Tegra_2

Despite rumors, Tegra 2 will be out to manufacturers this quarter

August 16, 2010 - Written By Chris Yackulic

There have been rumors that Tegra 2 was meeting delays, but NVIDIA’s earnings call has allayed those fears.

We have been waiting breathlessly for NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 platform.  Tegra 2 is a system on a chip much like Snapdragon is.  It includes a processor and a graphics processor.  A really powerful one of both.  The Tegra 250 (the first iteration of the SoC) will feature a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 (Snapdragon is based on ARM Cortex-A8) processor with NVIDIA’s own graphics unit.

On their earnings call from August 12, NVIDIA said that they were on track to ship to hardware partners in this quarter.  In fact, they said that their hardware partners were “trying to pry these out of our hands.”  They also said that Tegra 2 would ship in both tablets and smartphones, but they were more coy about which we would see first.

NVIDIA has already released 2.2 Froyo for their Tegra 250 development kit, so it is possible that manufacturers already have their software raring to go but they are just waiting on the chips.  One such manufacturer might be Motorola, who is said to be working on a tablet for Verizon as well as a dual-core or high-powered phone called the Motorola Droid Pro.

NVIDIA is working with Google on the Tegra 2 Android kernel.  The kernel version that they are using is 2.6.35, which is newer than the Froyo 2.2 kernel.  Might this be 3.0 Gingerbread?

If you want an idea of how powerful the Tegra 2 is, check out this video of it running the Unreal 3 engine.

I can see a divergent future for Android.  There are people who will want a smartphone and people who want a gaming phone.  I see some tablets as being used to interface with a TV as a video console.  There is already a manufacturer who is thinking in those terms, and they have devices for development purposes (or for being on the cutting edge).  They are called HardKernel.  They currently have two products: a smallish 3.5 inch device (with a Hummingbird SoC) primarily for gaming on the go or plugging into a TV.  The other is a 10-inch tablet with capacitive screen (also with a Hummingbird).  This one really is not meant for end-users, but developers.  It might be right up your alley though.  Check them out.

Also, it might be time to invest in NVIDIA.  They have lost a lot of confidence lately, and stock prices are low.  Tegra 2 will be a behemoth, so that also might be worth checking out.