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Next generation mobile processors will outperform PS3 and Xbox 360

Next generation mobile processors will outperform PS3 and Xbox 360

Mobile phones may soon be more powerful than consoles. But where to plug in the controllers...

According to Tony Tamasi, Senior Vice President of Content & Technology for Nvidia, the next generation of mobile phone graphics processors will outperform those of the PS3 or Xbox 360.

“The PS3 and Xbox 360 are barely more powerful than mobile devices... The next click of mobile phones will outperform [them],” said Tamasi, referring to the chip generation that will follow the company's current Tegra 4 model, as seen on the upcoming Nvidia Project Shield portable games console.

While it may seem out of this world that a mobile phone chip may have the GPU processing power of a games console, the PS3 and Xbox 360 are positively archaic when it comes to graphics technology with them both sporting chips capable of around 200GFLOPs, which compares to the 4500GFLOPS (4.5TFLOPS) of Nvidia's latest flagship PC graphics card the GeForce Titan, or indeed the 1800GFLOPS (1.8TFLOPS) of the upcoming PS4.

In fact, it would 'only' take a doubling of current performance to get very close to this 200GFLOPS mark, with Nvidia's current flagship mobile chip, Tegra 4, already running at 80GLOPS. And at the current rate of mobile processor advancement this doubling would be far from remarkable – after all, the previous generation, Tegra 3, runs at a mere 12 GLFOPS.

What's more chip design and manufacturing processes have moved on such that the power hit from that level of performance isn't anything like what it used to be so use in portable devices is viable.

However, while it is possible for a mobile processor to have this horsepower in the not too distant future, it's not necessarily the case that we'll see the technology on mobile phones as, even with all the recent enhancements in power consumption reduction, a chip that runs at circa 200GFLOPs is still going to drain a mobile phone size battery very rapidly. Nonetheless, we could certainly see tablets using the device and of course the next generation of Shield (which Nvidia confirmed will be upgraded every year with the latest Tegra chip) will be powered by such a chip - a prospect that certainly piques our interest.

22 Comments

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yodasarmpit 29th March 2013, 16:30 Quote
Or to put it another way, future mobile processors faster than 7 year old tech. O_o
In other news, Monday follows Sunday.

On a serious note, I find it amazing looking at today's tech and comparing it to just a few years ago. It's especially evident in the mobile and tablet market.
schmidtbag 29th March 2013, 16:53 Quote
I think it'd be pretty awesome if Xbox360 and PS3 hardware were completely revised to fit as a handheld device, kinda like PSP but bigger (so it can cool off properly and so you can fit a disc reader). I don't see why this couldn't be done.
jrs77 29th March 2013, 17:01 Quote
Razer Edge mobile gaming tablet... http://www.anandtech.com/show/6858/the-razer-edge-review

;)
rollo 29th March 2013, 17:08 Quote
Games don't take advantage of what's on offer in the latest iPad( the fastest mobile Gpu is in there at the moment) so I can't see them taking advantage of something even faster.

Come to think about it games are made to the lowest specs to hit consoles as they are the biggest sellers.

Space and battery constraints aside sounds awesome.

In the real world power consumption matters, and the storage space on a tablet means we will never get full release games no matter how doable it maybe.
forum_user 29th March 2013, 17:53 Quote
It is really exciting to see the improvements in mobile tech, and the desktop stuff especially. But when will Apple innovate iOS away from pages of icons and into something that makes use of all that sexy power? On a downer with Apple regarding their lack of releasing anything genuinely fantastic since 2007. Can see me ditching Apple this year for new phone and tablet, non-Apple branded.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Razer Edge mobile gaming tablet... http://www.anandtech.com/show/6858/the-razer-edge-review

;)

The Razer thing is interesting but I just can't get my head away from Razer selling these:

http://www.cyberindian.net/wp-content/images10/razer-ocra-headphones.jpg

... and I think, these:

http://www.abdab.co.uk/images_stpatricks/head_boppers_shamrock_lg.jpg

I know, strange thought maybe. But check out the photo section of the Razer FB page and the two guys wearing these headphones. Then think of the deely boppers ...

Maybe the Razer tablet will be amazing, with Steam etc loaded on. 'Xcom: Enemy Unknown' is being pushed to tablet so maybe I'll buy it through Steam like the desktop version - and play on Razer's tablet, or someone elses.

Getting bored of desperately hunting in the Apple app store for anything worth downloading, and pretty much most of my DL's are now word of mouth from friends or reviewers recommendations. The search functions completely fail me in the app store. Apple have so much cash, and no real designers working their asses off making my life easier.
Joey Propane 29th March 2013, 18:22 Quote
Surely there's more sense in keeping mobile hardware low power and relying on these super fast 4G networks to stream high quality games (like OnLive)... Or are network providers just expecting us to use all that juicy new bandwidth to stream HD porn?

Every time i've upgraded my phone in the last 5-6 years i've suffered a hit to battery life, for a massive increase in power that rarely (if at all) gets used. Why on earth would anyone want the power of a PS3 in their pocket? I don't know a single person who is serious enough about mobile gaming to need that kind of power, that market must be hilariously small, but almost everyone I know complains about battery life.

I say stop trying to cram in more gflops every 6 months and let us use the mobile network when we NEED or WANT more pretty graphics.
Spuzzell 29th March 2013, 21:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Propane
Surely there's more sense in keeping mobile hardware low power and relying on these super fast 4G networks to stream high quality games (like OnLive)... Or are network providers just expecting us to use all that juicy new bandwidth to stream HD porn?

Every time i've upgraded my phone in the last 5-6 years i've suffered a hit to battery life, for a massive increase in power that rarely (if at all) gets used. Why on earth would anyone want the power of a PS3 in their pocket? I don't know a single person who is serious enough about mobile gaming to need that kind of power, that market must be hilariously small, but almost everyone I know complains about battery life.

I say stop trying to cram in more gflops every 6 months and let us use the mobile network when we NEED or WANT more pretty graphics.

I could not agree more. I consider myself a gamer, but phone gaming just isn't worth the same time investment as PC or console gaming. Either from the game makers or the game player.

I'd far rather battery life and storage capacity were the focus of exponential growth than processing and graphical power.
Harlequin 29th March 2013, 21:53 Quote
random thought of the day

the Adreno 320 is an AMD design....


does remind me - how does the vita match up to the ipad 3? since gpu wise they are effectively using the same set up
Elton 29th March 2013, 22:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
random thought of the day

the Adreno 320 is an AMD design....


does remind me - how does the vita match up to the ipad 3? since gpu wise they are effectively using the same set up

I would gather that the Vita is most likely slightly faster. If only because it doesn't have the power constraints an Ipad 3 does.
rollo 29th March 2013, 22:27 Quote
Ps vita has the + version runs slightly slower I'd guess performs close enough.

Last I checked the iPad has the bigger battery though.
jb0 30th March 2013, 06:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
I think it'd be pretty awesome if Xbox360 and PS3 hardware were completely revised to fit as a handheld device, kinda like PSP but bigger (so it can cool off properly and so you can fit a disc reader). I don't see why this couldn't be done.
Just because you can get that kind of power out of a mobile device doesn't mean you can get that specific hardware in a mobile power envelope. PowerPC just isn't a very low-power design.

As much as I LIKE the idea of another TurboExpress or Sega Nomad, I can't honestly say it's a good idea.
Elton 30th March 2013, 08:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb0
Just because you can get that kind of power out of a mobile device doesn't mean you can get that specific hardware in a mobile power envelope. PowerPC just isn't a very low-power design.

As much as I LIKE the idea of another TurboExpress or Sega Nomad, I can't honestly say it's a good idea.

You could get equivalent theoretical performance though. It's definitively possible given that the node shrinks have basically made the old PPC stuff and the GPUs rather tiny and simplistic in comparison to what's come out.

In terms of raw coding performance though, it's much harder to compare because the old PPC CPU architectures tended to be rather different anyhow.
Corky42 30th March 2013, 09:09 Quote
Power maybe the primary concern today, but tomorrow ?
I think we will see a nuclear-battery at some point in the future, so portable power maybe a thing of the past.
sandys 1st April 2013, 01:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Ps vita has the + version runs slightly slower I'd guess performs close enough.

Last I checked the iPad has the bigger battery though.

ipad would need it for the screen, vita doesn't need to drive so many pixels or such a backlight

Don't think it really matters what the phones or tablet space comes with power wise, most won't be able to hold a candle to the experience an old xperia Play gives you generally for gaming ... buttons .... its old school but it works :D

We need some better pocketable devices that aren't just big screens, the low profiles they can pack this tech into now its really about time Sony brought out a Play 2 with Vita hardware, shield doesn't look like the answer.
Shirty 1st April 2013, 10:34 Quote
Buttons... exactly. One of the biggest turn offs of mobile gaming for me has always been a lack of hardware controls. Yes there are some games that suit touch, but even with the best visuals in the world I'm just not turned on by games which are impossible to play without Korean levels of commitment to learning the controls.
jb0 2nd April 2013, 00:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elton
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb0
Just because you can get that kind of power out of a mobile device doesn't mean you can get that specific hardware in a mobile power envelope. PowerPC just isn't a very low-power design.

As much as I LIKE the idea of another TurboExpress or Sega Nomad, I can't honestly say it's a good idea.

You could get equivalent theoretical performance though. It's definitively possible given that the node shrinks have basically made the old PPC stuff and the GPUs rather tiny and simplistic in comparison to what's come out.

In terms of raw coding performance though, it's much harder to compare because the old PPC CPU architectures tended to be rather different anyhow.

No argument there. Just saying that the exact hardware won't scale well, so a PS3 IN MY PANTS wasn't likely to happen. I mean, MS and Sony HAVE been taking advantage of the improvements in technology. A new XBox 360 has a power brick rated for something like 90 watts instead of the original 203. It's a big difference, but it's not really pocket power.
jb0 2nd April 2013, 00:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elton
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb0
Just because you can get that kind of power out of a mobile device doesn't mean you can get that specific hardware in a mobile power envelope. PowerPC just isn't a very low-power design.

As much as I LIKE the idea of another TurboExpress or Sega Nomad, I can't honestly say it's a good idea.

You could get equivalent theoretical performance though. It's definitively possible given that the node shrinks have basically made the old PPC stuff and the GPUs rather tiny and simplistic in comparison to what's come out.

In terms of raw coding performance though, it's much harder to compare because the old PPC CPU architectures tended to be rather different anyhow.

No argument there. Just saying that the exact hardware won't scale well, so a PS3 IN MY PANTS wasn't likely to happen. I mean, MS and Sony HAVE been taking advantage of the improvements in technology. A new XBox 360 has a power brick rated for something like 90 watts instead of the original 203. It's a big difference, but it's not really pocket power.
Smoothsmith 2nd April 2013, 10:15 Quote
With what someone said about battery life. Thing is, I think there's quite a few phones out there which actually have quite good battery life while being pretty quick now. The problem is they're low-mid range phones and the rest of the hardware isn't up to scratch.

I'm quite fond of my 1280x768 IPS screen & awesome camera, the processor is unnecessary but well...don't have much choice to keep those other things!

It's nice and all for mobile to be as fast as the PS3/360, but no developer is going to bother putting that much effort into developing a 69 pence mobile game so it doesn't really matter... Ability to stream games from my desktop over wireless would be much more attractive (Like shield).
rollo 2nd April 2013, 11:07 Quote
Battery life will always be the problem for mobile technology till the current batterys that are in use are replaced with something that is more long life.

tegra 5 is what 3 years away ? Before it goes in a consumer product. Will it really matter in 2015-2016 if tegra 5 is faster than a 10 year old games console.

Would be more concerned if i was nvidia on picking up some actual buyers for its tegra 4 hardware which has been ignored for the SG4 ( the only phone it could really go into as its the only one with the sales numbers to counter the cost) None of the other phone manufactures can realistically use it and counter the high cost that it is.

Simply because the high end andriod market has become so one sided in recent years that manufactures are not prepared to take the risk.

Nvidia have alot of work to convince Mobile Manufactures that tegra in general has a place outside of a tablet, If they can not they may have a product that is too expensive for manufactures who are fighting the race to the bottom.

Profits in tablet sector basically resolve around an Ipad and little else has made any money. The next 2 biggest sellers are sold at cost or loss as the case is in one of them. ( Kindle and nexus)

The cheap tablets are never going to be the market for tegra so who is it going to go into.

The next gen surface RT if it ever sees light of day would be a guess.
Gareth Halfacree 2nd April 2013, 11:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
tegra 5 is what 3 years away ? Before it goes in a consumer product. Will it really matter in 2015-2016 if tegra 5 is faster than a 10 year old games console.
Nvidia adopts an annual refresh cycle for its Tegra chips; it's one of the things that has allowed it to catch up to its rivals so quickly, as they tend to go for an 18 month cycle at a minimum. Thus, with the first Tegra 4 consumer goods to appear later this year (starting with the Project Shield hand-held, which is a bit of a cheat 'cos that's being made by Nvidia itself) you can expect the first Tegra 5 hardware to hit shop shelves by the end of next year.
Harlequin 2nd April 2013, 11:17 Quote
xbox 360 was announced may 2005 > so any release in 2014 will be against a 9 year old console ;)
lacuna 2nd April 2013, 12:31 Quote
I would still rather play games on a ps2 than on my phone so it doesn't really matter how powerful they are
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