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Nvidia Tegra 2 processor targets tablet PCs

Posted: 12 Jan 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Nvidia Tegra 2? processor? graphics?

Nvidia Corp. has unveiled its ARM-based Tegra 2 processor that appears to be aimed at tablet computers but could also show the future direction for mainstream processors, which are expected to combine CPU, graphics and video functions.

The Tegra 2 includes a dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU core within a tally of eight independent processors and offers 10x the performance of the average smart phone while consuming 500mW, according to an online transcript of a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show. The company did not reveal what clock frequency the Tegra 2 is going at when it consumes 500mW.

Nvidia, which was founded in 1993 as a developer of graphics chips for PC add-on cards and workstations, has benefited from the growing significance of graphics in consumer electronics to the point where it is now locking horns with Intel Corp.

The Tegra 2, said to be implemented in a 40nm process technology, combines 3D graphics, video processing, basic computing and communications including mobile phone voice. Mike Rayfield, general manager of the mobile business unit at Nvidia, demonstrated that a machine based on Tegra 2 can run 1080 progressive scan video while machines based on the Intel Atom or Qualcomm's Snapdragon cannot. The Tegra-2 can play 140 hours of music or 16 hours of video on one charge, Nvidia said.

Nvidia has 50 design-ins for the Tegra 2 "in flight" according to Jen-Hsun Huang, the company founder and CEO.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe

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