Nvidia's Tegra 2 Mobile Chipset To Power Host Of Upcoming Devices

Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor is reportedly being adopted by a growing number of smartphone and tablet manufacturers.

Last week, LG introduced its Android smartphone with Tegra 2, a mobile Optimus 2X dual-core CPU that includes Nvidia's GeForce GPU capability and mobile 1080p HD video processing. Soon thereafter, Digitimes reported that a number of tablet and smartphone makers have placed orders for the Tegra 2, including HTC and Motorola.

According to Tech Trader Daily Citigroup analyst Glen Young recently raised his estimates for Nvidia, saying Samsung has “placed a sizeable order with Nvidia for Tegra 2 chips in the first half of 2011, geared for both tablets and smartphones.

Young estimates that Tegra could bring in $250 million to $350 million, which is more than his current full-year 2011 estimate of Tegra revenue of $275 million.

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Last week Ambrish Srivastava, an analyst for BMO Capital Markets, said that the next Samsung Galaxy Tab will likely include the Tegra 2. Google has also reportedly made Tegra 2 into part of the reference platform or standard design for Android 3.0 devices. According to a report from Venture Beat last week, the upcoming unnamed Android 3.0 tablet from Google, commonly known as Honeycomb includes the Tegra as well.

Despite the persistence of these rumors, Nvidia isn't ready to disclose its plans for Tegra 2.

"We have designs in process with many of the world's top smartphone and tablet OEMs," a spokesperson told CRN, while declining to offer the names of other manufacturers who have ordered the Tegra 2.

However, at the Consumer Electronics Show next month, Nvidia will showcase a variety of "superphones" that combine phone functionality and PC functionality with graphics processing.

"I'd bet that CES 2011 will usher in the year that fully-fledged superphones hit the market and really take off, building on the first stirrings of the concept that Google introduced with its phone," said Mike Rayfield, general manager of Nvidia's mobile business, "superphone" emerged earlier this year and that devices belonging to the categoryhave already improved in terms of performance and begun operating various platforms since then.

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Rayfield said superphones will likely run Flash in a faster, hardware-accelerated mode and include features such as multitasking, console-quality gaming and 1080p high-resolution, high-definition video.

Nvidia launched the Tegra mobile processor in January at CES 2010. The fully HD capable, low-power Tegra was billed as a processor for mobile devices, and tablets in particular.

At the time, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang championed the Tegra as one of the most important products Nvidia has ever produced. "This processor is nothing short of a miracle for us," he said.