Nvidia Debuts Tegra 4, Grid Computing, and…a Games Console?!

Nvidia News, Notes, and other Exciting Gossip as Heard on the Live Webcast from CES!

We’ll be updating this post with news, notes, and information from Nvidia.  To watch along, view their live webcase from CES in Las Vegas here.  Press conference is scheduled to start at 8 pm (yes, just a few minutes) Pacific Time.

 

Nvidia 2013 Press ConferenceWell, we’re at 8:20 now and word is that the press still isn’t seated in the theatre…hoping for the start of the conference soon!
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has started his opening remarks…started talking about untethering video games.  New inventions, new products, and new ideas on enjoying video games.

nvidia - all that nerdy stuff

 

PC Gaming

Jen-Hsun pointed out that PCs are more powerful and more customizable than any game console.

Looks like it’ll finally be possible to have automatic settings on graphic cards!  GeForce Experience – they chose the optimal settings for every single game. Nvidia studied CPU combinations, then played through games to figure out the optimal settings for each game and uploaded them to the cloud.  Showed an example of a screen from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 compared to using the “optimize” button – wow! Simplifies gaming.

Nvidia Grid - all that nerdy stuffDiscussion of Cloud Computing and the issues that need to be solved by Nvidia:

1. GPU to be rendered directly out into the cloud.

2. Create a server system dedicated and optimized for high-density video game streaming (i.e., computer graphics.)

3. Allow each user to have a unique experience

4. Create a piece of client software in each computer

Solving these issues have taken five years.  Nvidia now has a fully integrated system/product: the Nvidia Grid

Nvidia grid - all that nerdy stuffGrid gaming – Nvidia Grid

Jen-Hsun showed the grid receiver client attached simply by Ethernet cable to a TV.  Grid manager Andrew Fear came up to show a game he’s been playing.  Game was rendered on the cloud.  Trine isn’t a great example of cloud gaming (not a super high graphics game) but still a nice way to show off the concept.

Fear then showed how he could continue the same save of Trine on a different, portable console.  Because everything was on the cloud, the transition between consoles was near seamless.  Neat!  This works for videos, games, books, etc.

Agawi, CloudUnion, Cyber Cloud, G-cluster, Playcast, and Ubitus have all signed on to deploy cloud gaming with Nvidia Grid.

Single Chip Processors – Tegra 4

tegra 4 - all that nerdy stuffJokes that this was the worst-kept secret of tonight’s conference. Using the Samsung Nexus 10 (Android tablet with a dual core processor) compared to Tegra 4 to show the speed of the processor.  Both tablets are going to load twenty-five web pages. 72 GPU Cores. Quad core A15.  Low power core.  4G LTE modem. All kinds of ass-whoopin’.

Tegra 4 – 27 seconds to load 25 pages

Nexus 10 – 50 seconds to load 25 pages

Tests have beat the iPad 4, Kindle, Android, etc. in load speed.  Damn!

Photo Quality aka the Era of Computational Photography

Beginning of discussion on how the Tegra 4 will improve image quality.  Designed the chip so that the processor is closer to the process. Mentioned that the iPhone 5 takes about two seconds to process a good shot. The Tegra 4 takes two shots, one after the other, 10x faster than the current camera architecture. Photos can now be taken in HDR.

Tegra 4 - photo example - all that nerdy stuffUsing, as an example, a prototype tablet running the Tegra 4.  The left side is running HDR.  The most obvious different is in the background, where the Tahitian beach is much less washed out. Will work with or without flash.

With computational photography, there is the ability to capture an action shot, as well as do action tracking. This technology hasn’t been developed completely yet, but it’s in process…

 

 Demo: Dead Trigger 2

He’ll come back to this after discussing Tegra 4 a bit more.  The demo was nice, but nothing earth-shattering.

i500 – first modem from Nvidia

i500 modem - all that nerdy stuff1.2 TRILLION operations per second.  The grid is 200 trillion, to compare.

40% smaller than a traditional chip.

Nvidia has tested over various enviroments, from crowded urban to the sparse population of the Midwest.  The i500 modem is optimized for various environments.

Starting closing remarks and a “surprise” announcement.  Discussing the growth of two platforms – Windows (Microsoft) and Android.

Nvidia gaming console – Shield!

shield - all that nerdy stuffTegra 4 chip processor.  Looks like an xBox controller with a Nintendo 3DS screen attached to it. Code name of Project Thor or Project Shield – not totally sure here.

Extended gameplay batteries, to give you five to ten hours of gameplay.  Don’t have to use all the battery life on your phone to play games.  Games will stay in the Android game store/game cloud.  Batteries can run twenty-four hours of HD video.

Audio system – using a base reflex system.  Twice the signal-to-noise ratio of an HP laptop running beats audio.

PS2 style analog joysticks.

Three cables out the back of the controller?!?

Customizable skin on the back of the screen – “Customizable tag.” The idea is that a household would own multiple controllers, both to have controllers customized to an individual and for playing multiple-player games.

Started a demo, connecting the controller to the TV using an HDMI cable. Can use the controller or the touch screen.

All games are available in TegraZone and optimized for the controller.  Can get a 4K display straight out of Shield.

Big Picture by Valve

Connected to all of the games on Steam. Trying to connect PC gaming to the TV.  The third tab on the Shield zone says “PC.”  PC is connected to your home PC or whatever PC you have with the GeForce Experience inside.  Unfortunately, the demo during the conference failed.  Supposedly you can stream your PC through Shield on to your TV.

Wait, we got a connection! The PC can be anywhere in the house, and you can connect to it and play on Shield, and/or stream through to your TV. Controller commands are sent to the PC, which renders it, then sends it out to your TV screen.

All Steam games/gamers can now enjoy their games, through Shield, on their TV.  Processors are right inside the controller – can change the dynamics of gaming (perhaps the next step after Wii U?)

Looks like he’s wrapping up here.  Check back here at All That Nerdy Stuff over the next few days for posts with more specific information on the products debuted tonight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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