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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

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The iPhone's Gaming Credentials
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 8 comments

Touch Arcade has published a new article examining the iPhone's potential as a gaming platform. The feature focuses on the multimedia phone's hardware and compares it to dedicated handheld gaming devices like Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP.

The iPhone’s core system-on-a-chip (SoC) hardware is a Samsung S5L8900.  Being a SoC, the device consists of various discrete components that have been integrated into a single device in order to provide a wide range of functionality in a small, low-cost package.  Two components are of particular importance in quantifying such a device’s ability to function as a game platform: the processor core and the graphics hardware.

The Samsung chipset at the heart of the iPhone utilizes a 32-bit RISC ARM processing core, the ARM1176JZ(F)-S.  The ARM device is capable of running at 620MHz, but Apple has downclocked it to 412MHz, presumably in the interest of extending battery life.  (Apple has, at least once in the past, adjusted the clockspeed of both the processor and the system bus via firmware update.)

The Samsung SoC also features an implementation of Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR MBX Lite 3D accelerator, likely running at the iPhone’s bus speed of 103MHz.  This fourth-generation PowerVR chipset is basically an evolution of the second-generation graphics hardware used in the Sega Dreamcast (an amazing console, to those unaware) and which, like its console predecessor, utilizes a unique tile-based rendering system.

The MBX Lite is capable of providing fill rates exceeding 135 million pixels per second and a throughput of 1.7 million triangles per second, depending on configuration.
Head over to the link below to read the rest of the article.

Touch Arcade: The iPhone's Gaming Mettle

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