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News NVIDIA and MediaTek want to bring RTX graphics to ARM laptops

NTMBK

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Nov 14, 2011
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What would an ARM-based laptop look like with an RTX graphics card? That's something NVIDIA is exploring together with MediaTek, a company best known for building ARM-based chips. Together, they're building a reference laptop platform that'll support Chromium, Linux and NVIDIA SDKs (software development kits). While it's unclear what, if anything, this partnership will lead to, it's not hard to get excited about the idea of a next-generation Chromebook that's light, energy efficient and equipped with NVIDIA's ray-tracing RTX hardware, even if they inevitably end up being stripped down.

I don't really get why Mediatek is involved here? NVidia can clearly produce their own ARM SoCs. And I'm not taking it seriously until it runs Windows.

BUT... I can definitely see a future where an ARM laptop chip can emulate x86 games faster than an x86 chip in the same power envelope. And at that point, this could be viable.
 
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ThatBuzzkiller

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Nov 14, 2014
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It doesn't run windows so it's fairly irrelevant. Chromium is virtually fine with just about any other graphics vendor and Linux is absolutely irrelevant for client ...

Nvidia is practically paperweight without Windows so it this not newsworthy in the slightest ...
 

SarahKerrigan

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Oct 12, 2014
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I would not be surprised if this collaboration has a long-term eye toward Windows, even though it's not being mentioned right now. Especially if the rumors about Samsung preparing to launch Exynos/Radeon Windows laptops are true.
 
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Gideon

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Especially if the rumors about Samsung preparing to launch Exynos/Radeon Windows laptops are true.
I wonder if they can do it. AFAIK AMD's license mentioned Samsung can only use their GPUs in devices that are not in direct competiton with AMD's own offerings. Laptops to me would seem to breach that.

Then again maybe it's a more intimate partnership rather than pure licencing? If AMD want's to make ARM chips, samsung could offer quite a few IP blocks AMD does not have
 

SarahKerrigan

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Oct 12, 2014
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I wonder if they can do it. AFAIK AMD's license mentioned Samsung can only use their GPUs in devices that are not in direct competiton with AMD's own offerings. Laptops to me would seem to breach that.

Then again maybe it's a more intimate partnership rather than pure licencing? If AMD want's to make ARM chips, samsung could offer quite a few IP blocks AMD does not have
Interesting point, and one I hadn't thought of! Maybe "direct competition" is sufficiently broadly defined that ARM machines, even ones in a laptop form factor and running NT, don't count?
 
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Thala

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Nov 12, 2014
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BUT... I can definitely see a future where an ARM laptop chip can emulate x86 games faster than an x86 chip in the same power envelope. And at that point, this could be viable.
Speaking of emulation i did compile 7zip for x86, x64, arm64 from the same source with same compiler setting using MSVC16 (Visual Studio 2019). And then i ran the benchmark:
"7zip b -md20" of all 3 version on the Surface Pro X. It is using 8 threads in all 3 versions. Results below:

Microsoft SQ1 @3GHz.
arm64: 19660 (100%)
x86: 11211 (57%)
x64: 13837 (70%)

As reference my desktop machine:

Intel Skylake 6700k @4.2GHz:
x64: 24400
x86: 21200
 

Shivansps

Diamond Member
Sep 11, 2013
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So 4 A76 cores + 4 A55 cores still cant beat a 6 year old 6700K quad core +HT native vs native? The result is not that impressive when you realise there is a 5 year gap there. Thats around the score of a 3200G.

The 4300U (4/4) gets around 15K and the 4500U (6/6) around 22K, and thats the low end, the 8CX is a premium chip as result the fair thing would be to compare it to a 4800U that gets well over 40k.
 
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podspi

Golden Member
Jan 11, 2011
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I wonder if they can do it. AFAIK AMD's license mentioned Samsung can only use their GPUs in devices that are not in direct competiton with AMD's own offerings. Laptops to me would seem to breach that.

Then again maybe it's a more intimate partnership rather than pure licencing? If AMD want's to make ARM chips, samsung could offer quite a few IP blocks AMD does not have
Do we know for a fact that the Exynos chipset is going to be ARM based? This could be x86+radeon+Samsung IP blocks.

Alternatively, as you say, maybe they're working on a jointly branded ARM SoC as a way for AMD to hedge against ARM.

Exciting times.
 

jpiniero

Diamond Member
Oct 1, 2010
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Do we know for a fact that the Exynos chipset is going to be ARM based? This could be x86+radeon+Samsung IP blocks.

Alternatively, as you say, maybe they're working on a jointly branded ARM SoC as a way for AMD to hedge against ARM.
I think it's more a hedge against Mali dying and/or the need for Graphics IP if Samsung decides/is forced to move to Risc-V because of the deal. Which is smart.
 

Thala

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Nov 12, 2014
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So 4 A76 cores + 4 A55 cores still cant beat a 6 year old 6700K quad core +HT native vs native? The result is not that impressive when you realise there is a 5 year gap there. Thats around the score of a 3200G.

The 4300U (4/4) gets around 15K and the 4500U (6/6) around 22K, and thats the low end, the 8CX is a premium chip as result the fair thing would be to compare it to a 4800U that gets well over 40k.
You might wan't to check the power the different SoCs your are quoting here are drawing while running this benchmark. The only competition in the 7W TDP range is last years Lakefield - but for obvious reasons Lakefield is nowhere to be seen in your stupid rant...

Besides i did not make the post to impress you, but give some idea of the relative emulation performance on ARM64.
 
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Shivansps

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Sep 11, 2013
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You might wan't to check the power the different SoCs your are quoting here are drawing while running this benchmark. The only competition in the 7W TDP range is last years Lakefield - but for obvious reasons Lakefield is nowhere to be seen in your stupid rant...
Dont try to move the goalposts here, you didnt mention anything about power efficiency, you did a comparison based on raw perf and i did another comparison based on raw perf using more modern cpus.

In fact this thread is about laptops, thats the market for Renoir-U 15W chips, i dont see whats the problem in bringing Renoir-U perf and there is no rant there either.

I more than welcome ARM CPUs in the laptop market, but you cant forget about pricing and the proper x86 counterparts, the 8CX is a ultra premium SKU that has lower emulation MIPS than the entry-level 4300U and lower native MIPS than the 4500U at 50% TDP, but 7W vs 15W is not that much of a issue for a laptop, it is for ultra-portables, like that Surface.
Offcourse ill like to see a proper comparison.
 
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Thala

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I think it's more a hedge against Mali dying and/or the need for Graphics IP if Samsung decides/is forced to move to Risc-V because of the deal. Which is smart.
Well you can use Mali with any other CPU architecture. It is not even unprecedented as Intel combined Mali and Airmont cores in their Sofia-3G SoC. In any case looks like Samsung is dropping Mali anyway going forward.
 

SarahKerrigan

Senior member
Oct 12, 2014
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Well you can use Mali with any other CPU architecture. It is not even unprecedented as Intel combined Mali and Airmont cores in their Sofia-3G SoC. In any case looks like Samsung is dropping Mali anyway going forward.
It's been used with SH (ST Micro set-top box parts) and MIPS (Alchemy) too.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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As a tie-in to my other thread in the GPU section, what are the odds of a PC Gaming GPU based on scaled-up Mali IP? Any chance at all?
 

Shivansps

Diamond Member
Sep 11, 2013
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As a tie-in to my other thread in the GPU section, what are the odds of a PC Gaming GPU based on scaled-up Mali IP? Any chance at all?
Mali GPUs right now at least, dosent support Feature Level 12, not sure if is a driver thing or a missing hardware feature, so Windows gaming on Mali should work around the same as Kepler does with DX12 games as issues are concerned.

Most of the issues with these gpu are due to not target Windows as a platform. Something i dont understand, Windows 10 can run on Raspberry Pi 4 whiout a working GPU driver... it would be a totally valid platform if the driver stack. were OK.
 
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ThatBuzzkiller

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Nov 14, 2014
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Mali GPUs right now at least, dosent support Feature Level 12, not sure if is a driver thing or a missing hardware feature, so Windows gaming on Mali should work around the same as Kepler does with DX12 games as issues are concerned.

Most of the issues with these gpu are due to not target Windows as a platform. Something i dont understand, Windows 10 can run on Raspberry Pi 4 whiout a working GPU driver... it would be a totally valid platform if the driver stack. were OK.
The biggest problem with Mali GPUs isn't the features. The biggest problem with Mali GPUs is that they're a bad match for the D3D12 API in general like all the other tile based GPUs. Scary stuff happens in their drivers like emulating geometry shaders and enabling bounds checking is very expensive but this feature can't be turned off in D3D so performance will tank automatically over there ...
 

Shivansps

Diamond Member
Sep 11, 2013
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Yeah ive been looking at gaming videos on the Surface Pro X and the Mali GPU is a complete trash, i dont even think it is FL 11.1 there is a shitload of games that dont run, have issues or just crash, not sure if the crashing is due to the GPU or unaligned memory access from the game itself, i saw that problem in two open source games that run on linux when i tryied to run then on the RPI (never tested on ARM64).
 
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NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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Yeah ive been looking at gaming videos on the Surface Pro X and the Mali GPU is a complete trash, i dont even think it is FL 11.1 there is a shitload of games that dont run, have issues or just crash, not sure if the crashing is due to the GPU or unaligned memory access from the game itself, i saw that problem in two open source games that run on linux when i tryied to run then on the RPI (never tested on ARM64).
Surface Pro X isn't Mali. It's a Qualcomm Adreno GPU, completely different architecture.
 

Kryohi

Junior Member
Nov 12, 2019
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I don't really get why Mediatek is involved here? NVidia can clearly produce their own ARM SoCs. And I'm not taking it seriously until it runs Windows.

BUT... I can definitely see a future where an ARM laptop chip can emulate x86 games faster than an x86 chip in the same power envelope. And at that point, this could be viable.
Can Nvidia make a SoC with an integrated 5G modem though?
For some reason Microsoft and Qualcomm are really pushing for 5G always-connected devices, so Nvidia and AMD may be disadvantaged in that regard?

Same reasoning for what Samsung will be allowed to do with RDNA: will AMD see a low-power, 5G enabled SoC as direct competition in the laptop market?
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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Can Nvidia make a SoC with an integrated 5G modem though?
For some reason Microsoft and Qualcomm are really pushing for 5G always-connected devices, so Nvidia and AMD may be disadvantaged in that regard?

Same reasoning for what Samsung will be allowed to do with RDNA: will AMD see a low-power, 5G enabled SoC as direct competition in the laptop market?
I don't see the point of 5G in the laptop market. 99% of users will use the laptop on WiFi, and you can tether your laptop to your phone if you really, really need to use it without WiFi. It just doesn't make sense to pay hundreds of dollars a year for a 5G contract on a laptop.
 

Kryohi

Junior Member
Nov 12, 2019
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I don't see the point of 5G in the laptop market. 99% of users will use the laptop on WiFi, and you can tether your laptop to your phone if you really, really need to use it without WiFi. It just doesn't make sense to pay hundreds of dollars a year for a 5G contract on a laptop.
I fully agree, but 5G and AI are buzzwords that probably increase sales
 
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DrMrLordX

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Apr 27, 2000
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I would not be surprised if this collaboration has a long-term eye toward Windows, even though it's not being mentioned right now. Especially if the rumors about Samsung preparing to launch Exynos/Radeon Windows laptops are true.
Interestingly enough, Mediatek licensed Radeon GPU tech from AMD six years ago.
 
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Insert_Nickname

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May 6, 2012
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Something i dont understand, Windows 10 can run on Raspberry Pi 4 whiout a working GPU driver... it would be a totally valid platform if the driver stack. were OK.
Windows can always fall back on WARP when it lacks a proper driver (and does if you use the MS basic one), but that is too slow to run anything past the GUI on. Unless you have a massively more powerful system then a Pi.
 

NTMBK

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Nov 14, 2011
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Windows can always fall back on WARP when it lacks a proper driver (and does if you use the MS basic one), but that is too slow to run anything past the GUI on. Unless you have a massively more powerful system then a Pi.
Have they added AVX-512 support to WARP yet? That would be an interesting experiment...
 

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