Kepler Mobile will bring true console-like graphics to Tegra devices (video)

by: Bogdan PetrovanApril 12, 2013

Nvidia logo CES [aa] (2)

A demo of Nvidia’s upcoming Kepler Mobile GPUs shows a mobile chip running Battlefield 3. By adapting the high performance Kepler architecture to the constraints of mobile devices, Nvidia hopes to make true console-like mobile graphics a reality.

Read the reviews of modern mobile games, like Infinity Blade 2 on iOS or Dead Trigger on Android, and you’re likely to find someone calling the graphics “console quality”.  But the truth is that, while mobile games have developed tremendously in the past years, we’re still nowhere near to having mobile graphics that can compare to high-end PC or console graphics.

Nvidia is hard at work to change that. The Santa Clara-based company is adapting its Kepler GPU architecture (which launched last year on GPUs like the GeForce 600 series) to the limitations of mobile environments. Instead of drawing watts of power, a mobile chip must operate in the milliwatts realm. To achieve that and deliver superior performance it takes tremendous work, but if there’s anyone who can make it happen, it’s Nvidia.

Yesterday at Nvidia’s investors’ day event, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang demoed this video of Battlefield 3 (courtesy of VentureBeat) running on an unspecified Kepler Mobile-based processor, supposedly on a tablet device. The video first shows an iPad 4 game, whose graphics Huang calls “vintage 1999” and then Battlefield 3 running on Kepler Mobile.

Needless to say the difference is enormous. The post processing and the effects available on the Kepler device are amazing, although still not on par with what you can see on a high-end gaming PC.

Now for the piece of salt part – Nvidia has initially promised a Kepler-based architecture for the Tegra 4 system-on-a-chip. We’re still waiting to see the first Tegra 4 device (probably Project Shield) on the market. Kepler Mobile is likely to come in Tegra 5, if Nvidia can stick to its roadmap. It’s possible that we’ll have to wait at least another year before we can see Kepler-based mobile SoCs in mobile devices.

Another worrying  consideration is the fact that Nvidia is forced to drum up its 2014 Tegra 5 processor, instead of giving us what we really want now – Tegra 4 chips, preferably with LTE.

  • Jusephe

    Rouge GPUs will be here first, i think, with promised 20-100 x performance boost from series 5.

    We will see what is better in mobile world.

  • freedomspopular

    Now all we need is a way to get console-like controls on a touchscreen.

    • madjr

      probably impossible for now. that’s why the wiiU has its controls outside of the screen as well as project shield.

      worst of all fingers get in the way of the viewing area.

      is like trying to play an FPS game with your laptops touchpad, it wont ever be better than a mouse or a controller.

  • MasterMuffin

    And the battery life is? 2- hours playing MC4?

  • MM

    graphic is almost like a xbox360 console, but battery?

    • Kevin Hill

      Think more home entertainment centers.

  • madjr

    I think I seen some games with far better graphics than on the video even on a nexus 7, specially those made with Unity and UE.

    but they always find and ugly boring area of probably and old game and compare it with a dynamic FPS scene…

    anyway this will probably be a good improvement if it doesnt drain your battery very quickly.