Nvidia, ATI and Handheld 3D gaming

Nvidia has used the, 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France to announce the immediate availability of the AR10 3D core for use in cellular handsets. The AR10 core, made available for licensing immediately, combines ultra low power consumption with 3D shading technology and aims to make handsets fully multimedia capable. The word immediate there, should be considered carefully since the AR10 core is, for the time being, a concept design rather than a fully developed chip.

Nonetheless, the AR10 core will carry impressive features with the emphasis, as you might expect, being on low power consumption. The AR10 will feature the industry's first shader instruction set for handheld devices. Shaders offer two fundamental benefits for handsets - reduced storage and power, and advanced cinematic visual effects. With native hardware geometry acceleration, the AR10 core will completely support industry standard OpenGL ES and Direct3Dm APIs.

First we had the N-Gage then the PSP followed by the Zodiac and a variety of upcoming handheld 3D consoles now Nvidia and ATI are entering the handset market, it is becoming obvious that 2005 will be the portable 3D gaming year.

3D gaming is the challenge for 2005 was the recurring statement at Nvidia's presentation of its chip in Cannes. With millions of cell-phone users already installed and waiting, 3D gaming on the handset has the potential to reach billions of users, the challenge is, of course, to create a gaming platform which can rival current and upcoming handheld consoles such as the PSP. For the time being cell-phone gaming, including the N-Gage, cannot even compete with Nintendo's GBA so 3D, especially low power consumption 3D, is the next logical step to better mobile gaming.

It would seem that the entire industry is geared towards 3D mobile gaming so hardware manufacturers like Nvidia and ATI, content providers like Orange and software developers such as FatHammer, creators of the X-Forge middleware, are all getting ready to welcome proper gaming to our cell-phones.

Many of these companies have joined together to launch a 3D Mobile Gaming Contest. Discreet, Intel, IBM, Nokia, Orange, In-Fusio, N-Vidia, Kaolink, Ideaworks3D, Criterion and Fathammer together are looking for a company or individual who can produce an original mobile game pilot, using the package provided by the Organizers (3ds max, combustion, cleaner).

There will be 2 categories each category will have two winners and one grand prize winner out of these, 4 finalists will be chosen by SMS vote.

The two main contest categories to choose from are:

Downloadable (mid-range to high-end phones)
- Less than 200Ko, Java / 2.5D or 3D
- Less than 200Ko, Native / 2.5D or 3D
Non-downloadable (High-end phones, N-Gage)
- Approx. 1Mb, 2.5D or 3D
- Approx. 16Mb, 2.5D or 3D

The prizes include:

1st Prize
2 X-Forge licences from Fathammer (2 x USD 74,000 worth value!)

2nd Prize
Co-production and development of the best concept, to turn it into reality
=> USD 10,000- USD 20,000 worth. Kaolink, Ideaworks, Fathammer.

3rd Prize
4 licenses of 3ds max 6 with character studio + 1 cleaner => USD 12,000 worth. Discreet.

4th Prize
USD 10,000 of Cash

For further competition details or to enter, follow the download tab above.

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