Nvidia’s recent investor day was the perfect platform for CEO Jen-Hsun Huang to showcase the firm’s next generation mobile chip. Known as Kepler Mobile, the upcoming mobile hardware is derived from the high-end Kepler architecture that Nvidia uses for current-generation notebook and desktop GPUs.
Huang said Nvidia made a huge investment to port the PC hardware to mobile which required them to shrink the size of the chip and reduce the power consumption from dozens of watts to hundreds of milliwatts. Energy consumption and the subsequent cooling requirements that come with it have been one of the key reasons why mobile graphics have lagged behind their PC counterparts.
Huang said Nvidia wants to get multiple years ahead of the competition, making a strategic decision to delay other projects in order to develop Kepler Mobile at a faster rate. The chip will be able to play high-end PC titles and may even be capable of running DirectX 11 - a technology that would deliver advanced shadows and lighting, among other eye candy.
A video shown to attendees compared what the latest iPad powered by the A6X is capable of. Nvidia made sure to point out that 40 percent of the A6X’s silicon consists of GPUs. Next, onlookers were shown a demonstration of Battlefield 3 running on the company’s new mobile platform. The latter featured technology like HDR lighting and particle effects while the iPad’s graphics looked “vintage 1999”, Nvidia teased.
No word yet on when we can expect to see Kepler Mobile graphics show up, however.