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Raspberry Pi beats iPhone 4S graphics performance

Wed 25 Jan 2012 8:05am GMT / 3:05am EST / 12:05am PST
Hardware

Project hopes to give users "the tools they need to write the next Angry Birds rather than the next Modern Warfare"

Raspberry Pi executive director Eben Upton claims that the graphics core of the $25 credit card sized computer "should double iPhone 4S performance across a range of content".

Speaking to Digital Foundry in an interview published today about how the Broadcom GPU compares to the current state-of-the-art in the mobile sector, Upton enthused about the level of graphical power available to homebrew programmers with the device.

"I was on the team that designed the graphics core, so I'm a little biased here, but I genuinely believe we have the best mobile GPU team in the world at Broadcom in Cambridge," Upton said.

One of the challenges facing kids today is that AAA content is so far beyond what they can reasonably hope to achieve, so casual games provide a nice target.

Eben Upton

"What's really striking is how badly Tegra 2 performs relative even to simple APs using licensed Imagination Technologies (TI and Apple) or ARM Mali (Samsung) graphics. To summarise, BCM2835 has a tile mode architecture - so it kills immediate-mode devices like Tegra on fill-rate - and we've chosen to configure it with a very large amount of shader performance, so it does very well on compute-intensive benchmarks, and should double iPhone 4S performance across a range of content."

Upton believes that the size, scale and scope of AAA development has put games programming out of reach for many enthusiasts and hopes that the rise of mobile gaming and the availability of a cheap, accessible platform could make all the difference.

Games developers and publishers could also play an important role in the success of the Raspberry Pi venture too.

"The games industry has an enormous part to play in solving this problem. We'd like to see companies chip in with tutorials, free asset packs, internships, coding competitions with decent-sized prizes," said Upton.

"One of the challenges facing kids today is that AAA content is so far beyond what they can reasonably hope to achieve, so casual games provide a nice target; this is why we're concentrating on working with companies like YoYo Games to give kids the tools they need to write the next Angry Birds rather than the next Modern Warfare."

5 Comments

Wesley Williams
Quality Assurance

131 68 0.5
If you want to get kids coding, games are the answer. Glad to hear the hardware should match their ambitions.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Peter Lovell
Head of Talent Acquisition

18 9 0.5
Another great advert for Cambridge! Its feeling like the centre of the World here right now!

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Carl Crawford
Studying Bachelor of Information Technology

18 19 1.1
I MUST HAVE ONE! I hope they start selling to individuals soon.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Daniel Harty
Audio Capture Specialist

18 0 0.0
I think the real key is the availability and quality of learning material and ideas and support. Asset packs and competitions would be very interesting to see and take part in, I'm looking forward to it already!

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Paul Andrew McGee
Game Designer

4 1 0.3
Raspberry Pi is a fantastic venture. I look forward to seeing how it does and hopefully a very positive impact on education in the future (oh and getting my hands on one :) ).

Posted:2 years ago

#5

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