Nvidia at Computex: An update on Tegra K1, Project Denver and more

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nvidia, tegra, soc, computex, tegra k1, computex 2014, project denver

Nvidia wasn’t showing off or announcing anything new at Computex 2014 in Taipei, but I was invited to sit down and have a discussion with some executives about Nvidia’s latest products and innovations. Specifically, I got an update on Tegra K1, the company’s mobile SoC with an integrated Kepler GPU which has just started to see some design wins.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Director of Technical Product Marketing at Nvidia, was proudly demonstrating to me Xiaomi’s MiPad, which is the first device on the market powered by their Tegra K1 SoC. The tablet itself is similar to the iPad mini with Retina display, packing a high-resolution panel and a high-end hardware.

The tablet is packed with graphics power, thanks to the K1, and was more than capable of running Trine 2 and Nvidia’s GameWorks demo at the display’s native resolution. The GameWorks demo in particular looked fantastic, and showed off the capabilities of the integrated Kepler GPU. As well as these demos, the MiPad supports Epic Games’ next-generation Unreal Engine 4, although we’re yet to see any mobile games based on this engine hit the market.

As far as the future of Tegra K1 is concerned, Ramaswamy hinted that we’ll see more K1-powered tablet designs in the near future. He also said that some companies are testing K1-based smartphones, but he didn’t go into specifics, and it’s entirely possible that these designs never make it to market. Nvidia’s Shield portable gaming console will be updated with a K1 SoC inside at some point this year as well.

Project Denver is still on track for a release in the second half of 2014, despite rumors claiming Nvidia may have canned the SoC earlier this year. As a reminder, Project Denver is Nvidia’s Tegra K1 variant with two of their own in-house designed ‘Denver’ 64-bit CPU cores, as opposed to ARM Cortex-A15s found in the currently shipping version of K1.

It was suggested to me that we’ll see products powered by Denver launch at the end of 2014, but again, Nvidia isn’t willing to talk specifics at this stage. Meanwhile, 2015 will see the launch of the next-generation Erista SoCs with integrated Maxwell GPUs.

Aside from Nvidia’s mobile SoCs, I got a chance to look at GPU LED controls in their GeForce Experience app. On many stock-cooled and custom-cooled Nvidia graphics cards you’ll find a selection of controllable LEDs, which you can set to pulse and change based on a range of selectable criteria from within the GeForce Experience app.

Nvidia’s LED controls are nothing new, but they are very cool for system builders wanting to add some flare to their design.

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