Monday, January 6th, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

See Unreal Engine 4 run on Nvidia’s new Tegra K1

Nvidia has officially announced the Tegra K1, its new 192-core Kepler-based mobile GPU – and alongside it, has released a demo of Unreal Engine 4 running on the hardware.

Better graphics than a PS3 – on a tablet
According to Engadget, journalists at the announcement “were treated to demos of the new chip’s power compared side-by-side with a [previous-generation] Tegra 4, and the difference was quite noticeable; the K1 offers … global illumination, higher dynamic range and … realistic physically based rendering.”

According to Nvidia, the Tegra K1 chip will give mobile devices in which it is used better GPU compute capabilities than last-gen consoles like PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

The chip is also “capable of DirectX 11-class features” and supports OpenGL 4.4, prompting Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney to comment: “We can take absolutely anything that runs on a PC … and run it on the Tegra hardware.”

“From here, I think we’re going to see the performance and feature gap between mobile and PC … continue to narrow to the point where the difference between the platforms really blur.”

Coming to a mobile device near you later this year
Until the Tegra K1 is released – Engadget reports that “we should expect to see devices with the new chipset near the end of the first half of 2014” – it’s difficult to assess the chip’s capabilities more rigorously.

And of course, graphical horsepower alone doesn’t solve the other issues with mobile gaming, like frame rate, battery lifespan, or the adequacy of the control system.

But the raw numbers are impressive, and the graphics in the demo sure do look pretty. As Tim Sweeney observes at the end of the video: “I didn’t think that we’d be at this level on mobile for another three or four years.”

Read basic tech specs for the Tegra K1 on Nvidia’s website

Read Gizmodo’s story on the Tegra K1 (More information on the GPU compute statistics)

Read the BBC’s story on the Tegra K1 (A good general overview, summarising the state of the GPU market)