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The Arrival of Dual-Core Mobiles with NVIDIA Tegra 2

written by: Ana M.•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/19/2011

With the arrival of Tegra 2 on mobile phones, it is going to be a great, exciting experience for ordinary smartphone users. Things don't stop here -- we are soon going to see the immense power of Tegra 2 3D and Tegra 3, which offer support for 3D UI and quad-core technology respectively.

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    Tegra 2 Dual-Core

    With NVIDIA’s announcement about the world’s first mobile super chip with dual-core last September, it is time to see the next generation of smartphones which will be comparable to any efficient personal computer or tablet. This article looks into the development of Tegra 2 dual-core processors for smartphones and its potential impact on mobile users.

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    NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual-Core Processor: Development

    In case many of you don’t know what Tegra actually means, it is a ‘system’ on a mini chip. The idea was to integrate CPU (main processor), GPU (Graphics Programming Unit), core chipset including other processors and memory controller all on a single chip. Although the initial Tegra processor failed to capture much attention the release of the 4x faster Tegra 2 begins the next generation of smartphones.

    Here dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 is the main CPU, clocked at 1GHz, which is made powerful with two cores for smoother, more efficient multitasking. This makes response time faster, which in turn translates to better speed and performance with many tasks.

    For a better, console-like experience, NVIDIA Tegra 2 comes with the power of the ULP (Ultra-low Power) GeForce GPU which makes your gaming experience awesome. For 3D gamers there can be no better news: you can play 3D games with a highly-reponsive 3D user interface. Support for OPENGL applications is also integrated for robust performance.

    The chip also features 1080p Video Playback and Video Encode Processors which facilitate watching 1080p HD movies on your HDTV through HDMI technology along with full video recording and conferencing capabilities. Not only that, ISP (Image Signal Processor) is integrated for a better photographing and video recording experience. This enables support for up to 12 megapixel cameras. The audio processor facilitates continuous 128kbps MP3 playback on a single battery charge.

    Along with other multimedia processors, NVIDIA Tegra 2 also integrates an ARM7 Processor to support system management and battery life extending functions. The Global Power Management System monitors the hardware activity constantly and ensures that your supporting device keeps running even at the lowest power levels.

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    What Does NVIDIA Tegra 2 Mean for Mobile Phone Users?

    Simply put, Tegra 2 means a whole new exciting experience for mobile users. Just think about using the same dual-core technology that we enjoy in our personal computers in mobile phones now. You get the same multitasking show as your fast home PCs. Faster processor means faster device operations not to forget the overall efficient performance.

    For gamers Tegra 2 supported devices are going to be a great companion since you get the console-quality gaming experience with GPU integration. Though we’ve seen this technology in many tablets at CES 2011 including the Motorola Xoom for Verizon and Dell Streak 7 for T-Mobile, yet integrating this chipset in smartphones is going to be more exciting than ever.

    For music lovers and video junkies, Tegra 2 smartphones are something to devour. You can enjoy HD videos anywhere, and listen to songs with longer battery times. Not only that, there is one thing that makes the spotlight: faster Internet browsing! Yes, NVIDIA Tegra 2 lets you experience 2x faster Internet browsing with faster page and Flash-based content loading time as compared to other smartphones.

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    NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual-Core Processor: Supported Smartphones

    With the ever-growing popularity of the Tegra 2 dual-core processor, we’re going to see it in many smartphones from top mobile companies. Some mobile phones which are designed to support this chipset include the LG Optimus 2X, Motorola Atrix 4G and Motorola Droid Bionic. Though the release date of these smartphones is not confirmed yet they are all expected to be released later this year.

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    NVIDIA Tegra 2 3D

    With the same Tegra 2 components and features, yet with higher processing speed, Tegra 2 3D is meant for devices with 3D screens. With the amazing power of a 1.2GHz dual-core processor smartphones with 3D displays can be quite challenging and a comparable alternative to console and PC-level gaming. It is expected to come on tablets and smartphones some time this spring.

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    NVIDIA Tegra 3

    Tegra 3 is the latest and next generation of Tegra processors, clocked at 1.5GHz. It is in its development phase right now, and is code-named Project Kal-El. The awesome thing about this processor is that it would be the world’s first quad-core processor for tablets and mobile phones. It will also feature a 12-core GPU, up to 2560x1600 graphics resolution and 3D stereo feature. All this roughly translates its power to up to five times that of Tegra 2 dual-core processor for some apps and 3 times for graphics.

    Tegra 3 tablets are expected to be released in August this year, while the smartphones with this powerful processor will hit the scene at the end of this year.

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    References

    • NVIDIA, http://www.nvidia.com/object/tegra-2.html
    • Gizmodo, http://gizmodo.com/#!5725646/what-is-nvidias-tegra-2
    • Tech Eye, http://www.techeye.net/chips/tegra-2-3d-unveiled
    • Uber Gizmo, http://www.ubergizmo.com/2010/01/nvidia-tegra-2-officially-launched/
    • Tech Radar, http://mwc2011.techradar.com/2011/02/nvidia-previews-quad-core-tegra-3-for-late-2011/
    • NVIDIA, http://blogs.nvidia.com/2011/01/tegra-2-tablets-tear-up-ces/
    • Gizmo Crunch, http://www.gizmocrunch.com/computing/5386-nvidia-tegra-3-mwc-tablet-quad-core