Nvidia has announced its backing of the Wi-Fi Alliance's new wireless display technology. Unveiled in May, Miracast is a new certification that will offer Wi-Fi devices a standard by which to stream content to compatible screens over a wireless network connection -- not unlike existing proprietary solutions such as Apple's AirPlay or Intel's WiDi.
Although open standards like DLNA are available, Nvidia says they're plagued with interoperability issues that have limited their adoption. For that reason, the company says it's not just supporting Miracast, but it's embracing the standard with its latest Tegra SoC, which is optimized to use the spec. As explained in a whitepaper released yesterday:
"The Tegra optimized Miracast solution is comprised of two major components -- the multimedia (video/audio) processing block and the industry compliant wireless display networking stack. The multimedia processing block takes advantage of Tegra’s multi-core graphics engine and dedicated hardware video/audio codecs to accelerate the decoding of video content, render graphics surfaces and perform the final compositing operations before encoding into a H.264 bit stream to be wirelessly transmitted."
Additionally, the chip's multimedia architecture can decide how to best allocate system resources based on the type of content being transmitted. For instance, if it detects an HD video or 3D game, it'll make tweaks to reduce latency. Nvidia doesn't mention precisely how much latency is involved, but there's relatively little information available about Miracast in general and that will likely remain true until it launches in August.
The latency seems fine in that video and the company didn't hesitate to tout Miracast's potential for gaming, noting that Tegra's snappy CPU and GPU can be used with the wireless technology to play mobile games on a big screen. "We're not just talking about flinging Angry Birds," Nvidia wrote, "but racing a super-charged jet ski in the game Riptide THD and playing heart-pounding first-person shooter games like Shadowgun THD."
The company said it's working with OEM partners (no names were mentioned) and Miracast receiver vendors to bring the technology to market and promised more details once the spec is ratified by the Wi-Fi Alliance.