Nvidia has its own grand scheme for Netbooks, the tiny laptops that have gained wide acceptance running on software and hardware from Microsoft and Intel, respectively.
At the giant Computex conference starting Tuesday in Taiwan, Nvidia will be showing hardware running on its Tegra processor and Windows CE, the version of Windows used most prominently to date in business-use handheld computers. And, down the road, Nvidia has high hopes for devices based on Google's Android.
Tegra is a system-on-a-chip that integrates a processor based on a design from U.K.-based ARM and Nvidia's GeForce graphics silicon, among other functions. The goal is to bring robust PC-like graphics to small devices such as Netbooks and handheld devices--the latter also referred to as mobile Internet devices.
In a break from Computex tradition, Nvidia will have phone companies in tow. "We're bringing the carriers in. I've got 100 people showing up from carriers at Computex," Michael Rayfield, general manager of Nvidia's mobile business unit, said in a phone interview Friday.
Tegra will be shown at the trade show in devices that manufacturers "are about ready to release into production," Rayfield said.
"The Internet is all about (Adobe) flash and HD (high-definition) now so we've built a platform that can do that," he said. "There are two operating systems we support. Microsoft Windows CE and, as it becomes more interesting for large screens, (Google) Android," Rayfield said.
"We do Android for smartphones and we're working to do hardware acceleration on Android as it goes to larger displays," Rayfield said. In February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nvidia announced that it is working with Google and the Open Handset Alliance to get its Tegra processor into phones based on Google's Android operating system.
Android will likely appear commercially in larger devices, such as Netbooks, by the middle of next year, Rayfield said. "Android, as it stands now, does not do hardware acceleration," he said, referring to graphics-based acceleration of video and other multimedia applications. "We've already got 720p acceleration on Android internally," he said. 720p is a lower-resolution standard for high-definition video.
Rayfield continued. "Android has got a roar ahead of it but I think it's three of four quarters from a large-screen device. And the market wants something interesting before that." … Read more