For some time now there’s been speculation as to just what processor is under the hood of the Zune HD. Now, it has finally been confirmed that it is the Nvidia Tegra that’s allowing potential users to view video in HD.
PC Perspective’s Ryan Shrout was able to confirm the news after hearing about the Tegra’s role in the new Zune at Computex in early June. The Tegra was chosen due to its ability to decode a video stream using only 150 mWatts of power and output audio at only 20 mWatts.
With the Zune HD’s 3.3-inch 480x272 OLED display, it’ll be able to playback H.264 content and output video via HDMI at 720p.
At Computex today, Nvidia and its partners announced a dozen high-definition mobile internet devices (MIDs) built around the GPU maker's Tegra processor, the "world's smallest and lowest power computer-on-a-chip," according to Nvidia.
"The mobile computing revolution has arrived," stated Micheal Rayfield, general manger of mobile business at Nvidia. "These new Tegra-based products combine excellent Internet and media capabilities, always-on operation, and wireless connectivity for the un-tethered Internet experience consumers have been craving."
Not to be confused with MIDs as handheld devices (as Intel uses the term), Nvidia's MIDs include several Tegra-based netbooks and tablets. We'll let you be the judge on that one.
The Tegra platform brings several goodies to the table, including 25 days of music or 10-hours of 1080p video playback on a single charge, playing videogames at up to 46 frames per second, GPU accelerated Adobe Flash, and more.
According to Engadget, look for Tegra devices to start shipping by the end of the year for $200 or less.
Nvidia this week unveiled a new platform that ties its Tegra 600 Series 'computer-on-a-chip' technology with a $99 always-on, always-connected HD mobile internet device (MID). According to Nvidia, devices built around the new platform can last for days before it becomes necessary to charge the battery.
"Mobile internet devices have evolved to provide consumers with the performance and connectivity required by today’s lifestyle," said Michael Rayfield, general manager of the mobile business unit at NVIDIA. "Until now, consumers could get just another ‘gadget’ with limited functionality or a PC that’s not ‘always on’. A Tegra-based platform combines the best of both worlds."
In addition to a super-long battery life, Nvidia says its Tegra MID will be capable of both 720p and 1080p video playback and come equipped for full WiFi and 3G connectivity. The company also says the hardware will be optimized for Web 2.0 applications and utilize a complete software solution consisting of Microsoft Windows Embedded CE OS, application viewers, an internet browser, UI framework, a web mail client, and host of other goodies.
Too good to be true? Time will tell, but if Nvidia can deliver on all that it's promising, some very compelling devices could wind up in the market place. The graphics chip maker has indicated it is working with manufacturers who will build the new MIDs, the first of which are expected to show up in the second half of 2009.
Nvidia looks to take on both Intel and Apple and make a bid for the mobile device market with its Tegra chip. The low powered "computer on a chip" boasts an ARM based processor core, HD video decoder capable of 1080p playback, a variation of the GeForce graphics core, an integrated media processor, and more.
Right now the chip is in the development phase, which company president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang says is going exceedingly well. Barring any snags, Huang says we can expect to see Tegra shipping sometime between April and June of 2009. The launch would likely kick off with the Tegra 600 running at 700MHz, Tegra 650 running at 800MHz, and the Tegra APX runing at 600MHz.
It remains unclear which partners plan to utilize Tegra, but given the specs, it shouldn't be hard to find willing manufacturers.
Nvidia and Opera have teamed up to provide a rich web browsing experience on mobile platforms. Nvidia will now provide “an optimized Opera 9.5 browser in its suite of pre-integrated, in-house and third-party software for the NVIDIA Tegra family of computer-on-chip Windows Mobile and Windows CE solutions.”
The web browsing experience currently available on most smartphones leaves a lot to be desired. But browsing on mobile devices is destined for a considerable leap in the near future as success of mobile devices is beginning to rest heavily on the browsing experience they offer.
Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini had a bounce in his step going into his shareholder briefing on Tuesday. Intel’s continued dominance over AMD and a solid earnings report has left his investors glad they placed their money in hardware rather then software. Investors on the other hand are nothing if not fickle. The conference call quickly turned into a debate over the shortage of Atom processors and weakness in Intel’s flash memory business. Put on the defensive Paul Otellini hinted that Atom isn’t the chip maker’s primary focus. "(Atom) is less than a third the performance of our Centrino (processor). You're dealing with something that most of us wouldn't use," he said. He further goes on to clarify that Atom is aimed at the emerging Netbook audience and is a way that Intel can grow without cannibalizing its other processor offerings. He continued to reassure investors that Intel has plenty of Atom chips in stock and back end improvements to testing as well as increased production of chipsets should solve the problem. Intel has been steadily increasing its production capacity of the popular CPUs since November.
If DigiTimes is to be taken at its word, Intel has already pushed back the launch of the dual-core Atom to September, 2008. The delay is due to the shortage of the 230 single-core Atom, according to the unnamed sources cited in the story. Interestingly, Intel hadn’t even given any launch date for the dual-core Atom in the first place, let alone announcing a delay.
Things are going to hot up in the high stakes low-power processor market with AMD readying its ‘Bobcat’ processor. NVIDIA’s Tegra is the other processor in the race. Given the competition, Intel might just be waiting for the correct time to launch the Atom 320 processor.