January 5, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
NVIDIA knows what Android users want: smarter phones, faster phones, and “super” phones that can last longer than current technology allows. At a CES news conference touting its Tegra 2 chip, NVIDIA says those wants can be met in the next generation of phones.
“We’re going to look back at 2011 – and this partciular CES -[and realize] that the world has changed,” said NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. Huang harked back to the way that Windows 95 changed the way that people use computers, and promised that the same will happen with the mobile space and Tegra 2. “You’re going to see the pieces come together.”
We’ve heard some news about the Tegra 2 already, the jist of which that having multiple cores will decrease wait times for many tasks, and increase battery life. Let’s do a quick rundown of what was covered in today’s press conference.
Tegra 2 is small but powerful. It’s smaller than the size of a dime. but it’s 50x more efficient than current chips. It is a dual-core super chip that will appear in smartphones, tablets, and even electric cars.
Tegra2 will power “computer first, phone second,” meaning smartphones will be able to “access the web in its full glory.” I’d argue that we’re already at that point – at least among smartphone users – but NVIDIA aims to make that even more pronounced.
NVIDIA teamed-up with Adobe to be a Flash-optimized chip. Flash is known as a battery drain, but NVIDIA partnered with Adobe to enhance web access to Flash video and games without taxing the battery too much.
Technical difficulties kept users from seeing the full demo, particularly on how well Flash works on the web. However, Huang managed to show two devices running the same Flash-based game; the Tegra-powered device was visually faster and “more efficient.”
Tegra 2 brings the Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GPU, which should improve 3d gaming. NVIDIA even claims that it’s strong enough to support gaming on mobile devices that will be comparable and linkable to player on a desktop PC.
HD Skype video calling and media? Yes Please. Skype joined on-stage to mention HD video calling for Android but bandwidth problems prevented on-stage demo. Expect more info from Skype’s press event coming this week. In related news, media support is strong enough for 1080p on HDTV’s or mobile devices.
The first phone to run the chip will be the LG 2x, previously codenamed as the Star. An LG exec appeared on stage to mention how the phone is a beauty on the outside and a beast internally. We’ll see soon enough.