Rasperry Pi computer to double iPhone 4S performance
Ryan Martin / 5 years ago
The Rasperry Pi foundation was founded with the intention of providing a really cheap computer system that was small and mobile to help encourage schools to offer more computer and code based subjects. The computer is now going into production and as you might expect this has increased the amount of media attention substantially. The Rasperry Pi computer contains an ARM 11 CPU which is clocked at 700MHz and according to the developers the customly designed GPU outperforms Nvidia’s Tegra 1 chip as well as the iPhones 4S graphics chip with ease.
“Q: We know that you have a 700MHz ARM11 core in the Raspberry Pi SoC. However, you’ve described the Broadcom chip as a GPU with ARM elements grafted on. Can you give some idea of the rendering power of the graphics core? Is it true that it comprehensively outperforms NVIDIA’s Tegra 2? If so, how?
Eben Upton: 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. 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.”
There don’t appear to be any objective benchmarks to prove this at the moment, so we will have to take his word for it for now. Of course, this little computer isn’t a one trick pony and can do many other things, such as offering full support for 1080p30 Blu-ray h.264 files, making it a competent media player. Also, it runs Linux, which is highly customizable and has a good selection of interfaces, such as USB 2.0, SD, HDMI, RCA video, analog audio and a 10/100 Ethernet port. It is also capable of supporting various expansion boards.