May 17 AT 5:05 PM Taylor Wimberly 24 Comments

NVIDIA Tegra 2 Android handsets coming 2H 2010

NVIDIA promised a Tegra smartphone from a “top five” manufacturer before 2010, but it never materialized. Then at this year’s CES, NVIDIA unveiled the Tegra 2 platform which is based off a next-generation ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor. We expected to see the Tegra 2 platform used mainly in Android tablets this year, but new information from NVIDIA’s latest earnings call suggest we could see handsets using the powerful processor by Q3 2010.

The strategy for NVIDIA’s first-generation Tegra was to focus on one platform (the Microsoft Zune), but Android will be the primary focus for the second-generation of Tegra 2 designs. NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told analyst that the next generation of Android phones would focus on performance and their Tegra 2 would be able to keep up (if not, be much better) than Apple’s A4 1 GHz processor used in the iPad (and upcoming iPhone 4).

When questioned if these NVIDIA-powered Android handsets would actually be on the market this year or if they were just referring to available design sockets, NVIDIA responded they’ve already been working with partners on the designs and the products should ship during Q3-Q4 2010.

If NVIDIA is able to achieve their goal, they could claim the fastest Android phone this Christmas. Intel is also trying to get their Moorestown platform into products later this year, but it remains to be seen which handset makers will pick it up. The main two application processor companies in the Android world right now include Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, but the competition is about to get really stiff.

At this point it appears to be anyone’s game, but the handset makers have likely already chosen the winners for this Christmas. Which processor would you like to see in your next high-end Android device?

Key features of Tegra 2:

  • Dual-core ARM Cortex -A9 MPCore Processor
    • Symmetric Multi-Processing support for blazing fast web browsing performance, improving load times and rendering of complex pages
    • Processing efficiency of Cortex-A9 provides industry leading performance in lowest power envelope
  • Ultra Low Power NVIDIA Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
    • Enhanced NVIDIA graphics technology, enabling full Flash acceleration for an uncompromised HD web browsing experience
    • Next generation 3D rendering performance for the most compelling user interfaces and advanced mobile games
  • Full High Definition Multimedia
    • Up to 1080p video encode/decode and support for HD Web streaming formats, such as YouTube HD
    • Complete HW accelerated HD multimedia engine for visually stunning movie playback at lowest possible power
  • NVIDIA Low Power Management Architecture
    • Effective power management techniques, such as dynamic voltage and frequency scaling, for ultra-efficient power consumption across all use cases
    • Low-power design delivers over 140 hours audio and over 16 hours of HD video playback

Tegra 2 specs include:

  • Processor and Memory Subsystem
    • Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor, up to 1.0 GHz
    • 32-bit LP-DDR2, DDR2
  • Ultra Low Power NVIDIA Graphics
    • OpenGL ES 2.0
    • Programmable pixel shader
    • Programmable vertex and lighting
    • 2x 3D graphics performance of previous generation Tegra
  • Full High Definition Multimedia
    • 1080p H.264/VC-1/MPEG-4 Video Decode
    • 1080p H.264 Video Encode
    • Supports multi-standard audio formats, including AAC, AMR, WMA, and MP3
    • Upgraded JPEG encode and decode acceleration
  • Integrated Image Signal Processing
    • Up to 12 megapixel camera sensor support
    • Advanced imaging features (AWB, AF, AE, etc.)
  • Display Subsystem
    • True dual-display support
    • Maximum display resolutions supported:
      • 1080p (1920×1080) HDMI 1.3
      • WSXGA+ (1680×1050) LCD
      • UXGA (1600×1200) CRT
      • NTSC/PAL TV output

Via: Engadget

Source: Seeking Alpha transcript

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Mike Leahy

    hah… gimme now w/ HDMI! I welcome our Tegra overlords… ;P

  • http://Website nick

    Waiting to hear more info about their effect on battery life.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      It’s a smartphone so expect smartphone battery life. There is no revolution in battery tech coming this year.

    • http://Website Jesse C

      Not sure about Tegra 2 battery life stats, but first gen Tegra chips provide excellent battery performance.

      My Zune HD can EASILY go 3 days without a charge, and thats with WiFi on all the time & connected for most of the time, max brightness on the 3.3 inch OLED display, music playback, and the occasional 3D game.

      Granted some of those savings could be due to the OLED screen, but IMO the Tegra line gives great performance and battery life. The dual-core 1Ghz Cortex A9 will suck a lot more juice than the current 600Mhz chip (not sure on architecture, don’t think it’s an A8, maybe an ARM11) so things could change power wise, but I would still expect great things

  • http://Website Simon

    Mmmm why does it sound too good to be true?
    oh pls god’s of SUPERphones let it be true!

  • http://Website Gomer

    From what I understand, the Tegra platform has no radios onboard, or at least no GSM/CDMA radios, which is why most handset manufacturers were reluctant to adopt Tegra 1 in 2009. Even after integrating Tegra for most processes, they’d still have to provide a Qualcomm or other radio set to pull off the phone functionality. Not sure how/why that’s changed for 2010.

    Nobody is interested in tablets. Tablets are like netbooks, just another form factor for the mannies to make a quick buck. Put Tegra 2 with a 4.5″ SuperAMOLED, 1080P camera/corder, 16GB internal mem and you’ve got a winner. Anything less isn’t worth mentioning.

  • http://Website Taylor

    omg I think I just came in my pants lol I hope this comes out soon! damn this really sounds to good to be true though

  • http://Website hiddengopher

    ooh nice. I love Nvidia’s stuff. Hopefully it will be affordable!

    • http://Website zedklind

      I remember seeing somewhere on engadget that it would be in the price range of 200-350$ without contract. im guessing unlocked? I also saw in a video that the parts they use on the processor are reallllly cheap. Nvidia really did it this time. Its about time i saw something about tegra 2 smartphones.. its been too long since ive seen an update. ftw!

  • http://Website clocinnorcal

    I dont think I’m ever going to decide on a new phone with new devices like this being constantly announced. What is a guy to do? :P

  • http://Website kafkef

    I thought NVIDIA said there would be Tegra 2 support in Android starting from Android 3.0. Now it is said Tegra 2 could be here in Q3.

    Does this mean FroYo is 3.0 or that 3.0 will be released in a few months (Q3)? If the latter, I remember reading that Google was going to stop releasing updates so often to counter fragmentation. Do a Q3 release wouldn’t make much sense, right?

    Excuse is me if I’ve made a Glenn Beck out of myself :)

    • http://Website dave

      Froyo is Q2, Gingerbread is Q4. Oh, and Google don’t call it `fragmentation` any more -they call it `legacy`, meaning `go and buy a new phone..yeah..we don’t care that you got an Android 1.5 on a 24 month contract 4 months ago, go buy another one`.

  • stalker

    A new era of gaming has began. Sorry ipad.

  • jdschrock

    Could one of these products Nvidia’s been working with partners on for Q3-Q4 releases maybe be the rumored super phone in Tmo’s Project Emerald? This fan boy hopes so.

  • Joseph

    I really hope this comes to the US. And you know, on T-Mobile. =]

    • websurf90

      I know! Tmo got Android first but, they’re last to get a REAL Android superphone. Sorry Nexus…

    • http://Website zedklind

      what i remember hearing was that nvidia was working with htc to distribute to at&t and tmobile first.. but that was quite some time ago.. ::crosses fingers::

  • http://Website Epic

    Thanks Nvidia for making me reevaluate my decision to get an EVO 4g this summer…dicks

    • http://Website zedklind

      i was thinking the same thing haha. but i can put up with my g1 for a couple more months.. i dont have the money to spend on a tmo contract cancelization…

  • http://Website Sin City

    lol Epic, that’s the same thing I said when this news broke out. Do you know how long I was lusting after a Tegra device? I wanted a Tegra BlackBerry but that’s never going to happen, and then I fell in love with Android. I’m still going to purchase the EVO, but my phone after that has to have the Tegra 2 Processor in it, and hopefully WiMax.

  • http://Website Sin City

    Intel’s Moorestown won’t be a slouch either. 2010 truly is going to be a great year for the consumers and smartphones. Personal Bonus: Sprint and Verizon decides to upgrade EVDO to SVDO, as that should be completed any day now.

  • http://Website ajm135

    Except u forgot to some how connect what u said to the nazi germany.

  • http://Website Hugh Kirkpatrick

    Put a good reasoniable cost fast Android phone on the cdma Sprint Market!