Nvidia X1 elemental demo

CES is slowly kicking off, and NVIDIA is leading the charge early with its new Tegra X1 processor. Last year it was all about NVIDIA bringing its Kepler graphics to a mobile chip, but this year it's all about Maxwell invading the mobile space. NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang revealed the "superchip" has 256 processor cores and eight CPU cores. That's like Raiders of the Lost Arc-level face melting.

The company's K1 chip inside something like the SHIELD Tablet was already powerful and plenty capable. But NVIDIA says the X1 blows that out of the water, offering twice the performance of last year's out-of-style K1. The X1 will be able to handle 4K video at 60Hz, and will be the first mobile chip to exceed 1 teraflop of throughput; X1 will be able to support the same game engines that Maxwell can on the desktop.

"With this level of computing power, Tegra X1 is built for performance-oriented applications in the automotive, gaming, mobile and embedded markets" NVIDIA said. "It enables breakthroughs in mobile graphics and new deep learning and computer vision apps for self-driving cars and autonomous robots and drones."

Huang says X1 is twice as efficient as the K1, too, and can even handle things like Unreal Engine's Elemental demo on "x1 at 10 watts;" next-gen game consoles consumed 100 watts when running the same demo.

Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, said Z1 is "equipped to run rich, beautiful experiences not previously seen on mobile devices."

The line between mobile and desktop is very clearly being blurred. Once more developers get their hands on NVIDIA's new technology, I'd be very anxious to see what's created in the coming months. If the SHIELD Tablet experience with the K1 is anything to go by, I'm sure we'll see some good stuff in 2015.