Today at CES Nvidia announced their new Tegra chip for mobile devices. This small wonder has 8 independent processors and includes the world’s first dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU. With ten times the performance of smartphones, four to eight times higher resolution, and and 20 times less power consumption than mainstream PCs, Tegra will enable thin, light, and long-lasting devices from tablets to high-end automobiles.
The first generation of Tegra impressed us in the Zune HD, but Nvidia has always had their sights set on larger devices that offer the display and performance capability of PCs with the portability of smartphones. The natural fit is the new wave slate tablet market, and the company hasn’t wasted any time partnering with vendors from ASUS and MSI to Mobinova and Quanta. There are over 50 Tegra tablet designs coming out this year.
Tegra will allow for devices that can play 140 hours of music and 16 hours of full HD video. We were treated to demos of 1080p video and Unreal Engine 3-driven games, all run on the Nvidia Tegra development platform. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang brought out a slew of tablets made by MSI, Foxconn, ICD and Notion Ink to showcase the range of applications. We saw Android-driven entertainment tablets that loaded web sites quickly and responded to touch with ease, eReader tablets with back and front lighting, and tablets that play and output HD video without blinking.
The company also announced a partnership with Adobe Air, which will bring magazines to tablets in full color either via straight download or “streaming” content. This way users will have access to a wealth of periodicals that look just like paper versions, and content providers stay happy because their DRM is intact.
Nvidia is set to deliver on the hardware side everything software and content developers need to make tablets not only useful but viable and desirous to mainstream consumers.
Tablet makers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the high-performance/low-heat power combo Tegra provides. Audi automobiles also have a partnership with the GPU maker to up the sophistication and safety features of the computers integrated into high-end automobiles.
We’ll have hands-on time with some of the tablets Nvidia demonstrated later today and get more details on where Tegra is popping up this year and in the future.