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Handhelds Hardware

NVIDIA Enters the Mobile CPU Market 97 97

Vigile writes "NVIDIA just announced the new Tegra line, a complete system architecture on one chip. Built around a licensed x86 ARM 11 CPU, this tiny chip (smaller than a US dime) includes a processor, memory controller, southbridge, and 3D and video processors. The SoC design is meant to give iPhone-type devices a more impressive visual experiences while maintaining idle power consumption under 100 mW. While not a direct competitor to Intel's Atom or VIA's Nano processors, the NVIDIA Tegra will no doubt push the envelope in handhelds and cement NVIDIA's place in the world of computing going forward."
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NVIDIA Enters the Mobile CPU Market

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  • Not x86 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @09:41PM (#23646537) Journal
    oh yeah, kdawson. Go figure. From the article title: "Its not X86, but who cares?"
  • WinCE... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @09:43PM (#23646547) Journal
    I am really hoping that they plan on expanding the lineup of supported operating systems. Obviously Windows is never going to happen, this being an ARM core; but Linux would be nice. In particular, Linux is pretty much the only way that this chip will have any shot of crawling out of the smartphone/PMP ghetto and making its way into general purpose small computers(I'd love to see a laptop built around something of this sort).

    Windows CE just isn't a very pleasant OS period, and its flaws really start to show once you get outside of the smartphone market, where at least it has some experience, or the thin-client market, where abject suck doesn't matter too much. Whether or not you like Linux or Windows better, you'd be hard pressed to argue that Windows CE is better for anything resembling a real computer. Unfortunately, given that this is Nvidia, and the chip looks tuned to "support premium content" I'm not going to be holding my breath. It's a pity, really. This setup looks rather cooler than Atom, and capable of some really fun stuff, but I'm not sure how good the odds are of it ever making its way into a mininotebook or small desktop form factor.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @10:23PM (#23646829) Journal
    I've been looking forward to the Pandora. I'm not much of a gamer anymore; but it looks to be shaping up into a very capable little box. I'm quite tempted to pick one up when the time comes.

    As for WinCE, I know that it can be made to act something like a real desktop/notebook OS, I've used and deployed loads of HP "semithin" clients(mostly citrix or RDP; but limited builds of IE, WMP, etc are available locally) running WinCE of various versions, and I've used a few PDAs running it. It just doesn't measure up as a desktop OS. It looks just enough like Windows to screw with your expectations; but doesn't run Windows programs, use Windows drivers, or even behave all that much like Windows in terms of shell look and feel. Given their sterling performance with "Vista capable/ready" I'm sure that MS marketing would have no trouble explaining to Cletus and Maybell User why their bargain bin software won't run on that Windows...

    Essentially, WinCE suffers from the majority of the shortcomings commonly ascribed to running a non-Windows OS on the desktop, without possessing any significant upsides.
  • Re:WinCE... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @11:02PM (#23647103) Journal
    The main problem, even if MS were willing to put the resources into a port, is that Window's value is severely reduced without its massive library of third party stuff. Since the overwhelming majority of the Windows ecosystem is proprietary in nature, and much of it made by outfits other than MS, it would be an absolute miracle if MS were able to get more than a tiny bit of it ported over.

    As for the various NT ports, they aren't an encouraging picture. NT MIPS and Alpha are dead, XP for Itanium is dead, and there is no Vista for Itanium. Only Windows Server and a few of its variants are still alive. And look at the slow pace of the x86/x86_64 transition.

    I suspect that limited platform support is a decent business decision for MS, they aren't stupid, and they probably know better than we do how much fun it would be to attempt to bludgeon every last software vendor for Windows into shipping multiarchitecture support; but I seriously doubt that anything short of the probable extinction of the x86 architecture would motiveate a wholesale move on MS' part.(Maybe a stopgap of some sort, x86 virtualization built into the kernel or similar, or a move of existing MS tech to a new environment .NET on WinCE or Singularity or something; but classic NT and friends not so much).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @11:11PM (#23647147)
    In order to drive a serial cable directly, a UART may need to withstand +/-25V and deliver .5A or more. It makes no sense to get that out of an 11-layer process.
  • When was the last time a Slashdot summary didn't have something wrong with it?

    The title of the referenced article is "Its not X86, but who cares?" There's no X86 in an ARM processor. It's a licensed design.

    It was too much for the Slashdot editor to read even the first 3 words of the summary?

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