Tegra 2 debuts, runs Unreal Engine 3

TR was on location this morning at Nvidia’s CES press conference, where the company introduced its next-generation Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip (SoC). Tegra 2 takes after its predecessor, melding an ARM microprocessor architecture with Nvidia GPU and video decoding logic, but it takes things to the next level.

Nvidia announced that Tegra 2 has eight independent processors, including dual ARM Cortex A9 microprocessor cores. The new SoC purportedly allows for ten times the performance of a modern smart phone, and it draws only 500mW. On a single charge, Tegra 2-based devices should be able to play music for 140 hours or high-definition video for 16 hours.

Nvidia brought in Epic Games CEO and Founder Tim Sweeney, who said the new SoC was comparable in terms of specifications to both current high-end game consoles and high-end gaming PCs from two to four years ago. Sweeney proved his point by showing Unreal Engine 3, the game engine that powers Gears of War 2 and a host of other games, running on a Tegra 2 tablet. It was jarring to see it going through the motions on such a thin little device.

Tegra 2 could power some sweet little handheld gaming systems, then, but Nvidia sees it as a driver for what it calls the 2010 “tablet revolution.” During the conference, Nvidia General Manager Mike Rayfield showed Tegra 2-powered tablet prototypes from Foxconn, MSI, and others. One of them had a 1024×600 display and was running Google’s Android operating system. Another prototype featured a dual-mode display, which could be either backlit or front-lit—good for use as a Kindle-like reading device.

Speaking of which, Nvidia expects to see digital magazine subscriptions on Tegra 2 tablet devices. The company said Adobe plans to port its AIR runtime environment to the Tegra architecture, which will no doubt help developers wishing to write multimedia apps for those systems.

Comments closed
    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 10 years ago

    is I supposed to be impresed?

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 10 years ago

      Everyone except Krogoth, yeah.

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        Ssid wins 1 internet.

    • blubje
    • 10 years ago

    I hope this one makes it into more than just the zune.

    • IYagami
    • 10 years ago

    Deleted (reply in #69)

    • sweatshopking
    • 10 years ago

    as interesting as that is, it isnt that impressive. the demo lacks a lot of effects, the textures are bland as hell, the room is like 10×10. im impressed, but only a little. that doesnt seem *[

    • Ptosio
    • 10 years ago

    Could anyone introduce me to the very idea of tablet? Is it an oversized smartphone that doesn’t fit your pocket? Or is it a shrinked touchscreen netbook minus the PC functionality?

    It’s like I just don’t get it. Why would I want to have one?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      You’ll want one because that’s what all the manufacturers will tell you to want, and you’ll like it damnit!

      Yeah I’m with you man, I see little purpose in teblets for the consumer space. For business uses I could see some potential but it’s the same potential as for convertible tablet notebooks so I don’t know. That’s not to say that things like Tegra 2 are not exciting at all, just not in a tablet.

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      If your use of a netbook involves basically just websurfing, you don’t really need a keyboard (your browser has all of your favorite sites very quickly, you’ll follow links to most others, and you can use an on-screen keyboard the few times have to type in a brand new url) . For such users, a tablet is a viable and interesting option. (Presumably this is a second or third computer for such people).

      If it only cost a couple of hundred $ I could imagine having one lying around the house to surf with while I’m eating lunch or need to look up something while reading in bed, etc. It would also be a viable e-reader in the same way the Kindle is for many people.

        • sweatshopking
        • 10 years ago

        when 1 billion people a day go hungry, why would you spend all that extra money on ANOTHER consumer product, to have “lying around the house”?

          • UberGerbil
          • 10 years ago

          What are you doing with a luxury like an internet connection, when you could be sending that money to poor people all over the world?

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            Probably because he uses his internet connection and doesn’t leave it ‘lying around the house’ although that was obviously not meant to mean one would just leave it sitting there doing nothing. Besides which he’s a sweatshopking!

            • UberGerbil
            • 10 years ago

            Actually, I suspect his parents pay for it.

            • torquer
            • 9 years ago

            See, its ok for people like that to have all of those luxuries, because they *care* about the poor people of the world. Of course, they aren’t actually living in a dirt hut with them and helping them grow food. Its more important that they *care.*

            Just like you see all these Hollywood hacks condemning everyone but themselves for not doing enough for X cause, but its ok for them to live lavishly and wastefully because they *care*

            Liberal hippy sissy pansy hypocritical bullsh*t.

          • SPOOFE
          • 10 years ago

          Because almost all of those people go hungry due to issues with getting to them. It’s not due to a lack of funds, it’s a supply line issue, and thus his purchasing of a consumer product is not contributing towards starvation, nor would his abstinence from the purchase do a bit of good to help. Your question is nonsensical and heavily weighted in favor of a ridiculous notion.

          Hell, now I want to buy a tablet just to spite your silly question.

          • mnecaise
          • 10 years ago

          people go hungry because of politics, not lack of money or availability of food.

    • eitje
    • 10 years ago

    You know what makes me happiest about this announcement?

    Folks will now stop arguing over whether or not Tegra will have two A9 cores or not.

    • bogbox
    • 10 years ago

    Why working on making Fermi work ,Dx11 etc when you can make a 4 years old card ,more efficient and small ? Just ask Intel how they fell about Atom.
    After all the companies start making use of this in full featured laptops(at -50$ discounts) and not buying/putting any discrete graphic card.Nice for the gaming market at all.

      • Stranger
      • 10 years ago

      yeah because a company can only work on one product at a time. du du du

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      Nothing accelerates Flash.

        • Waco
        • 10 years ago

        Hello troll.

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          Hi!

      • Hattig
      • 10 years ago

      That looks like the page to me.

      I presume it’s made on 40nm or 45nm, because the die is very small on that motherboard – also see the YouTube video posted earlier where it’s shown running.

      0.5W is impressive, especially given the specifications. Maybe that’s typical power use, not maximum?

      Dual 1GHz ARM Cortex A9s is nice (although it would be nice if they had a version that could run faster for media centres, etc).

      And it supports 1080p output over HDMI, which makes it far superior to the cripped 6W – 13W Atom chip Intel has just put out. Indeed I wouldn’t be surprised if it had more CPU power, GPU power, video decode power and more.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 10 years ago

    I continue to be impressed with Nvidia and how quickly and effectively they can dive into new markets and technologies. PhysX, 9400M/Ion chipset on a chip, and now the Tegra system on a chip. For the first time in, like, EVER I’m actually anticipating the release of the next gen mobile consoles. A next-gen DS and/or PSP with the kind of processing and graphics power that Tegra 2 can provide should have some pretty damn impressive looking games (hell, I’m already impressed with the level of 3-D graphics a PSP can muster).

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 10 years ago

      It’s a shame that NVidia has recently fallen flat on their faces in their core business and missed DirectX 11 graphics by more than half a year. They’ve also managed to run their chipset business into the ground. That follows on their previous destruction of the audio processing IP that they bought with Aureal and that they abandoned after NForce2’s SoundStorm.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 10 years ago

        You can argue that, with audio at least, the market was so crowded with super-low-margin parts and integrated codecs that are “good enough” that it didn’t make financial sense to stick with Soundstorm. They could have gone into the high-margin, high-end audio market but with established companies like M-Audio, Digidesign, and MOTU, that doesn’t bode well either.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      I’m hardly impressed with NV for that reason, at least not more so than other tech companies. To use your examples: PhysX – purchased IP; 9400M/Ion – just an evolution and mashup of existing products; Tegra – not really fast, Tegra has been worked on for a long time, and using ARM means that they only have to add on products they already have to expand functionality. This isn’t to say that some of these things aren’t impressive or nice technologies, I just don’t think it’s like some gee-whiz incredible blazing fast development.

    • Buzzard44
    • 10 years ago

    I would think the power of a 7900 just pushing the (relatively) few pixels in a handheld device would make for some serious power.

    • CampinCarl
    • 10 years ago

    I’d love to see a tablet revolution that includes tablets about the same size as a sheet of paper, which are cheap (say, $500 or less) and designed solely for taking notes. This would be a student’s best friend in College (or University, whatever you want to call it).

      • StashTheVampede
      • 10 years ago

      Note taking vs. typing is a mixed bag, right? Some users would definitely prefer a keyboard for notes vs. hand writing (probably depends on course as well) and whatever tablet designed for a university would have to consider both.

        • _Sigma
        • 10 years ago

        Just pair a BT keyboard/mouse to it, and you can have the best of all worlds! For equations, keyboards suck

        • CampinCarl
        • 10 years ago

        What _Sigma said, basically. Obviously, I’m thinking about how such a product would help myself. I’ve used my laptop for taking notes in a few classes (Psych gen ed., classics gen eds, history, etc.) and that’s fine and dandy. However, for my engineering classes, I don’t even try. Trying to draw all those circuits and stuff using my mouse and Paint or something and adding them in later? Would take way too much time given the flow of classes tends to move rather quickly. A tablet would be perfect for it, they’re just too expensive.

        • liquidsquid
        • 10 years ago

        Hmm, I spent most of my time in classes doodling, so I would like to say a tablet is a major plus for me. Just imagine the colors I could use on my 3D balls, mazes, little dudes, and wishful thinking!

        My notes were horrendous because I relied on my brain to do the remembering. I drew to keep me from running from the room screaming with boredom.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 10 years ago

          q[<...the colors I could use on my 3D balls, mazes, little dudes, and wishful thinking!<]q That's certainly an interesting list you wrote there, Freud would have a wonderful time with it.

        • TurtlePerson2
        • 10 years ago

        Depends what kind of class you’re in. I’m an Electrical Engineering student and I don’t usually write down sentences as much as equations, pictures, and symbols.

        • UberGerbil
        • 10 years ago

        I’m a ways out of college. Do schools still offer “class notes” paid subscription service where somebody is paid to sit in the class and just take notes and you can get a copy of them shortly thereafter? It always seemed to me that the next step would be to do that electronically, so that they could get distributed quickly (without wasting paper) and you could add your own markup to the diagrams, etc. Of course the step after that is to have electronic “white boards” so that the instructor’s diagrams show up on your machine in real time, with an option for collaborative annotation by the class.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 10 years ago

          ..and the next step after that is to just pay some money to get a degree. Well, maybe we’re close to that as it is. What a terrible way to learn. I hated a few of the classes I had at the end of my college time where the prof just handed out notes and basically read off them, it was entirely boring and unengaging.

            • UberGerbil
            • 10 years ago

            Actually, in a lot of the more technical classes I found I had a choice — I could either take notes like crazy and then try to make sense of the class later, or listen thoughtfully and try to understand what was going on… while forgoing having any notes to review later. The material was getting presented so fast there really wasn’t any other option (and it wasn’t coming directly out of the text — no boring reading on the part of the instructor — so that wasn’t necessarily a help either). With the class notes service I could relax and follow the material with the assurance that somebody else was writing it down (in some classes where that wasn’t available we’d go to a study group buddy system to accomplish the same thing). It certainly wasn’t necessary for all classes, but the for the ones that crammed a lot of dense material into very little time it was a lifesaver.

            • ssidbroadcast
            • 10 years ago

            What were the vietnam protests like when you were in college?

          • sweatshopking
          • 10 years ago

          AND I HAVE NEVER BEEN! this may surprise some of you, especially the long time tech reporters, but i have no post secondary education at all.
          No it’s true, i can hear you stammering in disbelief. im just a high school kid with a big mouth and an even bigger…. wait for it……. stomach. some of my posts have been pretty deep, but i have yet to attend such an institution. ill be accepting donations for my college fund by paypal, check, money order or credit card.

      • silent ninjah
      • 10 years ago

      College and University are 2 seperate things, no?

      Well, it doesn’t seem to be thee case in the U.S.A, but they’re not synonyms in the UK.

        • SonicSilicon
        • 10 years ago

        They’re not separate since Universities encompass multiple Colleges, even if the colleges are not on the same campus. Universities provide greater flexibility in courses, though that isn’t necessarily as strong a selling point anymore with joint enrollment slowly becoming more common.

    • jstern
    • 10 years ago

    I read that the next DS is going to be Tegra 2 inside. I might have read the that the next PSP might also be Tegra 2. I guess Nintendo would win that battle, because they will have the advantage of their 1st party games, and it’s also going to have motion controls.

      • w00tstock
      • 10 years ago

      LOL, so the DS will be more powerful than the Wii… thats just great.

        • tocatl
        • 10 years ago

        odd & amazing at the first time :D.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 10 years ago

        you’ll see a replacement for the Wii by the time this new DS comes out, is my guess. Maybe they’ll release somewhat close together. Also, I doubt you’ll see a 720p display on a new DS, maybe 2x480x270 displays (16:9)? That’d be a huge resolution increase of total pixels over the DS (even the DSi XL has the same resolution of 2x256x192. Surely even a scaled back version of this hardware could drive what ends up being a 480×540 framebuffer with Unreal Engine 3.

          • tocatl
          • 10 years ago

          Nintendo said that the next ds was going to use “highly detailed graphics” so, maybe that 720p is not so impossible, but it would be more probable 2 diplays of 640×360.

      • IYagami
      • 10 years ago

      Could it be that the next Nintendo DS is also the successor for the Nintendo Wii?

      Let me explain: if the Tegra 2 is such a powerful chip, then Nintendo could make a docking station for the future Nintendo DS 2 with a DVD drive in order to provide a successor for the Wii…

    • BooTs
    • 10 years ago

    l[

      • grantmeaname
      • 10 years ago

      more like 3870X2 and 8800GTX or at least 8800GTS 512

        • BooTs
        • 10 years ago

        Sure. Big difference.

      • Game_boy
      • 10 years ago

      Considering Tegra 1 was the Geforce 6 it’s not implausible that Tegra 2 uses 7-series tech. However it won’t be a 7900, more like a 7100.

        • SNM
        • 10 years ago

        It says modern gaming console — that definitely means Geforce 7900, not 7100.

          • BooTs
          • 10 years ago

          Uhm, it also says r[<*[

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 10 years ago

            It’s Nvidia.

            To them, an 8800GT would be “OMFG super awesome mega M-M-M-M-MONSTER PWN high end.”

            • djgandy
            • 10 years ago

            Nothin’ wrong with an 8800GT.

            Still if this thing is so powerful, surely it’ll replace anything lower than an 8800GT / 9800GT / GTS 240 / w/e nvidia is selling that is basically an 8800GT?

            It’s a fraction of the size, and has near the amount of processing power……apparently.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 10 years ago

            so it’s using Evergreen GPU tech? /rimshot

            • NeelyCam
            • 10 years ago

            nuttin’but’net

    • oMa
    • 10 years ago

    Is this chip aimed at netbooks and tablets, or telephones and mp3 players(like tegra I)? 0.5 W seems much even for a htc hd 2 or iphone format.

    • Sahrin
    • 10 years ago

    That looks really, really cool. I can’t wait for a portable multimedia device (Zune? DS? PSP2?) that runs on this software with great content support. I’ve actually been kind of interested in the iSlate (but it’s made by Apple, which means a very high barrier for entry for me), but if there was a tablet device with this inside, I’d be in.

    Any word on die characteristics or what comes in the GPU? “Runs UE3” isn’t exactly a tall order (from a functional unit perspective), considering it’s now 3 process generations out of date (the engine, that is).

    Any word on level of D3D support?

    Intel really needs to get it’s act together with Atom (performance and more importantly, price wise) if it wants to not get killed in the low end by ARM.

      • jdaven
      • 10 years ago

      “(but it’s made by Apple, which means a very high barrier for entry for me)”

      Ah another hold over from the PC vs. Mac wars. Dude, its not 1990 anymore. Get over yourself. They are all just companies. Apple, Intel, MS, Dell, etc. are all just companies. All of them have done good things and bad things. Not picking a brand based on some artificial competition instilled in us by marketeers from the 90’s is poor judgment. Pick a product based on the specs and quality of the build not on a company name.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 10 years ago

        Or maybe he just means the typical Apple tax pricing…

          • lilbuddhaman
          • 10 years ago

          thats what i assumed he meant.

          islate looks like…eh $1500 for an 8′ model

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            8 foot model eh? That’s not a slate that’s a freaking wall 😀

          • Sahrin
          • 10 years ago

          l[

            • jdaven
            • 10 years ago

            The apple tax is another concoction of the PC vs. Mac wars. Every single market- everyone has companies that produce low end to high end products. Cars, pharmaceutical, toys, real estate and yes even IT. The real argument is not the apple tax that you guys just made up. The real argument is whether or not Apple products are truly high end. So Sahrin, since you are contemplating the iSlate or whatever it will be called, then you are starting to come around and realize that hey, maybe, Apple products are high end and worth what they charge for them because everything else from the competition sucks.

            But what do I know other than Apple is the 4th largest company in the US by market capitalization. They are the largest music seller in the world. And the number of Macs they sell each quarter keeps going up and up even though the prices stay roughly the same. Apple tax, nah. Just difference in opinion which is absolutely fine but don’t think that you are better than everyone else that likes Apple because you are one of the few that knows about the apple tax. People like you created the name apple tax which is why no one but us computer geeks know the term.

            By the way, Dell sells a $2500 luxury laptop with crap specs under the Adamo brand, but shhhh, don’t tell anyone they are charging an apple tax. Please, this apple tax argument is as pathetic as arguing PC vs Mac. Every company in the world would give its left nut to have the marketing and build quality as Apple to sell their products at such high margins. Every single company!!!

            • mcnabney
            • 10 years ago

            Whatever you have to tell yourself to sleep at night after spending that much money on a MacBook Pro.

            Apple is the BMW of computers. A well designed and good performing product being sold at a premium price which the market will support due to its ‘designer label’ and easy user interface.

            I don’t buy Apple products for the same reason I don’t by shoes that cost $100. It just isn’t worth it and I don’t care what other people think about me based upon the product they see me use. Now if you need to spend an extra 30-50% on your computer/electronics purchase to be cool, knock yourself out.

            • w00tstock
            • 10 years ago

            Its just too bad apples build quality is not high end. Also there are MANY companies that don’t want to be highend, maybe you have heard of walmart, they make many products for mass market at low prices.

            While I agree that the “apple tax” is BS, why you had to go on an taint your argument with your apple love is beyond me.

            • jdaven
            • 10 years ago

            I apologize for the rant. I just get so sick of the ‘apple tax’ argument that haters of Apple made up to knock the company down in their eyes. I’ll be sure to limit my comments in the future when appropriate (which is almost all the time).

            • SomeOtherGeek
            • 10 years ago

            C’mon, please don’t stop. We need Apple people to keep us on our toes. Seriously, we PC people can get pigheaded at times and need to be humbled sometimes. Your input has always been available.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            Nice rant but if you want to see the ‘Apple tax’ in stark and nonsubjective numbers all you have to do is compare their margins to other consumer PC and electronics companies.

            • Sahrin
            • 10 years ago

            Normally I wouldn’t rise to this, but my Horns just played their hearts out and lost in the National Championship Game – so someone’s going to get it.

            l[

            • just brew it!
            • 10 years ago

            q[

        • SomeOtherGeek
        • 10 years ago

        Stop putting your foot in your mouth and get over it too. Apple is a highway robber, accept it. Everything they sell is expensive, period. iPods, a rip off! iMac, a complete waste of money! Cables, holy shit! iFuck, disease ridden!

        But yea, they are a company, like every other company, money first then service.

        • Beomagi
        • 10 years ago

        10 points for sanity!

        Do understand though, there is a semblance of appletax simply because most refuse to buy high end spec machines. Also DIY users will rarely spend as much (and I don’t mean they’ll be buying equivalent either!).

        limiting choice will be where the argument come from. the low ends tax I believe is higher than the high end, though I haven’t cared to check figures for a while…

        I don’t buy because The need for certain specific hardware is restrictive – specific compatible videocards for example. Tweakers can’t overclock, and I still don’t get why stick to EFI without capitalizing on the benefits of it…

        But they are solid systems for most. On a forum where most upgrade, overclock, tweak, and build – or just use linux – expect a lot of dissenting opinion.

      • Namarrgon
      • 10 years ago

      If by “D3D support” you mean Direct3D, then the answer is “none” – it’s ARM-based, so no Windows support.

      If you’re asking how good are its shaders, then I assume at least SM3 (D3D9), given that it’s running UE3.

      • JumpingJack
      • 10 years ago

      D3D is a windows based API, no windows for ARM, thus no D3D for ARM.

    • wira020
    • 10 years ago

    I was hoping for some picture of the actual demo… any mention of when will tegra 2 powered devices starts coming into the market?…

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