine a Beowulf-Cluster... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23629999)

(compared to strain your neck trying to watch Sex and the City on your phone...)
Yeah, that's right. I too hate when I strain my "neck" while watching Sex and the City.

Media player. (0, Offtopic)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627343)

I'd be interested to know if it will support Ogg format music files.

Somehow, I doubt it though.

Re:Media player. (-1, Troll)

ribasushi (1264638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627539)

I'd be interested to know if it will support Ogg format music files.
Who gives a shit?

Re:Media player. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23628455)

I give a shit.

Re:Media player. (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627601)

Is that an auto-generated comment? Are you a bot?

The article is about a new processor for mobile devices. Asking if it supports ogg is like asking if your ethernet cable supports MP3.

Re:Media player. (3, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627735)

The article is about a new processor for mobile devices. Asking if it supports ogg is like asking if your ethernet cable supports MP3.

How can I tell if it supports mp3? I looked at the printing on the side of the cable and didn't see anything about mp3? Does that mean I can't download mp3s with this cable? Where can I get an mp3 ethernet cable?

(Sorry, been spending too much time over at AVS Forum, where questions like this are asked daily and in all earnestness.)

Re:Media player. (5, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629875)

I can sell you an isotopically pure copper Ethernet cable which I have personally tested for warm sound when streaming MP3s.

Normal price, $100 per foot. But I have a 50% discount for AVS Forum posters. And special this month I'll throw in an ethernet cable impedance tester to tell you when you need to replace your cables due to oxidation.

Re:Media player. (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630245)

50% off, eh? Sounds like a bargain!

What's funny is reading the posts of some of those richer-than-FSM types that frequent there. Other people instantly defer to them on subjects it's clear they know very little about. I mean, since they can afford to spend way too much money on a hobby, they clearly have intimate knowledge of the tech behind it, right? : p I'm not saying I'm an A/V genius (though I also don't try to present myself as one), but I can easily spot someone who's just rehashing the made up BS that was told to him by the salesguy that just sold him his isotopically pure copper ethernet cable at a 5000% markup...

Re:Media player. (1)

benhattman (1258918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23634381)

What's funny is reading the posts of some of those richer-than-FSM types that frequent there.
FSM...Freaking Super Man? You expect me to believe these people are richer-than-freaking-superman?

Re:Media player. (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 6 years ago | (#23632195)

And special this month I'll throw in an ethernet cable impedance tester to tell you when you need to replace your cables due to oxidation.

Will that work with nuclear as well as hydro-powered oxidation? I've heard that oxidation from nuclear power is much drier than hydro power, so rust doesn't form as easily, but oxidation happens twice as fast.

Also, is there a website, or maybe a newsletter somewhere, that will tell me what kind of power I get at home? My address is: 513 Maple St.

Thanks!

Re:Media player. (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23634673)

And special this month I'll throw in an ethernet cable impedance tester to tell you when you need to replace your cables due to oxidation.


Will that work with nuclear as well as hydro-powered oxidation? I've heard that oxidation from nuclear power is much drier than hydro power, so rust doesn't form as easily, but oxidation happens twice as fast.

Thanks!

Holy shit. I love the idea of selling audiophiles electricity from the right sort of power station.

You know, back when I was young and foolish I'd hear about engineering projects where customers had asked for all sorts of strange features. And I'd explain at nauseam to anyone who'd listen how those features were pointless and messed up the original design. But now I just regard that sort of thing as a business opportunity. I mean, I like hacking stuff to do things it wasn't orginally meant to do. And I get paid to do it. And they want the features.

Re:Media player. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23634561)

I'll take two.

Re:Media player. (2, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627605)

All it'll take is a Linux derived version of the thing- considering that most OGG players are software based, all it'll take is an ARM Linux distribution and the source will be quickly ported from the Maemo or Ubuntu Mobile trees if needed (not that this will be the case...).

Yer! ARM laptop (5, Insightful)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627349)

I've been waiting for ARM laptop thing. Real battery life! Why do I need x86 compatibility? Give me battery life every time.

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (3, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627585)

x86 compat is less important for us slashdotter types because we can compile the vast majority of software that we use from sources for whatever platform (bsd, linux) and architecture (x86, arm, sparc) we're usuing.

The people who expect to be able to buy software to run on hardware that they also bought -- they might care -- just a little bit -- I would imagine.

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627797)

Maybe but maybe not.
Most smart phones don't use WindowsXP "I don't know of any that use an X86" and people do buy software for those.
If used a good Linux distro and then provided repositories than you would have your software.
A software package system that worked like iTunes would be an Ideal system.
Provide lost of free and pay software from an easy to use online store and you would have a great business model. Steam shows that it already works for games.
It should work just fine for this as well.
Of course this chipset could also be the heart of a new iPhone/iPod Touch as well.

OLPC: even MORE of a failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23633931)

It's amazing- so much innovation for such a small amount of money... and here St. Nic and the OLPC crew are trying to pedal tech that was outdated at least ten years ago.

But as everyone, even people who used to work for OLPC, keep saying... OLPC was never meant to succeed. It was always just another high profile scam, run by hardcore conservatives, and meant to steal money from people and countries who don't have any money to begin with... and are thus less likely to seek redress for being defrauded. "Greed is Good", the conservative mantra.

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627817)

And yet close to 100% of these people are quite happy with their mobile phone, which probably has at least a 200MHz ARM CPU, get upgraded four times as often as their PC, spends more time being interacted with by them than their PC, and doesn't contain an x86 chip or (for 93%) run Windows.

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627887)

But OP specifically was talking about laoptops, not phones. For phones, yes -- people understand you have to get whatever it is for that specific device.

There's a difference (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628893)

Well, the difference is that they don't use the mobile phone as a PC. It's an appliance. Same as a fridge, or a DVD player, or a TV, or their fixed landline phone. If it does its job, why would you care if your fridge has an x86 in it? Most "normal" people I know don't really do much more than phone on their mobiles and sell the occasional SMS. Very few even realize that they could run any other program on those, much less actually download one, so compatibility doesn't play a role. But I dare say that with a laptop, the expectations are a bit different. People start having these ideas like "can I open the .xls file my boss sent me?" or "can I edit photos on it?" Right before, "ugh, why can't I just use Excel, which I already know how to use?" or respectively, "whoever designed the interface of Gimp should be anal raped with a porcupine. Why can't I use my usual editor?" And that's when compatibility starts to matter. Not by itself, but by having access to the same software.

Re:There's a difference (1)

vosester (1163269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631841)

Gimp,Anal rape?
That one hell of a Freudian slip

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23628853)

Now, let's wait until Nvidia releases the documentation for a proper open source support. Still waiting...waiting... Oh, a major competitor took the glory (and had drivers that work).

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (5, Interesting)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627591)

Yes, looks like a new round in the CISC (now represented by Intel Atom) vs. RISC (now represented by Tegra) flame war. Ars Teechnica had an interesting article [arstechnica.com] about the new relevance of the differences of the two architectures two weeks ago.

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (1)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628313)

I'm not sure it will be history repeating because size and power matter more in these devices then in the desktop. It will be hard for x86 machines to win out on price, size and power over ARM. They are paying a heavy price for x86, all for compatibility I really don't think we need.

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (2, Interesting)

Scootin159 (557129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627635)

Interesting that they say it has 'enough graphics power to render Quake 3 @ 40fps'... does Quake 3 actually run on any non win/x86 platform?

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (3, Informative)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627673)

The Quake 3 source is released under the GPL, so yes. :)

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627847)

The real question is, at which resolution? Because 40 FPS @ 320x240 isn't that useful...

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (4, Funny)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627913)

Also, proper Quake 3 requires 125fps

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (2, Funny)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23633673)

That's alright, I stocked up on blue LEDs the other day, I'm guaranteed over 9000 FPS.

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23632551)

It's 800x480.

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (1)

dook43 (660162) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627931)

Q3 has been out for Linux since close to day 1. Now that the source has been released, I'm sure people have ported it to other arches. However, you will not be able to connect to any servers because PunkBuster is a binary/X86 only piece of software.

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (2, Funny)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628115)

Nevermind Quake3, This sounds like it could run World of Warcraft(a special Arm version, of course). Combine this with an EVDO card and I'm set!!

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631099)

Finally all the WoW addicts can get some sunlight!

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630097)

Well, there was the Linux/x86 version. The Mac (OS and OS X)PPC version, the Dreamcast and PS2 ports. And as others have mentioned, the source for the game is GPL'd so as long as you have the horsepower to run the game, a port could be made to just about any hardware.

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23627669)

Amen! Remember RISC people?

Re:Yer! ARM laptop (1)

thue (121682) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628281)

You can already buy a cheap ARM laptop here [bestlinkeshop.com] .

Acorn A4 1992 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23630919)

Sixteen years ago there was a first ARM laptop. Running Risc Os but without any doubt some could boot with BSD if the owners were masochists.

Worth waiting for... (4, Interesting)

LinuxGeek (6139) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627411)

I almost bought an Asus EEE pc this weekend, this is worth waiting to see how it is implemented in consumer devices. Give me a small laptop type that can run linux and I'll buy one or two. Heck, 30 or 40 hours would be enough battery time, don't need 100.

Re:Worth waiting for... (1)

ooze (307871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628421)

Been waiting for something like this for years too. But considering nVidia's history, I don't think we will get proper linux drivers for this.

pretty silly (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630699)

If this thing isn't going to run Linux, then I don't know what it is going to run. Certainly not the 'nearly free', stripped down Windows XP for cheap portables.

nVidia would be pretty silly to build this thing and not to provide a proper driver for the only OS it'll probably work under. Of course, if this thing takes off, Microsoft probably will come out with a 'mini XP for ARM-based cheap portables'. But nVidia's got to feed the Linux chicken in order to lay that particular egg...

Re:pretty silly (1)

ooze (307871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631987)

They already said, the bigger version is supposed to run under Windows CE, and nothing else planned so far.

Re:Worth waiting for... (5, Informative)

freedumb2000 (966222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628675)

Then have a look at this little machine: http://openpandora.org/ [openpandora.org]

Re:Worth waiting for... (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631773)

It's a trap - don't openpandora.box!

Re:Worth waiting for... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629193)

Even 30 is far more than I need. As long as it lasts longer than I stay away, and charges in less time than I sleep, it's fine unless I'm away from the mains for more than a day, and it's rare for this to happen at times when I want a computer with me.

Re:Worth waiting for... (1)

corychristison (951993) | more than 6 years ago | (#23633885)

Heck, 30 or 40 hours would be enough battery time, don't need 100.
10 would be fine for most people. Most I have seen was a 9 cell li-po pack that got 5 on some brand name machine (don't remember which -- probably HP or Sony)

Closed :( (0, Troll)

bsdphx (987649) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627419)

Too bad this comes from nVidia, who is hostile to open source. If it were someone else we might at least hope to get specs. Oh, well...

Re:Closed :( (1)

DingerX (847589) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627553)

It does look really cool, and has great specs, but Windows CE? Think agile here. The CE platform not only builds in a couple years of lag, it also incorporates those internal Microsoft turf "discussions" to ensure this Windows product doesn't compete with others.

Re:Closed :( (-1, Flamebait)

ribasushi (1264638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627579)

Too bad this comes from nVidia, who is hostile to open source.
Who gives a shit? (2)

Re:Closed :( (4, Insightful)

LuxMaker (996734) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627725)

Who gives a shit? (2)


Over half the slashdotters here maybe?
Open source of course allows for more flexibility as well as a review for vulnerabilities.

Re:Closed :( (1)

bsdphx (987649) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628123)

Too bad this comes from nVidia, who is hostile to open source.
Who gives a shit? (2)
If you want to run the operating system and software of your own choice then YOU should. If you're happy with what's bundled and you don't care otherwise then that's fine for you, but it's not good enough for me.

Re:Closed :( (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628467)

Who gives a shit? (2)
From what I've seen, pretty much anyone who's already run Windows CE (or whatever it's called nowadays) on their little gadgets.
None of them seemed that eager to repeat the experiment. Admittedly, the consensus was that : 1. it had gotten quite a bit better and 2. it still didn't work properly.

YMMV though I guess.

Re:Closed :( (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628773)

I'd say Windows Mobile is approximately 18 bajillion gazillion manillion times better than PalmOS, much less the bullshit you get from whatever-seemingly-custom-OSes-Verizon-puts-on-phones-and-some-PDAs.

Seriously, aside from possibly Android, I won't be changing away from WinMo any time in the forseeable future, if ever.

Sounds like the same advertising from the EEE... (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627425)

When I heard that a company was making an inexpensive computer with great battery life, adequete performance and it was going to be 'ultra portable', I was so happy! ... then they released it and it was more expensive than originally planned, and not quite as robust.

... and now nVidia is going to do the same thing to me.

Re:Sounds like the same advertising from the EEE.. (4, Interesting)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627581)

Patience...

Pandora [openpandora.org] comes...and it is looking like it's going to largely deliver on the "promises" it makes.

Re:Sounds like the same advertising from the EEE.. (3, Interesting)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629317)

Except Pandora promises at best a third the battery life. Then again, Pandora is due out very soon, and reading about both it sounds like Pandora is the type of machine nVidia would expect Tegra to be used in.

ffdshow or VLC at 1080p? (1)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627523)

If it can run ffdshow or VLC at 1080p then we're talking something special.

Nope, it's nVidia we talking about (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628259)

If it can run ffdshow or VLC at 1080p then we're talking something special.
Read again. The chip is made by nVidia. You can pretty much be sure that the decoding capability will be handled in BLOB.

At best, maybe they'll put some hooks in ffmpeg's library (or directly in VLC as an alternate engine) to call their BLOB to handle the accelerated decoding.

At worst you'll have to use a binary only nVidia-specific player. And given that the ARM+nVidia platform isn't going to be very popular fact, probably not a lot people are going to reverse engineer it (ala "Nouveau" project) - expect if their ARM stack is exactly the same as their x86 and thus the work could harness what's already been done by Nouveau.

But the whole thing is going to be opaque.

Re:Nope, it's nVidia we talking about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23629069)

At worst you'll have to use a binary only nVidia-specific player.
... you mean, they could build in the DRM? ...

Well, I'm out.

Vista (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627525)

I read an article about the Atom platform, which competes in this space. Apparently only the most powerful version of Atom would have enough oomph to run Vista, so can this nVidia MID handle it acceptably? (I know, the review mentioned it runs Windows Mobile, but I'm curious.)

Re:Vista (4, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627661)

Short answer: no.

Atom is x86 based (I think) whereas this is ARM-based. Vista isn't even ARM compatible.

Re:Vista (3, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627743)

Vista doesn't have an ARM version, you'll have to stick with Windows mobile for now.
However, TFA states (that's right, I actually read it) that nVidia is open to running other platforms, not just windows CE, so if enough interest is generated, they MIGHT actually have Linux running on it.
It's a chipset, though, not a device or anything so ultimately it would be up to the mobile manufacturers to decide what happens, providing nVidia has support for it.

Re:Vista (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631221)

The biggest problem with windows mobile, is that it isn't actually windows... It is a completely different kernel, with a userland and interface that only has some similarities...
Thus, even if more windows software had source code, you still couldn't recompile most of it to run. It's only windows by name.
As phones become more powerful, they are more than capable of running software that would have run on a desktop system just a few years ago... And just look at how much has been ported to the iphone, so quickly, with an unofficial SDK, simply because it's OS is so similar to desktop OSX and other unixes...
A program i wrote several years ago for Solaris compiled without modifications on the iphone.

Re:Vista (1)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23633185)

A large amount of .NET programs will "just run" on Windows CE.

Re:Vista (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627853)

They aren't even in close to the same space. This is not x86, so won't run Windows. It is in the (well) under 500mW power bracket, while the Atom uses 2W idle and needs a very power-hungry northbridge. Intel are trying to tell everyone that Atom is competitive with ARM, but it's still an entire order of magnitude more power hungry for similar performance at the moment. The 'ten times less power than our competition' dig on the nVidia site is aimed directly at Intel.

Re:Vista (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628359)

Nope. You can run Vista on any Atom, obviously some of the features will have to be disabled when running on the lower-level CPUs, but it's more than possible.

But Will It Run Linux? (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627527)

I'd certainly be willing to offer my meager talents to the effort for THAT kind of battery life. Will an ITIL metrics slide help? :/

Re:But Will It Run Linux? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23629307)

we had them in for a demo, and they were pretty much emphatic that they will not support Linux on this part. Compared to the similar parts from TI and Freescale, that pretty much made it an non-starter for us.

Stick that in the next... (1, Interesting)

saha (615847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627533)

iPhone 3.0. Actually the current iPhone uses Power VR MBX and the new one is rumored to be using the Power VR SGX graphics. The Power VR VXD video IP core can supposedly "supports 1080p H.264 Main/High Profile decoding, as well as VC-1 and a variety of other standards" http://www.beyond3d.com/content/news/638 [beyond3d.com] http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/04/30/apples_bionic_arm_to_muscle_advanced_gaming_graphics_into_iphones.html [appleinsider.com]

Re:Stick that in the next... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23627733)

Congratulations, you are the first apple fanboy who tries to steal the thread with your MacRumors about the iPhone.

PowerVR vs. nVidia (2, Interesting)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628417)

The PowerVR vs. nVidia comparison is approximately the same as the ARM vs. Intel Atom.

nVidia are producing classical graphic cores.

PowerVR are employing specific techniques (Tile-Based Deferred rendering) which enable them to cram the same performance using a lot less transistors and running at lower clocks.

The nVidia SoC is probably more targeted toward sub-notebooks, big multimedia PDAs (As a example, the TapWave Zodiac was based on an ARM and an ATI Imageon running PalmOS 5) and small internet-enabled appliances.

Smart Phone will probably use whatever is less power hungry and go for PowerVR's designs.

Re:PowerVR vs. nVidia (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23629603)

Tile-based architectures start running into instruction-fetch issues for long shaders on complex scenes (shaders can be kilobytes each, and each tile has to fetch all of the shaders that end up visible in that tile). A "classical" architecture with agressive Z culling will beat the pants off a tiler (and CSAA drops the multisampling bandwidth down into the noise). I'm not sure where you think they're getting away with less transistors for a tiler either, there's a whole binning engine (and the associated bandwidth) which a classical architecture doesn't have.

...on a phone.... (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23632139)

Smart Phone will probably use whatever is less power hungry and go for PowerVR's designs.
Tile-based architectures start running into instruction-fetch issues for long shaders on complex scenes (shaders can be kilobytes each, and each tile has to fetch all of the shaders that end up visible in that tile).
Excuse me ? On a *PHONE* ?
I'm pretty much sure that you can't play Crysis on a Tiler, unless you make the tiler so much over-complicated that it looses its advantage over classical architecture...
BUT, common, I'm speaking about *SmartPhone*. Nobody's going to play Crysis or anything that has more than a couple of kilobytes worth of shader code on a 320x240 resolution that fits in you pocket.

Besides, this kind of situation isn't very likely to happen any way because :

- Even on the desktop you won't encounter lots of kilobyte long shader for the simple reason that there are currently a lot of video boards on current gamers' machine that won't be able to handle such long shaders and will abort execution or even fail to compile them.

Even today, when both major player have already 2 generations of DX10-compatible hardware (GeFroce 8x00/9x00 and Radeon HD2x00 and HD3x00) and there's even a third one comming into the pipeline (HD4x00 will hit market soon), even PowerVR has a DX10.1 compatible chip. But lots of players are still having GeForce 6x00 or 7x00 or Radeon X series in their computer. Thus most game only have optional DX10 support or even separate patches.

- Also the main caracteristic that enable TBR is that chip have huge onchip memory (for tiles and for texture cache). This already takes several kilobyte of on chip memory. A couple of kilobytes more to cache the shaders isn't an issue.
Current limitations on shader for this chips are more due to the chip being lighter to have lower thermal and power limitation, and lack of usefulness on the small screen than technical limitations.

I'm not sure where you think they're getting away with less transistors for a tiler either, there's a whole binning engine (and the associated bandwidth) which a classical architecture doesn't have.
This idea is based on comparative transistor count back at the time of the Kyros. Of course since then, on big graphic card, the shader complexity has drastically increased. But then again, as I've said, I'm talking about phones. Nobody is going to put a GeForce 9800 inside a phone. Nobody except Intel's Larrabee engineers are thinking about running GPGPU on a smartphone.

By the way, binning can partly be done by the driver, and doesn't necessarily need expensive hardware.

Re:...on a phone.... (3, Insightful)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23633273)

you manage to miss every relevant point in the book in a very long elaboration of the status quo.

nvidia and amd and every consumer electronics company in the world are doing their damnedest to break that status quo and make your phone and everything else a capable all purpose platform. this nvidia chip can go in mobile phones, but its got a video engine capable of 1680x1050. why is that? because ~~***YOUR PHONE***~~ needs that display? good god no. the point is, we're seeing new embedded devices we expect to function in dual roles of a) phone and b) computer replacement.

long shaders let you do tasks like indirection in ways unfathomable for simpler setups. this in turn lets you run more application code in gpgpu land. this lets you save power. even if you disavow the use of it, i fail to understand how anyone could claim the lack of the feature is a good thing. it requires more advanced caching / buffering, but that should not be a dealbreaker. especially when we start loading our chips with massive onboard caches -- a secret well loved by the gamecube for example.

Quake 3 (5, Funny)

ELTaNiN (1297561) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627815)

May it run Doom instead?

Re:Quake 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23628139)

omg doom @ 40 fps! super! :DD

Re:Quake 3 (1)

bbk (33798) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628831)

Considering that you could get 40FPS at phone-class resolutions (640x480) in Quake 3 from a ~300Mhz PC with a Voodoo 2 around 10 years ago, it isn't all that impressive.

Re:Quake 3 (1)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23633295)

i think you'd have to use pretty mediocre quality settings to get that fps on a voodoo2. i went straight to geforce 1 sdr, and my dual 566mhz celeron bp6 still got slowdown on reasonable settings at 800x600.

Re:Quake 3 (1)

randyest (589159) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631301)

Nope, just Quake 3. Quake 3 is embedded in the hardware -- it's a dedicated Q3-ASIC. That's how they got that performance and power; it's simply not a general-purpose computer ;)

Quake3 anti-aliased at 40FPS (1, Interesting)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628137)

enough graphics power to render Quake3 anti-aliased at 40FPS

Sounds like an interesting toy, but aren't we twisting the measurements a bit here? Quake 3 came out in 1999. Any modern graphic chip has the graphics power to render Q4 at much faster than 40 FPS. Of course, there's the important question of "do you have the computing power behind the graphics power to make the game playable without lag or stutter on anything but a non-trivial map?", as is "do you have the system resources to get a new map started and get into the game before the other players all have multiple frags ahead of you?". And perhaps the most important question is "at what resolution?". Talking about playing a game anti-aliased at 40FPS but not saying what resolution you are playing at is completely meaningless. While this hardware may be able to 1080p HiDef video, there is an awful good chance that that lame benchmark "spec" is based on a much lower resolution.

I sure hope that this doesn't lead to further hype and dumbing down of video specs. Look for new graphic chips that can run Wolfenstein at 1692 fps or Pong at 31500 fps anti-aliased.

Re:Quake3 anti-aliased at 40FPS (4, Interesting)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628273)

Sounds like an interesting toy, but aren't we twisting the measurements a bit here? Quake 3 came out in 1999. Any modern graphic chip has the graphics power to render Q4 at much faster than 40 FPS.
You are missing the point. It's not as much about how fast it can run Quake 3, but rather that it is capable of doing so reasonably well. You cannot compare it to modern graphics engines simply because this is a processor that promises to deliver reasonable performance at incredibly low voltages.

As for the resolution, I agree that it's rather strange that they left out the details on this, but we can assume that it's going to be something like 640x400, which is still very impressive.

Re:Quake3 anti-aliased at 40FPS (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23629433)

It's at 800x480, and the Quake3 port was a quick hack to test the chip, not a serious performance-tuned effort (i.e. it isn't using the vertex shaders at all, and the pixel shaders are using a very crude translation scheme from Q3's shader language). I'm fairly sure I could get a tuned port to run 100's of frames/sec on the same hardware. More modern games (Doom3/Quake4) would actually run better, but we didn't have the source to play with (and the game datasets are probably a bit large for the platform).

Re:Quake3 anti-aliased at 40FPS (2, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631101)

A networkable quake3 that you can play over wifi with random people on the train would be fun.
Infact, a phone with enough power to play good multiplayer games, wifi, the ability to auto detect other devices within range, and most importantly the ability to remote boot games from other users (so you dont need to rely on finding people with the same games) would be awesome...
Just imagine the commute to work, and finding random other people on the train to play games with.

ability to remote boot games (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 6 years ago | (#23633721)

...ability to remote boot games from other users (so you dont need to rely on finding people with the same games)...

In a perfect world this might be interesting. In the real world, if you build such a platform, I can assure you that some script kiddy is going to play games with your system that you will not like.

Ob (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23628307)

Does it run linux, does it blend, in Soviet Russia a beowulf cluster of their new overlords welcomes ME!!!!

More details (5, Informative)

Meorah (308102) | more than 6 years ago | (#23628565)

for those who actually enjoy RTFA'ing and want a bit more comprehensive info than a BBC fluff piece, nvidia's marketing page, and some pretty vids on engadget:

http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/37729/135 [tgdaily.com]

The APX 2500 is far more interesting to me than the 600/650. Qualcomm and Broadcom better watch their backs.

wow, that raises the bar a bit. (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629225)

I will definitely be getting one of these tegra powered devices.

Hopefully, a phone. And, hopefully it won't cost $400.

really, a smart phone with that chipset should only cost about $200.

with 1080p tv/video and gaming.

Does it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23629255)


Does it?

Wrong caps (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23629325)

It's NVIDIA now, not nVidia. It's been that way for a year or two.

Stationary But With Linux Drivers (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23630355)

I don't need mobile TV. What I need is a few cheap, reliable, fanless, low power media terminals to stream HD video date from my Gbps LAN server, convert it into 1080p HDMI/DVI for my big TVs.

So what I need is some Tegra PCs with minimal HW (maybe a DVD/Blu-Ray player, but no floppy, modem, or really even a HD - just 8GB Flash and PXE boot) that's mainly LAN and HDMI/DVI connections, running Linux, and full-featured Linux drivers. Preferably open-source drivers that we can tweak to work right, but which get full performance from the HW.

Or... (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23631031)

Perhaps this technology could be used to produce a very small quiet and low power consuming mythtv box...The noise of my current system can be annoying when trying to watch a movie, but i didn't want to skimp on the cpu because i wanted to play 1080p video on it.

Ebiznatch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23631645)

Formed his own VIOLATED. IN THE
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