Posted on 26 February 2012
There are several reasons why iOS devices have always managed to beat Android devices in the touch-responsiveness department. For one, the way that the on-screen elements are rendered is different between the two operating systems. Then there’s the fact that each Android device may use different touch-controllers from one device to the next. Nvidia is taking a stab at upping the touch-responsiveness of Tegra 3-equipped devices by offloading some of the touch input responsibilities directly onto Tegra 3. They call this ‘DirectTouch’.
Nvidia demonstrates that the Xoom with Nvidia Tegra 2 can handle around 110 touch samples/second with one finger. As each finger is added, the number of samples/second drops. With Tegra 3 and DirectTouch, samples/second nearly double to around 200 for one finger. As more fingers are added, it seems that DirectTouch intelligently scales to keep the samples/second around 200, even with 10 individual inputs!
What an increased number of samples/second really means is more accuracy. Increasing the samples/second by 2x as we see here means that the hardware and software are able to record where the input is happening twice as often. At slow speeds, such as scrolling a webpage, this isn’t all that important. However, as the speed of the input increases, the samples/second become more important to maintain accuracy, which is why Nvidia says that this will be particularly useful for gaming.
Posted on 10 November 2011
Tegra 3 is the world’s first quad-core mobile platform, Nvidia assures us, and along with those 4 CPU cores come the Tegra 3 GPU which has 12 additional cores of its own. Nvidia is happy to show off the graphical capabilities of the Tegra 3 GPU, which they claim to be up to 3x faster than the Tegra 2 GPU. A few months back (when Tegra 3 was still being called Kal-El) Nvidia demoed a game called Glowball on pre-production hardware. Now, Nvidia is showing off a new level of the game, running on a production version of the Transformer Prime:
If you were already anticipating the Transformer Prime, I can only imagine you are now that much more excited; you’d be hard pressed to call that demo anything but impressive. I’ll be curious to see some benchmarks, but I’d say Tegra 3’s graphical capabilities are right up there with Apple’s A5 CPU/GPU found in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.
I think it’s great to see that competition has created extremely high performance mobile computing platforms, but when it comes to gaming on tablets, casual play is still where the segment thrives. As soon as you push touchscreen gaming beyond casual, you absolutely need a controller to achieve a reasonable experience. Even though we should be able to connect Bluetooth peripherals (or even USB), it seems that there is not yet a defacto controller to suit the needs of beyond-casual gaming on mobile devices.
What say you? Do you find beyond-casual gaming on tablets impractical with only a touchscreen to control them?
Posted on 30 May 2011
Nvidia’s Tegra and Tegra 2 hardware has been quite popular over the last year, bringing powerful CPU and GPU performance to tablets and smartphones in a standardized package. Today, Nvidia is showing off the next version of Tegra, codenamed Kal-El, which will power tomorrow’s tablets and smartphones.
Kal-El is the next iteration of Nvidia’s mobile CPU/GPU series and features the world’s first mobile quad-core CPU, and a whopping dodeca-core GPU (that’s 12, folks!). Nvidia is expecting five times the performance of Tegra 2 out of Kal-El!
They say that seeing is believing:
This impressive video demo shows some intense dynamic lighting and real-time physics. Both lighting and animations are traditionally pre-rendered onto scenes in mobile games and cannot be interacted with in real-time. Nvidia says that Kal-El’s four CPU cores and twelve GPU cores make dynamic lighting and real-time physics animations practical for the first time on mobile devices.
In the demo you’ll watch as the demonstrator disables two of the four CPU cores to simulate how the game would run on a dual-core CPU. The results aren’t very pretty as the cores max-out and the framerate drops to at least half of what it was. Returning to four cores shows each core running around 70% and the game playing very smoothly. What’s great is that Nvidia expects the production CPU to be 25-30% faster than the hardware being used for this demonstration!
The game will be available on the Android Marketplace (likely through the Tegra Zone application) once it’s complete.
Nvidia has been sending out Kal-El samples to production customers since February and expect Kal-El devices to begin production this August.