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Raspberry Pi GPU is Twice as Powerful as the iPhone 4S GPU

January 25, 2012

Remember Raspberry Pi, the tiny $25 computer that’s launching very soon, and promises to revolutionize the world? It seems its GPU comprehensively beats the Tegra 2 GPU and is even twice as powerful as the iPhone 4S GPU. At the heart of the device it’s a Broadcom BCM2835 chip that comes with a 700 Mhz CPU, and this ultra-powerful GPU. A Broadcom employee had this to say about it:

“I was on the team that designed the graphics core, so I’m a little biased here, but I genuinely believe we have the best mobile GPU team in the world at Broadcom in Cambridge”.

He was also not very impressed with the Tegra 2 GPU:

“What’s really striking is how badly Tegra 2 performs relative even to simple APs using licensed Imagination Technologies (TI and Apple) or ARM Mali (Samsung) graphics. To summarise, BCM2835 has a tile mode architecture – so it kills immediate-mode devices like Tegra on fill-rate – and we’ve chosen to configure it with a very large amount of shader performance, so it does very well on compute-intensive benchmarks, and should double iPhone 4S performance across a range of content.”

The Raspberry Pi foundation hopes that the price and flexibility of this tiny computer will give rise to a whole lot of homebrew inventions in the future. Because the Raspberry Pi computer can easily decode 1080p blu-ray movies, it will be a great fit for XBMC devices and set top boxes, and this is what they are most likely to focus on in the beginning.

Raspberry Pi will run Linux, and there will be 2 hardware models, Model A which will cost $25 and have only 128 MB of RAM, and Model B which will cost 256 MB of RAM and an added built-in ethernet port. The first batch of 10,000 should be available on sale very soon.