Next-gen Tegra chip will be based on Nvidia's Kepler architecture

Nvidia has taken everyone by surprise by announcing that the next iteration of the Tegra mobile chip, codenamed Logan, will be based on the same Kepler...


Nvidia has taken everyone by surprise by announcing that the next iteration of the Tegra mobile chip, codenamed Logan, will be based on the same Kepler architecture that is currently seen in Nvidia's line-up of 600-series and 700-series computer GPUs. Not only does this potentially give the Tegra 5 more power, it also gives it all of Kepler's power management capabilities which can potentially mean a better battery life on a more powerful phone or tablet.

With the Tegra 5, Nvidia essentially took the Kepler cores from its computer GPUs and added a low-power inter-unit interconnect which has been specifically optimised for mobile devices. According to Nvidia, the Kepler-based Logan will use less than a third of the power used by the GPUs in leading tablets today, while keeping the performance at the same level.

Logan also supports the full range of OpenGL technologies, including the OpenGL 4.4 full-featured graphics specification and the OpenGL ES 3.0 embedded standard. The chip also has support for Microsoft's DirectX 11.

With all of this power comes new ways to show off, and so, Logan is capable of quite a few tricks, including Tessellation, compute-based deferred rendering, advanced anti-aliasing and post-processing, physics and simulations.

Next-gen Tegra chip will be based on Nvidia's Kepler architecture

The Logan will be quite the beast thanks to the Kepler architecture

 

Tessellation essentially creates geometry dynamically on the GPU from high-level descriptions. The triangles in the geometry are sized and optimally based on the users' viewpoint. This essentially means that extra geometry won't have to be created for objects, freeing up the chips to do something else.

Compute-based deferred rending calculates the effect of all lights in the scene in a single deferred rendering apss. The newest iteration, based on OpenGL 4, is much more efficient than the OpenGL ES-based version. This essentially allows more advanced lighting models, such as global illumination effects.

Anti-aliasing and post-processing techniques make the overall scene look better thanks to multi-sampling being more programmable. Film-quality post-processing effects such as motion blur and depth of field are also supported.

Physics and simulations allow scenes to feel more realistic thanks to advanced modeling of physics engines. It also opens up avenues to new and innovative ideas for gameplay mechanics which, for example, make extensive use of the physics engine.

After all that power, we really hope that Nvidia makes a version of Angry Birds using CryTek's CryEngine 3. Not only would it show off the chip's power, but it would also be utterly hilarious.

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