Mobile processors are not only getting smaller, they’re getting more powerful, but how powerful can a mobile chip really get? Well if NVIDIA’s announcement at CES this week is anything to go by, their latest Tegra X1 chip harnesses an entire teraflop of computing power.
NVIDIA are calling it the “mobile super chip,” which is pretty fast. It’s actually the fastest mobile chip to achieve a teraflop of computing power, but what does that actually mean in a real-world example? Well simply put, it’s as fast as the world’s fastest supercomputer from back in 2000. That’s pretty fast.
For those PC gamers out there, it’s basically the same Maxwel GPU architecture for PCs, which the company revealed several months ago, but brought to mobile which means games in the near future will become much more graphically enhanced and run a lot smoother. According to NVIDIA, it should deliver around twice the performance of last year’s Tegra K1 mobile chip.
To show everyone exactly how well the chip performs, NVIDIA showed attendees at their keynote the Unreal Engine 4 “Elemental” demo running off of the chip. Reports suggest that it wasn’t as detailed as its performance on a high-end PC chip, but for mobile it was pretty damn impressive. On that note, NVIDIA also said that whilst the “Elemental” demo was running, it only consumed a mere 10 watts of power which shows that though the chip is powerful, it’s not a battery hog.
To once again put that in perspective, a year ago, the Xbox One needed 100 watts to run Elemental, and over two years ago the leading NVIDIA GPU needed 300 watts to run it. So it’s a definite improvement, especially on a chip for such a small device.
The NVIDIA Tegra X1 is expected to hit devices in the first half of this year, so come summer we’ll start seeing some pretty impressive devices hitting the market. That is if smartphone manufacturers decide to go with the Tegra chip instead of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon, though it seems NVIDIA have something up their sleeve to fix that.