NVIDIA's press conference at CES has just concluded and we were on site to hear what Jen-Hsun Huang and company had to say to the world. The Green Team's CEO wasn't timid in talking up the revolutionary nature of this year's CES, describing it as the harbinger of a change on a par with what we experienced way back in 1995 with the introduction of Windows 95. Unsurprisingly, Huang's vision of how we're going to leap into our ultra-modern new era involves NVIDIA's Tegra 2 hardware, a chip which is "less than the size of a dime and can leap tall buildings."
Jen-Hsun sees the future of mobile computing in devices that move beyond phones with enhanced capabilities, or smartphones, to an entirely new category: "a computer first and a phone second." Tegra 2 announcements will be "sprinkled throughout the week," but the LG Optimus 2X did get a proper announcement and demo, including a quick game of Angry Birds with the phone hooked up to a HDTV via HDMI and the feed also being played on the giant projector screen alongside that. Biggest game of Angry Birds ever? Probably.
NVIDIA's calling these new machines super phones, not an entirely new or innovative name, but it conveys the point rather well. A highlight quote was also provided from LG's VP who joined Jen-Hsun on stage -- he described the motivation for putting the Optimus 2X and its internals together as "beauty outside, but monster inside."
Adobe's Shantanu Narayen also hit the stage, to talk Flash. Just to thwart any misguided expectations of the rich web media format's oncoming demise, Shantanu told us that Flash Player 10.1 had the fastest adoption rate of any version in the software's history. A cool 120 petabytes of video was streamed last month, says the Adobe President and CEO, with the implication being that the vast majority of that came through Adobe's pervasive format.
The Unreal Engine 3-based Dungeon Defenders also got a demo, neatly illustrating Jen-Hsun's point about Tegra 2 offering "console-like gaming." The game was shown playing on a PC, a PS3, and an Optimus 2X. All three had smooth frame rates, shockingly enough, but the a significant quote from the developer was that his team "didn't have to scale anything back" when porting the code to Android.
NVIDIA closed the event on the bombshell that it's working on Project Denver, a high performance ARM CPU intended to challenge Intel and AMD in the personal computer and supercomputer realms. Somebody's playing for keeps!
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NVIDIA Tegra Super Chip Kicks Up Next Wave of Super Phones
World's First Mobile Processor With Dual-Core CPU Enables Super Phones From LG and Others, Creating New Mobile Experiences and Never-Before-Seen Content
LAS VEGAS, NV -- (Marketwire) -- 01/05/2011 -- CES 2011 -- NVIDIA announced today the arrival of the next wave of super phones, powered by NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2, the world's first mobile super chip.
These new super phones go beyond today's smartphones, delivering unprecedented multimedia experiences that take fuller advantage of faster network download speeds and higher bandwidth.
Smartphones start with four-inch-plus screens, single-core 1 GHz mobile processors, five-plus megapixels cameras, and multiple microphones -- which enable a decent video and gaming experience. The new super phones use powerful multi-core CPU processors, lightning-fast GPUs and ultralow power requirements -- which create magical video and gaming experiences.
"Real super phones require real super chips," said Ben Barjarin, Principal at Creative Strategies Inc. "The new super phones being unveiled at CES will become an essential mobile computing device. And Tegra delivers these mobile computing capabilities for super phones better than anything else on the market."
Their seamless multitasking and support for hardware-accelerated Adobe® Flash® Player begin the process of merging the smartphone, with a game console and multimedia device. The result is a mobile web experience capable of console-quality, multi-player, cross-platform gaming, as well as enormous flexibility in terms of carrying out multiple tasks at once.
One of the first devices in this next wave of super phones is the new LG Optimus 2X powered by Tegra 2.
Tegra 2 Highlights:
* The Tegra 2 super chip turbocharges the super phone category and brings a new wave of devices to life with never-before-seen experiences. It features:
o Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU -- The world's first mobile dual-core CPU for faster Web browsing, snappier response time and better overall performance.
o Ultra-low powered (ULP) NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU -- the ULP GeForce GPU delivers outstanding mobile 3D game playability and a visually engaging, highly responsive 3D user interface
o 1080p Video Playback Processor -- Watch 1080p HD movies stored on your mobile device on your HDTV, without compromising battery life.
* Tegra 2 enables new mobile media and gaming capabilities:
o For the first time, consumers will be able to game with multiple players using different types of devices. For example, a Tegra 2-powered super phone or tablet can be used to play with players on a desktop PC.
o NVIDIA demonstrated a prototype of Skype HD video calling on an Android tablet at its CES 2011 press conference. NVIDIA developed a reference implementation of HD video conferencing on Tegra 2-based tablets using SkypeKit. SkypeKit is a collection of software and APIs that allows virtually any Internet connected device to offer Skype voice and video calls.
o NVIDIA introduced the Tegra Zone app. It allows consumers to find Tegra-optimized games for their super phone or tablet, along with professional game reviews, high-res screenshots, HD video trailers, gameplay videos, and behind-the-scenes featurettes. Consumers can complete their purchase of Tegra Zone games on the Android Market.
* The LG Optimus 2X is the fast and hyper performance super phone:
o The Optimus 2X delivers faster performance, seamless multi-tasking, full HDMI and true visual gaming for a better user experience.
o Key specifications include
+ 4-inch WVGA screen
+ 8GB memory (up to 32GB via microSD)
+ 1,500 mAh battery
+ 8 megapixel rear camera and 1.3 megapixel front camera
+ HDMI mirroring
+ 1080p MPEG-4/H.264 playback and recording
o For more information and product images, please visit LG's online press kit at www.lgnewsroom.com/CES2011.
Details can't yet be provided for other super phones that will be announced shortly at CES.
"We've entered the super phone era. People are looking at their mobile device as a computer first and a phone second. Tegra's brought the super phone to another level with new mobile experiences that haven't been possible before." -- Michael Rayfield, General Manager of the Mobile business at NVIDIA
"We are very excited about the trusted partnership with NVIDIA, and also very proud of the result of the collaboration: the LG Optimus 2X. This Tegra 2-powered dual-core super phone will set the new standard in the smartphone industry, delivering users a new-dimensional smartphone experience. LG also looks forward to future partnerships with NVIDIA that will further promote our shared passion for innovation." -- Yongseok Jang, Vice President of Business Strategy team, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company
"As a close and longtime partner of NVIDIA, we are excited to see how rapidly the performance of mobile phones is advancing. With Tegra 2, NVIDIA continues to push the boundaries and delivers a chip that offers amazing content experiences for next generation devices." -- Danny Winokur, Vice President, Flash Runtime at Adobe
"We are excited that NVIDIA has leveraged SkypeKit to build a reference implementation of HD video calling on Android Tablets. In the near future, consumers will be able to make video calls from their Tegra-powered Tablets to anyone else using Skype, whether it's on a PC, Mac, TVs, or phones." -- Manrique Brenes, Director of Business Development at Skype
"Netflix is using the Tegra 2 development platform to bring the Netflix experience to Android super phones and tablets. We're working closely with NVIDIA to ensure Netflix takes full advantage of Tegra's outstanding acceleration and security capabilities." -- Greg Peters, Vice President, Product Development at Netflix
"It's time for the next gaming revolution. Tegra 2 holds the power of a console in the palm of your hands. Games like Dungeon Defender are in true HD, and more realistic, interactive and challenging on devices with Tegra 2." -- Jeremy Stieglitz, Co-Founder of Trendy Entertainment