LONDON Nvidia Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.) has launched its ARM-based Tegra 2 processor. The device appears to be aimed at tablet computers but could also show the future direction for mainstream processors, which are expected to combine, as the Tegra 2 does, 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 ten times the performance of the average smartphone while consuming 500-mW, according to an online transcript of a press conference held in Las Vegas, at the Consumer Electronics Show. The company did not reveal what clock frequency the Tegra 2 is going at when it consumes 500-mW.
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. (see Nvidia pokes fun at Intel with cartoon website).
The Tegra 2, said to be implemented in a 40-nm process technology, combines 3-D 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.
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