Ina Fried

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Nvidia’s Project Logan Aims to Bring High-End Desktop Graphics to Mobile Devices

In recent years, mobile devices have come a long way in being able to pull off the kind of computing feats once reserved for desktops and laptops.

Nvidia Project Logan-feature

Further evidence will come on Wednesday as Nvidia starts showing off Project Logan, the company’s first mobile chips that use the same graphics engine the chipmaker has used on the PC.

Nvidia said the effort, still in its early stages, will reach the product stage in the first half of next year as part of the company’s next-generation Tegra chip.

“We’ve been working on this for years to get the convergence,” Nvidia senior VP Dan Vivoli said in an interview. The company just got back the initial test chips running the new engine, and decided to show off a prototype at the graphics industry’s Siggraph convention, which takes place this week.

Nvidia said the new mobile graphics engine is powerful enough to do one of the company’s most intensive demos — real-time rendering of a detailed human face. The company previously showed a demo of “Ira” using its high-end workstation graphics chip.

Now it has done an updated version of Ira, using some of the early silicon for Project Logan. It’s not quite the same demo, with the mobile version offering somewhat slower frame rate, with a lower resolution.

“Ira is the most impressive graphics I’ve ever seen in real time,” Vivoli said. “The fact we can do a version of Ira that runs on a mobile platform blows me away.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik