updated 10:40 pm EDT, Wed April 1, 2009
NVIDIA at CTIA demonstrated its Tegra all-in-one chips for mobile Internet devices (MIDs), smartphones and other portable electronics. The ARM-based components integrate a CPU, GPU, northbridge, southbridge, primary memory and various input/output arrangements into a single chip. The company claims the technology is capable of 1080p output via HDMI, while consuming only a half watt of power to process the HD video.
Tegra components also offer considerable power savings while inactive, extending standby time from hours to many days. The company utilized efficient processors and optimized the resource allocation to achieve improved performance for mobile devices with limited battery capacities.
Along with the new chips, NVIDIA has developed a complementary user interface with design elements that appear to fall somewhere between Google Android and Mac OS X. Tegra is also configured to support Android, Windows Mobile and Windows CE operating systems. Company representative Derek Perez noted that the technology is extremely flexible and could easily be used with other platforms, such as mobile gaming devices.
The company demonstrated Tegra on a gutted HP Mini 1000 that was retrofitted to accommodate the computer-on-a-chip system. The small module, also shown below, was able to play 720p video without a problem. The system could ultimately be used to output 1080p HD from extremely small products such as MDIs. NVIDIA is working with an OEM to produce a $99 MDI with advanced graphics functionality.
Although Perez declined to offer specifics regarding which companies would be launching Tegra-based devices, he suggested that a number of products should be available by the end of the year and NVIDIA is set for a significant announcement at the Computex Taipei conference held in June.