[CES 2010] Tegra 2 is official and put simply, it looks awesome. NVIDIA estimates that it is four times faster than the original Tegra chip while staying in the same power and thermal envelope. And looking at the diagram, we can understand why: the chip combines 8 processors: two Arm Cortex A9, one ARM 7, an image processor, an HD video decode processor, an HD video encode processor, and audio processor and a graphics processor (GPU), phew! Thanks to all this power, NVIDIA says that it succeeds in playing local 1080p video and stream HD video (flash) where competitors like Qualcomm and Intel fail. And it does it while using less power. NVIDIA’s battery life estimate is 140+hrs for music playback, 12hrs for 180p video playback and 6 hours of continuous HD web streaming. According to these numbers, Tegra 2 consumes about 7x less than Snapdragon. The chips will come in different packages to address markets like smartphones, multimedia players, automotive entertainment, but also smartbooks. Developer boards are already available.
Devices specifications: while manufacturers are ultimately designing the various handsets, computers and tablets, we should expect to see multi-touch screen from 5″ to 10″.
Supported OS: windows CE, Linux and Android are on the list. Android is actually a much easier way to deal with Linux apps. For phones, Web OS and Symbian won’t be supported at the moment, so Palm and Nokia (and others) will be out of the game for now.
Smartbooks: It is estimated that Smartbooks will cost significantly less than Netbooks. NVIDIA’s partners will ultimately price the devices, but $199 in retail seems possible.
Netbooks: Tegra can’t run Windows, but NVIDIA says that they have Ion for the Windows market, so the idea is that if you don’t need Microsoft software, Tegra might be a viable solution.
When are we going to see devices?: NVIDIA will reveal a few partners at CES, but typically, Smartbooks and tablets should appear sooner than cellphones, because the qualification times are longer for wireless carriers. Carriers are evaluating devices right now, we’ve been told. The good news is that Tegra 2 is in volume production now.
Next Story: Alienware M11x gaming notebook