Neoseeker : News : Rumor: First shot of CODEX: The Warrior - Chain of Nemesis running on the unannounced Tegra 4
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nipsen Jan 4, 13
:/ ..a quick primer, then. Nvidia had something called ION a while back. They were, officially or unofficially, I don't know, forced to target different systems compared to the competing Atom processor intel had. Had to do with things such as that the ION core integrated cpu and gpu instructions on the same stream processors. Which, according to intel, is a patent infringement. Something AMD also has had issues with when designing their APUs.

Nvidia's solution then was to rebrand or fork the project into a model that had separate gpu and cpu modules (the cpu module provided by intel, with the full rack of motherboard parts along with it, etc. Which really obsoleted the entire system, even though it did perform significantly better compared to an atom/gma system purely when thinking about performance/watt).

Tegra is the second branch of that project. The processor really is an ARM quad-core with out of order execution support, where each "microcore" has an embedded instruction set that provides graphics acceleration. This means that each core can be scheduled dynamically to run either "cpu-type" or "gpu-type" instruction logic as needed. Which translates into real-time effects on working memory that is actually very difficult to get to run on a normal pc game. Physx for example is another attempt to bridge that gap - to use stream processors on a gpu to perform more complex "cpu-type" instructions on the fly, instead of resubmitting the graphics context on the gpu-ram (which is too slow for real-time effects).

So in effect what we're looking at here is a system with an integrated bus/memory/display controller on a single chip (it's really small), that draws practically no power at all, and performs several times better than your average notebook setup.

In other words - clearly it's completely logical that no one noticed this processor branch until someone mentioned DIRECT X! Gaah! Really - just think! We can finally play sucky Unreal Engine games on our phones as well! Isn't this grand!

Anyway. There was a kickstarter project aiming to launch a small home-console based on this chip as well. Should release in not too long. Take a peak at tegrazone.com to get a look at what sort of games is possible to drive on the chip. Run the carnival demo to have a small look at the dynamic textures, lighting and physics simulation - it's quite good. Because - you can run cpu and gpu logic quickly, with little latency when switching context. This is extremely valuable when it comes to raw processing power - but also when it comes to energy efficiency. Something that many has yet to really acknowledge as a concept, in spite of everything.

The naming convention is.. you know.. Tegra 3 is "Kal-El". Super-man. The next one is Wayne. Bruce Wayne? After that it's Grey. Doctor Grey?

Anyway - so I'm off to hype the next xbox, guys! Because an overheating plastic coloss with Kinect welded on top is /exactly/ what I want on my TV next! Forget about anything that has to do with power efficiency and increased processing power - I want more of the same! Ta.
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bluexy Jan 4, 13
nipsen Thank you sir for the background, as well as the snark.
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Abyss Raider Jan 5, 13
This looks absolutely gorgeous! This... Is mobile?
Also, PC port? I'll bite!
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nipsen Jan 6, 13
..It's not "mobile". It's the entire cpu/gpu array + memory controller + video interface + IO bus, etc., on a 5x5cm or something leaf-thin die. Your average soc set has more or less all of this outside the die on separate modules slotted in on a motherboard. Which, technically speaking, hasn't been necessary for ten years. But we still have these cumbersome constructions and chassis designs - far thicker and larger than needed - because of the "invisible" "hand" of the "free" "market"..

By the way - note that the current construction on tegra 3 is just boosted with tegra 4. Tegra 4 gains dual channel ram addressing, more stream processors on the gpu-cores, etc. But the chip-construction is already out on the market, and has all in all been a fairly successful chip. Certainly successful when seen from a technical viewpoint. And yet - we "discover" this collectively now, when it launches on a windows device.

So... this is why we can't have nice things, people. Better luck next time.
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