The future of smartphones is looking bright, at least if you use these devices for more than just making calls. While today's top-end units sport 1GHz Snapdragon and Hummingbird processors, LG is stepping up the smartphone game by readying new models built around Nvidia's dual-core Tegra 2 platform.
Let that sink in for a moment. We're talking about smartphones with two processing cores as well as an ultra low-power Nvidia GeForce GPU.
"Taking full advantage of the two speedy 1GHz processors sharing the workload in Tegra 2, consumers can experience up to 2x faster web browsing and up to 5x faster gaming performance over single core processors running at 1GHz," LG says (PDF).
LG didn't mention how much these next-gen units will cost, but did say they'll be part of its Optimus series and ship in the fourth quarter.
Tablets are expected to hog all the limelight at this year's edition of Computex in Taipei. Nvidia is comfortably placed to tap the nearing wave of tablets as manufacturers are increasingly commissioning its Tegra 2 chip for their tablets; MSI and Asus have already announced Tegra-based tablets at Computex. So Nvidia is pretty much in the thick of the action.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang just gave media persons in Taipei an eyewitness account of all the action in the tablet market. He said that Windows 7 is unfit for tablets and smartbooks."Windows is too big and it's too full featured for smartbooks and tablets,” he told reporters. But he was all praise for Android, which he believes is best-suited for modern tablets. However, he acknowledged that Android is still far from being perfect and can do with improvements in graphics.
Although Huang may have a valid point, the unstinting praise stems from the fact that almost all tablets featuring the ARM-based Tegra 2 platform are likely to run Android.
Rumors of an ASUS tablet first surfaced during December last year and the Taiwan-based company wasted little time in confirming them. But the internal organs of the Eee Pad still remained a subject of speculation. Today, ASUS put all that speculation to rest when it unveiled the Eee Pad at Computex 2010.
“The ASUS Eee Pad EP121 offers two convenient modes of character input-an embedded virtual keyboard or an innovative hybrid keyboard/docking station design. All of this power is available in a personal computing device that delivers up to 10 hours of usage,” the company announced in a press release.
As for the 10-inch EP101TC, ASUS has opted for Windows Embedded Compact 7 and the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform. Not a lot is known about the EP101TC at this point in time. According to Engadget, ASUS expects the Eee Pad tablets to fit into the $399 to $499 price band. The company also told the popular tech blog that it will only begin shipping the tablet during the first quarter of 2011.
It took Microsoft's Zune HD player to really showcase what Tegra was capable of, and rather than wait for other devices to do the same, Nvidia appears ready to move forward and announce Tegra 2 next month at CES.
"At CES we are going to make a major announcement about the Tegra family," said Micheal Hara, senior vice president of investor relations and communications at Nvidia. "It is highly possible that we will see some very interesting form factors coming out at the same time. [There will be products] shown by our partners using the next-generation Tegra device."
Hara went on to promise that partners will be rolling out Tegra 2-based tablet PCs, smartbooks, netbooks, and MIDs throughout the first half of next year, followed by major roll-outs of smartphones in the second half of 2010.
There isn't a lot known about Tegra 2 at this point, but if we're to take high-ranking Nvidia officials at their word, we can expect Tegra 2 to be at least twice as powerful as its predecessor. The system-on-chip (SoC) will feature a dual-core ARM GPGPU and other powerful graphics technologies yet to be announced.