tegra

Believe it or not, Microsoft is working on a second-generation of Surface devices. If you had any doubts, you can put those to rest.  But what exactly is going to be powering the different variants of Surface? Most of you are really wishing for a Haswell version of the Surface Pro (I am), but what about RT? Comments from Nvidia’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, indicate that you’ll find some more magic from Nvidia.

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Reminder: Spring into TEGRA Contest Ending Soon!

Quick reminder for all that the 'Spring into TEGRA' contest is ending real soon (March 1st at 11:59 PM EST)... so be sure to check out the contest details below and submit your entry for a chance to win one of TWO Tegra-powered tablets! Details after the jump...

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NVIDIA has released a press statement detailing the company's interest in working with Microsoft to use their Tegra 3 quad-core chips in Windows 8 PCs. The move is somewhat expected with Windows 8 being able to run on ARM architecture. It was only last year that we reported on the rumour of NVIDIA bringing the Tegra 3 to Windows Phone by 2013, and Windows 8 demos were shown with NVIDIA chips.

The two companies have been working on a program to distribute test devices to software developers and manufacturers. Speaking of Windows 8, have you got your paws on the Windows 8 consumer preview yet? It's available as a free download. View the NVIDIA press statement below.

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File this under rumor, but one that makes sense. Back in the day, we heard about three chassis requirements for Windows Phone. And while Chassis 1 (800x480 screen, 1GHz CPU, 256MB RAM etc.) has come to fruition, Chassis 2 and 3 have not been seen. When we asked Andy Lees back in February, it was clear that Chassis 1 was the focus:

"We haven't announced any details on when that form factor is coming out. We are seeing is more interest in larger screens as opposed to smaller screens...but that doesn't mean we're not going to do it but we haven't announced anything yet."

Now MS nerd, who often gets some good information, has leaked some supposed details. For one, adding Qualcomm's Scorpion CPU (Cortex A8), gyroscope and front facing camera constitutes Chassis 1.5. Chassis 2, long thought to be the front-qwerty/BlackBerry style device, will reportedly offer 480x320 resolution in the "Tango" release as well as LTE support, sometime in early 2012. Finally, Chassis 3 will add dual core CPUs as well as 1280x720 resolution, but not until Windows Phone 8 aka "Apollo" sometime in late 2012.

  • Chassis 1.5 ("Mango") - Scorpion CPU, front-facing camera, gyroscope
  • Chassis 2 ("Tango") - 480x320 BlackBerry style design, LTE support
  • Chassis 3 ("Apollo") - 1280x720 resolution, dual core CPUs

And Lees recently spoke about LTE and dual core support, so clearly they are on the roadmap--the only remaining question was when, which this rumor seems to answer. Finally, MS nerd writes "Tegra & OMAP are targeted for #Win9" which seems to imply that Windows Phone and Windows OS finally merge in Windows 9.

Take all of this with a grain of salt of course, but there's nothing there that is exactly too crazy to be unbelievable at this point.

Source: @MS_nerd 1, 2

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For some reason, everyone is planning for 2013. Guess we should start picking out our clothes now as Nvidia evidently has plans for Windows Phone, three years after knocking it and the same year that Samsung is reportedly dropping the OS.

Nividia's Tegra chipsets have been around for awhile now, heck they even powered the ZuneHD. But besides some Android handsets, they have been absent from the Windows Phone side, leaving plenty of room for mega SoC maker Qualcomm to ride high.

In a leaked roadmap from Heise.de, we can see that in 2013 Nvidia is looking to power Windows Phone handsets using their Tegra/Icera combo "Grey" chipset. Reportedly featuring a 28mm manufacturing process and 2G/3G/4G communication capabilities (something Nvidia is missing now), the chipset looks to be as powerful as Qulcomm's offering but with some Nvidia GPU oomph.

We're still trying to make sense of the layout of this slide, but it is interesting to see Windows and Windows Phone lumped next to each other--reaffirming the notion that both OSs will become closer together, especially as Windows 8 moves to ARM processors.

Source: Heise.de; via: Fudzilla; Thanks, @darkhorse166, for the tip!

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Looks like we'll never get to see that sweet Tegra chipset in a smartphone anytime soon, with the Zune HD coming the closest to such a device.

That's okay, as NVIDIA is poised to launch its next version of the powerhouse chipset in January at CES (and we'll be there to cover it, of course).  At CES, they will demonstrate the chipset on current and upcoming smartbooks, MIDs, netbooks and the like, then in the second half of the year a big push into the smartphone world.

We obviously don't really need to point out what is launching in late 2010, do we?

The Tegra 2 chip, at least according to Slashgear, is "...expected to have roughly twice the power and graphical capabilities of the original and be based on 40nm processes."  Considering how awesome the Zune HD is, that sounds pretty sweet to us if accurate.

Now just close your eyes and imagine it is one year from now ... aaahhh ... technology bliss and why am I fatter?

[via Slashgear]

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Free 3D apps now available on Zune HD

The Zune HD [see our full review here] just got a firmware update a few days ago that prepped it for 3D gaming, and now the Zune Marketplace has delivered with a slew of new titles. On tap are:

Audiosurf Tilt: An accelerometer-based roller coaster app that moves with your music.

  • Checkers.
  • Lucky Lanes Bowling.
  • PGR: Ferrari Edition.
  • Vans Sk8 - Pool Service.
  • Piano.

All the games are free and ready for download now. And in case you're wondering, yes, the pre-roll ads are still there. But the apps are still free. Get over it.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

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As Tom's Hardware is reporting (via Nvidia's official press release), the Zune HD, which is using Nvidia's much-hyped Tegra chipset, has a whopping eight processors to achieve that super-smooth OS:

Specifically, the Tegra provides the Zune HD with eight independent processors, each designed for a specific class of tasks - among them are an HD video processor, an audio processor, a graphics processor, and two ARM cores. Furthermore, the processors can work together or independently to minimize power consumption.

The press release goes on to say that Nvidia has no fewer than "50 active Tegra processor-based design projects currently in the works today," which is a heck of a lot, if you ask us.

And since we believe WM7 devices are going to need Tegra (or Snapdragon) to run as a requirement, you can begin to understand just how massive an overhaul in raw-processing ability Microsoft's new mobile OS will be bringing in 2010.

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Here are 371 seconds of the Zune HD and its gorgeous Tegra-powered OLED screen, showing off the spectacular UI improvements. [Techflash via wmpoweruser]

And speaking of the Zune HD, it's now available for pre-order ahead of the Sept. 15 launch. The 16-gigabyte model runs $220, and the $290 will buy you 32 gigs.

That not enough? It also appears that Microsoft plans for honest-to-goodness apps on the Zune. Our pals at The iPhone Blog point us to a Daring Fireball piece that alleges Microsoft offered "a bucket of money" to the developer of an iPhone Twitter client to port the app over to the Zune. (We hope it's Tweetie.) We agree with our pal Rene Ritchie in that we're going to need to see a public SDK before we take any Zune app talk seriously. But with the expectation that Windows Mobile 7 will share Zune code, it may just be a matter of "when," not "if."

Still want more? How about a very intelligent read from GDGT's Peter Rojas, who calls on Microsoft to bring Zune support to the Mac, which we're fully behind. Microsoft is so close to launching a near-total winner of a product (minus a few niggles, capacity being one). Zune software for the Mac is a no-brainer at this point.

Microsoft: Do the right thing.

Update: You want an SDK? How about this? [via Daring Fireball]

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See here! We're very much looking forward to the latest from HTC finally hitting the states. And that Samsung Omnia Pro and its even better specs is looking mighty yummy, too. But what we really want is some Snapdragon — and some Tegra.

And that brings us to the Zune HD, which was rumored to be housing said NVIDIA Tegra processor. And PC Perspective [via Engadget] is confirming that rumor. Basically, you're getting CPU, GPU and every other -PU you can think of on one chip. And it's a low-power chip at that, which means better battery life. And Endaget's right in that us Windows Mobile fans should feel a little put out if the Zune HD in fact does have that much power under its hood while we continue to chug away with more "standard" processors.

We've said it before and we'll say it again. Aside from the lack of a phone and a bizarre screen resolution (albeit an OLED screen), the Zune HD looks like it'll have a lot of what we've been wanting for a long, long time. And a lot of what we expect to see when Windows Mobile 7 finally makes it to market.

Still not impressed? Peep the demo video after the break and tell us you don't want a Tegra chip in your phone.

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As Windows Mobile continues to explode (and the long drum beat of WM7 begins), it looks as if long time graphic card maker Nvidia is getting ready to debut their mobile processor designed specifically for WM devices.

Sweet.

What's even cooler is the promised speeds of 600 or 800mhz at less than 1 watt of power from this new "Tegra" line. The processor is actually "spread out" having several accelerators, as opposed to the Intel single-processor/multi-platform Atom solution.

Nvidia thinks that extra punch will give developers of Wm7 devices much more freedom in delivering those eye-popping custom UI graphics.

So when can we expect these bad boys? How about Q4 of this year. Not too bad. Along with Qualcomm's endless promises with "Snapdragon" (see our earlier coverage here), the mobile processor biz should get interesting real soon. It also looks as if the line between mobile phones and mini-PCs is about to get very blurry.

Read more about Nvidia's Tegra here

Source: T.Krazit Blog (Cnet) via Solsie

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We'll admit we've grown a little tired of the whole "Zune phone" back and forth – is the Zune software coming to Windows Mobile? Will there be a full-on Zune phone? Someone says yes, someone says no. But it's looking more and more like we may be seeing much more of the Zune in the future.

And with that in mind, feast your eyes on the purported ZuneHD, as spied by wmpoweruser. And the reported specs are enough to make any WinMo fanboy foam at the mouth.

  • Capacitive touchscreen (!)
  • Multitouch OLED capacitive touchscreen (!!)
  • Multitouch OLED capacitive touchscreen with a 16:9 aspect ratio (!!!)
  • TV-out (and possibly HDMI)
  • HD radio (as in FM tuner).
  • 16- and 32-gig capacity.
  • Multitouch-supported Internet browser.
  • High-def media playback.
  • Wireless sync.
  • Rumors of a Tegra processor.

Anything there you wouldn't want to have in a Windows phone? And there's no mistaking the resemblance to a certain HTC touchscreen phone we're expecting real soon. As for the ZuneHD, WMPU speculates that we'll see it this fall and that it will also be available outside the United States.

The question still remains: Is this a sign of things to come for Windows Mobile 7? Sound off in the comments.

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Rumor smash: About that MS-branded phone ...

Looks like the rumor of Microsoft bringing its own branded smartphone to Mobile World Congress has been squashed. What MS reportedly has done is create a "reference chassis" from which future devices would be made, including with the Nvidia Tegra chipsets.

Says ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley:

Think of what Microsoft is doing in phones as similar to what it has done in the PC market. Microsoft often develops reference implementations and encourages PC makers that they build PCs that adhere to a set of reference guidelines/specifications.

You can loosely tie that in to what has been said about there being fewer Windows Mobile smartphones in the future, and it's starting to make a little more sense. Want better and tighter phones running your operating system? Give the manufacturers something to work from. It also makes sense to assume that this has been done in the past and that these latest MS-branded smartphone rumors simply involve the next-gen reference chassis.

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We're already expecting a Windows Mobile 6.5 announcement at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks, but what if Microsoft has something bigger up its sleeve?

Gigaom is speculating that a Tegra-based, Microsoft-branded phone may well be unveiled in Barcelona.

A few days months ago, Stacey reported on the rumors that Microsoft-branded smartphone based on Nvidia’s Tegra chipset. It seems those rumors might be true. Doug Freedman, chip analyst with research firm Broadpoint AmTech, wrote in a note to his clients this morning:

we have been able to identify NVDA’s second handset design win for the Tegra Applications Processor (our Jan. 12th note identified HTC). We believe that Tegra is also designed into an upcoming Microsoft smartphone (with a Qualcomm baseband solution). We believe that MSFT may announce one of the new phones at 3GSM.

Windows Mobile 6.5 and a Microsoft-branded phone at the same conference? That might be a bit much. But there's only one way to find out. Dieter, pack your bags.

(And thanks, Gigaom, for sharing that hilarious Zunephone video!)

Update: No way, no how, says ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley.

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We already knew that nvidia was making a play for Windows Mobile with their “Tegra” line, matching up against the likes of Intel's Atom and Qualcomm's Snapdragon. Seemed like a long shot that they'd get major pick-up then and it still seems that way now, only a little less so. The eagle eyes over at wmpoweruser picked up on an nvidia press release that notes two interesting things.

First, Opera 9.5 is getting optimized for the Tegra platform -- which is a out-of-box set of CPU, GPU, and (yes, Virginia) hardware acceleration. Second, companies that opt for the Tegra platform to power their gadget will get that optimized version of Opera 9.5 for free.

The only real downside to this story is it looks like nvidia has let the date for when we'll actually see devices based on Tegra slip from Q4 of this year to sometime next year.

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