At the ongoing Computex Taipei trade-show, Nvidia Corp. finally showcased devices powered by its Tegra system-on-chip (SoC). The devices shown were from contract manufacturers and their demonstration may mean that branded suppliers are at least looking forward Tegra-powered netbooks, tablet PCs or mobile Internet devices (MIDs).
“The mobile computing revolution has arrived. 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,” stated Michael Rayfield, general manager of mobile business at Nvidia.
At Computex Taipei 2009 Nvidia demonstrated the following devices:
- Compal Communications CN88 (netbook)
- ICD Ultra (tablet)
- Inventec Applications Rainbow (netbook)
- Mobinnova Mabo (tablet)
- Mobinnova ViewBook N910 (netbook)
- Pegatron Vivid (netbook)
- Wistron M5 (netbook)
Neither of the demonstrated devices will ever be available on the market “as is”, however, large vendors, such as Acer, Dell, Hewlett Packard, or well-known local suppliers or telecom companies may order Nvidia Tegra-based products from the aforementioned contract makers. In fact, according to Nvidia, there are over twenty Tegra-based projects in the development currently.
América Móvil, the world’s third largest mobile operator with networks all across Latin America, expressed interest in Nvidia Tegra-based devices.
“Devices based on Nvidia Tegra will allow us to offer a mobile Internet device that delivers an amazing level of functionality at minimal cost or even free through subsidies. The combination of a Tegra-based MID and our high-speed national coverage will allow millions of people to access the Internet and have an unprecedented experience,” said Antonio Domit, executive technology advisor to América Móvil, Grupo Carso, and Inbursa.
Nvidia Tegra 600-series SoCs features ARM11 central processing unit core, GeForce graphics core with programmable pixel shader and programmable vertex shader support, build-in low-power DDR memory controller, NAND flash memory controller, high-definition video processor that supports MPEG 4, H.264, VC-1/WMV9 decoding, H.264 and MPEG4 encoding and features some other capabilities. Besides, Tegra 600 and Tegra 650 support two displays, 12MPixel camera sensor, USB, Parallel ATA a variety of display outputs, including HDMI, as well as other necessary interfaces.
Nvidia Tegra line of SoCs for handsets and mobile Internet devices (MIDs) was announced in early June, 2008. The product family was not exactly a success for Nvidia: despite of the fact that the company expected handset makers to start adopting Tegra by the end of 2008, netbooks powered by Tegra will be out only in the second half of 2009. The destiny of Tegra-based smartphones is unclear.