Nov 18 AT 9:00 AM Taylor Wimberly 21 Comments

What does NVIDIA’s CEO think Tegra 2 means for Android users?

“This is a big deal,” said NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang when I asked him about what Tegra 2 meant for Android at last month’s GTC event.

He actually said a lot more (see video after the jump), but his point was that NVIDIA is the first computer technology company to move into mobile devices and their Tegra 2 superphones and tablets will be computer-centric first instead of phone-centric.

Jen-Hsun must be a very persuasive guy because it appears he convinced the powers at Google to adopt his dual-core Tegra 2 processor as the lead platform for Android tablets running Honeycomb (Android 3.0). We are eagerly waiting for CES in January when these gadgets are expected to be announced, but virtually every Honeycomb device that has been leaked is rumored to include the Tegra 2 processor.

Other dual-core processors are coming soon, but we haven’t heard of any that are planned for the Honeycomb launch. All signs point to the Verizon MOTOPAD as the current flagship product for Honeycomb, Google’s version of Android for tablets.

So how did Jen-Hsun and NVIDIA beat out the likes of Qualcomm, Samsung and Texas Instruments to get the jump on the first Honeycomb tablets? And why are mobile developers designing their new Android games exclusively for Tegra 2? I honestly can’t say for sure, but it’s obvious these guys must know something we don’t and that’s what I want to find out.

Some people have accused me of over-hyping Tegra 2 (because I’ve written so many articles), but it’s still the most exciting story in the mobile industry because so many people have written off NVIDIA and are thinking they can’t compete with Qualcomm (or Intel when they finally get moving).

NVIDIA Tegra 2

NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor.

In last week’s Q3 earnings call, Jen-Hsun continued to hint about the Tegra 2 devices coming in early Q1. “They have to be absolutely groundbreaking or why would anybody come to buy them.” He went on to admit they were late in arriving, but placed some of the blame on Google for the time it took to get Honeycomb ready. “So, I think that the extra time that was necessary to build these devices and build the operating system and all the applications and the system software necessary to do it, but they are going to be absolutely magical.”

Even more surprising, NVIDIA thinks their Tegra revenue will cross over and actually become larger than their chipset business in Q1 2011. Jen-Hsun said, “Our tablet business and our phone business is going to ramp, and it’s going to ramp hard. So, we just have to build some of the best things we’ve ever built, and so I think Q1 is when all of you will see what we have been so busy working on, and I think you will be more than surprised and delighted.”

Clearly, Jen-Hsun is really excited about the tablet revolution he thinks is coming soon. “Every single company I know is working on a tablet. I don’t remember the last time in the history of computing where a singular device is being worked on by all of the industries. This is a revolutionary form factor and I think it’s a (foregone) conclusion this is going to be probably be the largest computing segment.”

Jen-Hsun even gave a shout-out to his new best friend Google and the work Andy Rubin’s team has been doing on Honeycomb. “Andy Rubin and his team are working 24×7 and they are doing amazing work and I am just really, really delighted that we decided to focus and not spare it on current generation operating systems. So I think when you see it near future it will more than delight you. I think you’ll be shocked how wonderful it is.”

When an analyst referred to Honeycomb as an “operating system update”, Jen-Hsun replied, “To call the next generation devices an operating system update would really be an understatement I think, and it would do injustice to the amount of engineering that has gone into building the next-generation of tablets.”

“You won’t recognize it, let me just put it that way. What the team is shooting for is nothing short of a great experience and so I have every confidence in the team. We’re going to make sure we build something absolutely, absolutely magical.”

So like he said in the beginning – “This is a big deal.” In seven weeks at CES, we will finally find out if he is right.

[Post image via NVIDIA press room]

Via: Netbooknews

Source: Morning Star

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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  • http://Website steve

    I think a dual-core processor with a high resolution 4 inch screen means extremely bad battery life.

    Manufactures need to focus a lot more on battery life.

    Who cares about faster phones if you can’t even use it for more than 5 hours.

    I’m happy with my low res 3.5 inch mytouch slide, because the small screen means my phone is faster than a phone with a bigger screen but same processor.

    Plus, I get great battery life on my mytouch slide due to the low res screen.

    • Jason

      exactly. i cant get excited about newer faster processors until i can use my phone heavily for more than 5-6 hours

      start playing angry birds, check email, listen to music and zap you are at 35%

    • http://Website ZZ

      Not necessarily. Architecture/Process stands for something as well. It’s well within the realms of possibility to have a dual core which is more power efficient than a single.

    • http://Website pinco

      This write up is very TABLET specific what are you talking about? This has nothing to do with phones. Did you read the damn thing?

      I can’t wait to see Honeycomb! Sounds like Google is putting alot of work into it.

    • http://Website iDaveu

      First, the article was on tablets, not phones.

      Second, keeping on the subject of phones…you must never experienced the Tegra chipset before. Zune HD can last almost a week on heavy usage. Throe in a radio, compare it to the iPhone/iPod battery rates. You’ll see that the Tegra is a powerhouse while effectively managing power. With the next iteration being even more efficient.

      • http://Website Dejuanxgâ„¢

        That’s because the zune does almost nothing but play music key word almost.

  • Evan Halley

    I am expecting big things from Android 3.0. 2011 is shaping up to be a big year in mobile computing.

  • chief113

    Didn’t they say that that MOTO Olympus was Tegra?

    • http://Website Jayce

      Yes it’s also a Tegra 2.

  • http://Website Nedjo

    much talk and nothing still being delivered!

    Lets face the facts:

    1. Apple uses their own ARM SoC

    2. Samsung uses their own SoC

    3. RIM use Marvel’s SoC

    4. HTC uses exclusively Qualcomm’s SoC’s in their phones w/o any indications to make change

    5. Motorola uses exclusively TexasInstrumets’s SoC’s in their phones /w slim chances it might use Tegra2

    6. Qualcomm has showcased superior market facts and prospects on yesterday’s Analyst Conference:

    7. by everything we know so far nex gen Google dev phone is based on Samsung’s Eagle SoC

    8. ONLY solid evidence of Tegra2 based phone came from LG

    So, we have JUST ONE confirmed design, but that doesn’t stops Taylor to continue hyping NVIDIA and Tegra2!

    My warm advice is to check out details from Qualcomm’s Analyst conference to be able to grasp how big Qualcomm is compared to Texas Instruments (competitor 1) and Samsung (Competitor 2) and how insigificant NVIDIA is compared to that triangle!

    NVIDIA is flea compared to elephant, horse and dog of the Mobile Phone/Tablet market players!

    • http://Website dagamer34

      However, nearly all leaked tablet designs are using Tegra 2.

      • http://Website Nedjo

        My post was about FACTS, not hyped rumors!

        again: where are all those designs!?

    • http://Website cheese

      You’re simply wrong. Based on this digitimes article, hardware manufactures including Motorola and HTC have placed orders for Tegra 2 chips.

      “Nvidia has already received Tegra 2 orders from Asustek Computer, Acer and Toshiba, while the CPU has also beat first-tier chip players Qualcomm, Broadcom and Marvel to land orders from handset brands including Motorola, LG Electronics, High Tech Computer (HTC).”

  • http://Website Raptor

    Dear NVIDIA CEO,

    I am not first day in computing, i use and like NVIDIA but and I was stretching all my imagination and even overheated myself trying to squeeze anything, i will repeat, ANYTHING excited out of the tablet form-factor, sorry.

    Just stop make people tired with your gargantuan pumping. It was fun to see it when NVIDIA first time appeared in the market years ago, yes, this was like a bomb exploded, and that was great past memory, but, please, do not exaggerate right now. Now even your dog knows you will not squeeze Fermi 580 into the tablet or cellphone soapbox, even 10% of it, so just stop your BS witchcraft.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Thanks for the feedback. It’s comments like yours that make me enjoy writing so much.

  • http://Website 2C

    Guess I’ll hold off on getting a Nook Color until I see what these tablets offer. I haven’t even seen Gingerbread yet & am already anticipating Honeycomb. 2011 is going to be the year of the Android.

  • http://Website Cod3rror

    I’m interested in Android 3.0 and phones, I don’t care about tablets.

    So what’s planned for the phones? will they get Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb? or will it be tablet exclusive?

  • http://Website cheese

    Here’s why, if this slide is correct, and actual real use case of the tegra2 is the same as what it is on paper, theres no question why folks from Motorola, HTC have joined in on the Tegra2 SoC.

  • http://Website Mark

    How long will we have to use these phones before we find ourselves running to a power outlet for another “fix”. >_>

  • http://Website Alex

    It’s ridiculous that Tegra 3 is already built and Tegra 2 hasn’t even been released in any devices yet. I think they are way ahead of their own game.