With its GoForce 3D 4500, nVidia hopes to become as big in mobile gaming as it is in PCs, and its partnership with Gizmondo could be the first step on the way.
Yesterday, nVidia announced a new chip designed for use in mobile phones and mobile gaming devices – the GoForce 3D 4500. nVidia is a huge force in PC graphics and clearly hopes to make the same impact in mobiles.
For fanboys of nVidia graphics cards, the thought of having an nVidia powered phone will be quite a buzz.
nVidia has dubbed the GoForce, ‘the world’s first wireless media processor’. The company claims that the GoForce will bring interactive content to mobile phones of a quality that was not possible before. The GoForce processor is designed to handle image and video processing as well as 3D, while consuming as little power as possible.
With higher bandwidth networks many industry pundits are predicting that mobile gaming will grow rapidly in the next few years. Transferring its expertise from PC graphics into mobiles could be a very smart move for nVidia.
The GoForce 3D 4500 offers geometry processing, and its 3D capabilities include programmable shaders, bilinear and trilinear texture filtering, and texture compression. nVidia’s nPower technology is implemented for increased battery-life. On the video side, the GoForce 3D 4500 supports MPEG-4 and H.263 codecs, while for still images the processor has headroom for three Megapixel JPEGs.
nVidia says it will work with mobile phone carriers, game developers and publishers to help create content that runs on the GoForce. Three Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are supported, OpenGL-ES, D3D Mobile and M3G.
nVidia has already received a boost with the announcement that the forthcoming Gizmondo game pad will be powered by the chip, which is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2004.
The Gizmondo runs on Windows CE and is powered by a Samsung ARM9 400MHz processor. With a 2.8in TFT screen the Gizmondo’s functions include an MP3 player, MPEG4 video, a digital camera, Bluetooth, GPRS connectivity, and even GPS.
To kick start the device, Gizmondo and nVidia plan to distribute up to 500 software development kits throughout the game developer community by the end of first half, 2005.