Nvidia demoes Logan for mobile: a big leap for mobile graphics

July 24, 2013
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Nvidia showed the press the first demos of its upcoming Kepler-based mobile GPU, dubbed Logan. Due in 2014, Logan will bring feature parity between mobile GPUs, PCs, and consoles.

ira logan nvidia kepler

In spite of Nvidia’s illustrious pedigree in computer graphics, the GeForce GPUs contained in its Tegra SoCs have been consistently outshone by competing offers from ARM or Imagination Technologies. That will change soon.

The Santa Clara-based company gave us today a tantalizing glimpse of the possibilities that Logan, the first mobile SoC to feature a Kepler-based GPU, will open starting next year.

The two demoes below are rendered by a mobile SoC running on a development board. The first shows Ira, a highly detailed model of a human head rendered in real time at 1080p. You might remember Ira from the presentation that Nvidia’s CEO gave earlier this year when introducing Kepler. Back then, the demo was rendered on a GTX Titan, a $1000 PC GPU targeted at hardcore gamers and professionals. The video below is not as impressive, but Nvidia’s technical achievement is still amazing, considering that the company managed to bring power consumption down to watts levels, from the 250 watts consumed by the Titan.

The second demo is dubbed Island and is meant to showcase hardware tessellation and the new OpenGL 4.3 API compliance.

One of the most impressive things about Logan is that it will bring feature parity between mobile devices and PCs and consoles. That means that the mobile implementation of Kepler will support features found on GPUs powering PCs and consoles, such as OpenGL 4.4, DirectX 11, tessellation, and CUDA 5. Game developers will be able to develop games across platforms much easier than before, which is hugely important for the growth of mobile gaming.

Finally, consider for a second Nvidia’s claim that the 2014 Logan will offer more raw horsepower than a PS3 or a 8800 GTX PC graphics card, all while maintaining a level of power consumption that allows it to run on smartphones and tablets.

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Hopefully, we’ll see Logan come to market by mid-2014 as part of Tegra 5, if everything goes to plan; knowing Nvidia, though, we wouldn’t hold our breath. The first Tegra 4 product, the Shield console, will only launch next week.

Nvidia announced recently that it’s open to license Kepler technology to anyone interested, meaning that we might see more mobile SoCs come to market with console-like graphics performance in the next 18 months.

For a more detailed presentation on Logan check out this post from AnandTech.

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