Nokia N8 Schematics Confirm Broadcom BCM2727 GPU

| July 28, 2010 | 49 Replies

When the N8 was first unveiled a lot of people were left disappointed and questioned the choice of powerplant to power the  N8, there have been a lot of confusions and arguments between the media and now Nokia have confirmed that the N8 will  use the Broadcom BCM2727 GPU which according to Broadcom will

for ‘high-quality multimedia features for mobile phones and advanced media players while retaining long battery life’.

In this case, long battery life means up to three hours of 720p HD video capture on your Nokia N8. Anyway the N8 showed impressive GPU performance as reported way back when by Jay here

And here is a close up picture of the GPU

Thanks to Andre for the heads up

via finestphones.com

Category: Battery Life, News, Nokia, Nseries, Symbian

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Hey welcome and thank you for reading my post. Well I am a student based in the UK, and try to blog about Nokia as much as I can in my spare time. I am also on twitter where you can follow me @jwf90 or also the site @mynokiablog. You can also contact us with juicy tips or suggestions at tips(@)mynokiablog.com
  • chfyfx

    It is the best GPU for mobile on the market right now. I see no reasons for S^3 to lag again…

    • Cod3rror

      Avkon is the reason, even if the S^3 is run on the best nVidia and ATI GPUs + an Intel Extreme CPU, it will still never be as smooth as an iPhone or even Android.

      S^4 should fix that though.

      • http://www.inacurate.wordpress.com Inacurate

        I just googled Avkon, I’m stating my entire knowledge on the term there. ;)

        With that said, is Avkon just not ideal for touch-based devices in general because they require to much power for other stuff or something else?

        My N82 (s60, non-touch) has been rock solid for over two years now, I can’t even recall one instance where it lagged that wasn’t clearly explained!

        Avkon..I wonder if that’s what Sony uses for their crappy Play Online GUI. So laggy, I mention it every time I see my GF playing any FF game. :D

        • Jim

          Avkon is good for non touch devices. they didn’t invest much in this interface because they wanted to keep it simple, so it can work on low end devices. The problem came when iphone entered and than android forcing nokia to improve the interface and also Symbian. They realized that avkon has no future so they didn’t invest much on it and improved symbian core(I’m talking about S3), moving to S4 to a new interface build from the ground in Qt( since they already adapted Qt with touching features).

          Avkon will be probably used on S40 and S60 devices in the next few years ( probably 3-4 years) until the new S4 will became the OS for cheaper phones.

          I’m not sure if they gone build a Symbian version (S4 in qt) for non-touch devices, we shall see. probably will replace S60 with S^3 in 2011 low end phones.

          This are my predictions. what do you think?

      • chfyfx

        At least it should do video and image flawlessly. Then the sales would sky rocket.

      • George

        Cod3rror :
        Avkon is the reason, even if the S^3 is run on the best nVidia and ATI GPUs + an Intel Extreme CPU, it will still never be as smooth as an iPhone or even Android.
        S^4 should fix that though.

        I don’t understand why S^3 and S^4 even exists. Keep S40/S60 investment (non-smartphone) and iterate it forever. For smartphones, kill Symbian S^* and double (metaphorically) resources on MeeGo so that instead of two smartphone OSes that are trying to be as good as iOS and Android you have one OS that is better. Don’t give me the QT argument either because trying to be all things to all people means you’re mediocre in everything. I’d like to see them port MeeGo to N8. If they did, I don’t think there’s a chance anyone would bother with S^3.

        • Andre

          Just no.
          Wrong and no.
          People want affordable smartphones, some will like entry level cheap smart phones and some people want top of the line smart phones.
          Why shouldn’t you cater to all of those people if you can and make a profit in doing so?

          I see the reason for S^3 and S^4 and for all intents and purposes S^4 will be rather indistinguishable from MeeGo anyway.

          • George

            Andre :
            … for all intents and purposes S^4 will be rather indistinguishable from MeeGo anyway.

            I’d like to hear more reasons. Allow me to address your concerns about Meego not being cheap enough for the low to mid-range market.

            Who says MeeGo has to be expensive? It’s a pricing / marketing decision by Nokia but certainly they can put MeeGo on $200-$300 smartphones if they wanted to.

            The advantages are:
            a) Amortize your investment across more devices spreading out BOTH development and support costs. Am I the only person that sees and advantage in not spreading out resources for development and support?
            b) Optimization. Wouldn’t it be great if MeeGo was super optimized to be able to run well on low-end to mid-range smartphone hardware? Nokia should be phones differentiating on Hardware not software. Focus the OS on providing a consistent and intuitive user experience across ALL smartphones.

            To your last point, can they make a profit investing in two OSes? Sure, but profit is NOT the only measure. What about software support. QT addresses part of it, but what about things like Flash. I’m still reeling from the fact that the N900 won’t ever get Flash 10.1. Two major OSes means more work to support more standards. Throw in Ogg, Vorbis, HTML 5. QT doesn’t solve all app problems.

            AND like you said, it will be indistinguishable and so if it is you might as well throw in MeeGo for the same price.

            Aside from pricing which I think you’ll agree is just a marketing decision, please help me understand what tangible advantage there are for users in using S^3 and S^4.

    • netborn

      No, this is not the best GPU on the market, it is a 2007 GPU. There are better, for instance froam Broadcom the 2763 (1080p vs 720 on 2727, better power management, etc), also from Broadcom the new 2820. If you want more, just take a look at the PowerVR SGX540, it kicks the 2727´s ass almost on every benchmark.

      • chfyfx

        This is from wiki: SGX540 (28 MPolys/s, 1Gpx/s@200MHz, Max Memory Band (GB/s) 4.2GB/s) for handheld high end mobile, portable, MID, UMPC, consumer, and automotive devices (Intel calls it the GMA 500)

        I think BCM2727 does 32 MPolys/s. Do some research, dude…

        Plus, BCM2727 has almost DSLR camera level imaging architecture and other highend functionalities. You really have no idea, don’t you…

        • JFH

          Got him.

      • chfyfx

        BTW, the others you mentioned are not used in general mobile market right now. Peace…

      • Al Pavangkanan

        Those GPUs exist, but are far away from being on the market.

        The 2727 is the best that’s on the market right now.

  • Escape

    Why only n8 uses that kind of gpu if it is so brilliant?

    • chfyfx

      Do you mean it is not a good GPU if only Nokia uses it?

      • http://www.inacurate.wordpress.com Inacurate

        I think Escape means, if this is the “best GPU for mobile” on the market, why has Nokia put it ONLY in the N8 and not say, in the N900, N97, etc.

        Fair question! Licensing, cost, power management that just got worked out?

        • Keith

          Prolly coz Nokia has Just gotten serious about their high-end smartphones. If you look back, N97 was supposed to be the iPhone killer by Nokia and as supposed to be a high-end phone. But we all know it wasnt. it had tons of issues, was quite slow, low RAM/Processor speed, Not so good hardware (in terms of screen and or components)
          Now that Nokia has realized that they need to step up their game in order to regain their rule in the high-end market, they have started making phones that can actually compete with today’s 2010 smartphones (Symbian^3/Symbian^4 and upcoming MeeGo devices)
          Which is why its only on the N8.
          The reason its not on the N900 is coz it was never meant for the actual mass consumers. It was KIND of an experiment (which was successful IMO). And now that they’ve learned from all these mistakes and successes, Nokia has started making powerful phones again which run on better OS.

          • http://www.inacurate.wordpress.com Inacurate

            It could be as simple as that very true!

            Though, I think they have also been “very serious” about high-end smartphone market, I just think broader definition of the term “smart phone” that has redefined since the arrival of the iPhone caught them squarely with their pants around their ankles! lol

  • Yougo

    Nokia can survive if they dont put gpu in their high end phones:)

    n97 the fucs:…..kk phone

  • http://www.mulder3.net João Serra

    Are you NUTS???? Since when Broadcom does GPUs?????? This is a Video Encoder/Decoder ISP… GPUs deal with graphics (i.e. OpenGL/DirectX)

    REAL mobile GPUs are PowerVR SGX(inside TI’s OMAP, Samgung’s SoC or Apple’s A4), Nvidia GeForce ULV(inside Nvidia’s Tegra) and ATI/AMD Imageon(inside Qualcomm’s Snapdragon) GPUs deal with OpenGL ES graphics, not video decoding…

    That BCM chip is called ISP (Image Signal Processor), not a GPU!!!!!

  • N#O#R#U#L#E#S

    i already knew it since the presentation in april…great gpu but power vr SGX still remain the best, please stop bla bla bla 28MIL vs 32MIL!! that’s just stipid numbers….check the full specs….numers of ALU etc..;)

    • JFH

      Show me the numbers pls.

    • Adi

      And what about the number of ALU?

  • JFH

    Hi John, look at this:

    http://forum2.mobile-review.com/showpost.php?p=880697&postcount=3911

    Native ovi store. Nice.

  • andre

    probably a qt app. Try to squeeze him for a lil more info…also try to get him to give some info on social networking if you can plz :)

  • andre

    João Serra :
    Are you NUTS???? Since when Broadcom does GPUs?????? This is a Video Encoder/Decoder ISP… GPUs deal with graphics (i.e. OpenGL/DirectX)
    REAL mobile GPUs are PowerVR SGX(inside TI’s OMAP, Samgung’s SoC or Apple’s A4), Nvidia GeForce ULV(inside Nvidia’s Tegra) and ATI/AMD Imageon(inside Qualcomm’s Snapdragon) GPUs deal with OpenGL ES graphics, not video decoding…
    That BCM chip is called ISP (Image Signal Processor), not a GPU!!!!!

    Lol you’re both deluded and wrong. You probably should have done some reading before making the comment.

  • andre

    Dont take this for more than it’s worth but dsmobile, someone most of us have heard of has hinted at a possible upgrade to S^4….nothing concrete…merely a hint

  • N#O#R#U#L#E#S

    i remember to all you broadcom gpu HASN’T a cortex a8 inside!!! looool!!

    • Jeebus

      What the heck do you need a cortex a8 CPU inside a GPU?
      For graphics, image/video processing and certain floating point operations GPU is always supperior to CPU. Why? Because its designed for it!
      @N#O#R#U: Clearly you don’t have the technical knowledge to comment on this matter.

      • N#O#R#U#L#E#S

        learn to read jeebus i say it’s stupid to confirm that gpu has a cortex a8 inside!!!!!

    • JFH

      A – What the fuck is your point
      B – Please help us understand what you say better by spending more time on the wording of your posts.

      • N#O#R#U#L#E#S

        point is: BROADCOM GPU HAS NOT CORTEX A8 INSIDE!!!!

        DO U UNDERSTAND NOW???????????????

        • Jeebus

          @N#O#R#U: How can we understand as it makes no sense.
          There is no need to have a Cortex a8 CPU inside the GPU.

          I think you’ve gotten this all wrong. eg. Apples A4 is a SOC which contains a Cortax a8 CPU and a PowerVR GPU.

          N8 has a separate CPU chip (ARM11) and separate CPU chip (Broadcom 2727).

          Yes Cortex a8 is faster than the ARM 11, but broadcom 2727 is faster than the PowerVR GPU Apple is using in their A4. A4 will be faster in CPU dependend things, but Broadcom 2727 should be faster when doing 3d or image/video processing.

          But CPU inside the GPU wtf? learn some basics before trying to comment on a matter you dont understand.

          • N#O#R#U#L#E#S

            lol…

            sti qui nn capiscono un cazzo mi sa…

          • Jeebus

            @N#O#R#U: with my limited italian what i understood was…
            Ja, du förståg inte ett skit.
            Siis et ymmärrä paskan vertaa.
            Sie verstehen nicht eine Scheiße.
            That you admit you know jack shit.

            • cyrotik

              isp also correct and gpu also correct…bcm2727 not perfect at all,also other gpu handheld..except you put radeon hd 69xx series on this gadget,to trigger smartphone like hardcore pc..hahaha(just joke),

  • Andre

    George :

    Andre :
    … for all intents and purposes S^4 will be rather indistinguishable from MeeGo anyway.

    I’d like to hear more reasons. Allow me to address your concerns about Meego not being cheap enough for the low to mid-range market.

    Who says MeeGo has to be expensive? It’s a pricing / marketing decision by Nokia but certainly they can put MeeGo on $200-$300 smartphones if they wanted to.

    The advantages are:
    a) Amortize your investment across more devices spreading out BOTH development and support costs. Am I the only person that sees and advantage in not spreading out resources for development and support?
    b) Optimization. Wouldn’t it be great if MeeGo was super optimized to be able to run well on low-end to mid-range smartphone hardware? Nokia should be phones differentiating on Hardware not software. Focus the OS on providing a consistent and intuitive user experience across ALL smartphones.

    To your last point, can they make a profit investing in two OSes? Sure, but profit is NOT the only measure. What about software support. QT addresses part of it, but what about things like Flash. I’m still reeling from the fact that the N900 won’t ever get Flash 10.1. Two major OSes means more work to support more standards. Throw in Ogg, Vorbis, HTML 5. QT doesn’t solve all app problems.

    AND like you said, it will be indistinguishable and so if it is you might as well throw in MeeGo for the same price.

    Aside from pricing which I think you’ll agree is just a marketing decision, please help me understand what tangible advantage there are for users in using S^3 and S^4.

    The existing user base, cheaper hardware in so far as S^3&4 are concerned.
    The capabilities that Nokia is looking at with regards to MeeGo far exceed the hardware capabilities of the hardware that would be necessary to run symbian.
    Why should they amortize a linux OS built to run on significantly higher end hardware when they have an OS they can amortize like that already?
    Why throw away something good for something better but more expensive?

    • George

      Andre :
      The existing user base, cheaper hardware in so far as S^3&4 are concerned.
      The capabilities that Nokia is looking at with regards to MeeGo far exceed the hardware capabilities of the hardware that would be necessary to run symbian.
      Why should they amortize a linux OS built to run on significantly higher end hardware when they have an OS they can amortize like that already?
      Why throw away something good for something better but more expensive?

      Please expound on what that existing userbase gets from S^3. It’ll be different enough from S60 to not make any difference. BTW, I had an N75 and I transitioned fine to the N900. Can they do port over apps from S40/S60? I don’t think so. UI interaction different maybe but as you said it would be indistinguishable from MeeGo so what’s the big deal?

      Yes, currently MeeGo isn’t as optimized as Symbian, which is exactly why I threw out the point that if they did optimize it for lower-end devices wouldn’t that be the best for everyone? True, a big IF, but wouldn’t that be a better solution than multiple divergent OS versions?

      Yes, you’d throw away some development effort. True, but that’s life in a new world. Sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You have to look at the long term cost of supporting multiple OS variants versus killing work already spent. Over its lifetime Symbian S^3 and S^4 will add more cost to development and support than killing it now or 6 months ago when Maemo was released. Plus it adds confusion to Nokias product line. So many OS versions that don’t play nice with each other.

      No, I’m not a QT expert, but if you think the write once run anywhere model is finally perfected in QT you’re kidding yourself. Each UX will have a different UI model and if you think QT apps won’t have to be customized for each OS I think you need to revisit. If your answer is a generic app frame work that works for all OSes but is not consistent with any particular UX you’re espousing a generic ugly app model. Works but is ugly. Feel free to enlighten me on the power of QT and how all GTK based apps will magically be useless when it releases.

      • Andre

        I plan on doing a post on Qt, keep a look out for it.

        • George

          Andre :
          I plan on doing a post on Qt, keep a look out for it.

          Great. I hope you specifically address the UI / UX issues I mentioned with multiple OSes. Specifically regarding UI differences, UX differences, interaction differences (resistive vs capacitive / single vs multi-touch), base QT framework maintenance (QT 4.6+, 5.0 for Maemo?), hardware acceleration and etc.

      • http://www.inacurate.wordpress.com Inacurate

        You both have good points and I think with effort Nokia could make it work with EITHER path as good as they are more than likely going to be with both of them anyway.

        If MeeGo could be optimized to run efficiently enough on lower-end hardware (Which, it undoubtedly could being linux based) something they could also achieve by possibly “removing” certain higher-end power sucking options, then it could work. I would honestly prefer them to go this path, as they would have ONE OS to focus on, improve, maintain and we (power consumers) would know Nokia *means* business with the OS.

        It’s tricky, and I am sure Nokia has gone over all their options and looked at all this from many more angles than even we can come up with.

        Personally, I would like to see Nokia slim down to one OS. Is it feasible given their current status? ..that is a great question, a touch one I bet. Are they likely to do it? With their interest in Qt, I don’t think so. Qt will allow them to more effectively code one application for their multiple OSs, so they won’t feel the need to slim them down.

        • George

          Inacurate :
          It’s tricky, and I am sure Nokia has gone over all their options and looked at all this from many more angles than even we can come up with.

          Looking at some of the articles posted about how Nokia is run, even if it was presented I’m sure it would have been shot down in seconds. Like any big company Nokia is internally political. Where is all of the revenue and volume? Symbian. Bread and butter for years. I bet middle management and VPs responsible for Symbian have such a death grip on internal politics that anyone mentioning killing S^3 or S^4 will be fired or quickly brushed aside.

          Inacurate :

          Personally, I would like to see Nokia slim down to one OS. Is it feasible given their current status? ..that is a great question, a touch one I bet. Are they likely to do it? With their interest in Qt, I don’t think so.

          They’ll never do it. The problem with big companies is that middle management is no longer interested in what’s best for the customer or what is most competitive. They just want job security and once you have locked in the multiple OS strategy everyone gets to ride the Nokia gravy train to oblivion.

          The only way for this to happen is a new CEO that goes in and starts killing projects with no remorse because he has no ties.

          They won’t do it.

          • http://www.inacurate.wordpress.com Inacurate

            It’s funny, I thought I had mentioned the political issues in my post here, but realized I had not.

            It’s so true too, management that has made Symbian what it is over the years (For good or bad, successful or not) has of course a strong amount of weight and clout in the company and are going to do their best to keep their jobs. Whether that means at the expense of the consumers best interest we may never know, but obviously one would hope if such decisions were made for the sole interest of job security and it was discovered, said job would no longer be secure at ANY location within the company.

            Is that how companies work? Of course not, sadly. But regardless, UPPER management will eventually get hit with the brick walls as their company falls around them, if they continue to do nothing. Not saying this is how Nokia operates of course, but if it IS, eventually things do change as the survival mode is initiated!!

  • Andre

    George :

    Andre :
    … for all intents and purposes S^4 will be rather indistinguishable from MeeGo anyway.

    I’d like to hear more reasons. Allow me to address your concerns about Meego not being cheap enough for the low to mid-range market.

    Who says MeeGo has to be expensive? It’s a pricing / marketing decision by Nokia but certainly they can put MeeGo on $200-$300 smartphones if they wanted to.

    The advantages are:
    a) Amortize your investment across more devices spreading out BOTH development and support costs. Am I the only person that sees and advantage in not spreading out resources for development and support?
    b) Optimization. Wouldn’t it be great if MeeGo was super optimized to be able to run well on low-end to mid-range smartphone hardware? Nokia should be phones differentiating on Hardware not software. Focus the OS on providing a consistent and intuitive user experience across ALL smartphones.

    To your last point, can they make a profit investing in two OSes? Sure, but profit is NOT the only measure. What about software support. QT addresses part of it, but what about things like Flash. I’m still reeling from the fact that the N900 won’t ever get Flash 10.1. Two major OSes means more work to support more standards. Throw in Ogg, Vorbis, HTML 5. QT doesn’t solve all app problems.

    AND like you said, it will be indistinguishable and so if it is you might as well throw in MeeGo for the same price.

    Aside from pricing which I think you’ll agree is just a marketing decision, please help me understand what tangible advantage there are for users in using S^3 and S^4.

    Furthermore I don’t think you fully understand just what Qt is.

  • Jeebus

    Jeebus :
    N8 has a separate CPU chip (ARM11) and separate CPU chip (Broadcom 2727).

    Typo:
    separate CPU chip (Broadcom 2727) => separate GPU chip (Broadcom 2727)