NVIDIA Mobile GeForce Processor Chews Up HD Video, Aims to Gnaw On Silverthorne

Mobile devices are clearly the next frontier to conquer for established big boy computer gutsmakers. NVIDIA is recharging into the mobile market with "the world's lowest power, high definition computer on a chip" that tears through 720p video among other graphical jujitsu.

It's a 750MHz ARM11 processor with an ultra low-power GeForce core that can en/decode 720p video, deal w/ 12-megapixel pics, and throw video onto a TV w/ an HDMI cable (up to 10 hours). It's an NVIDIA chip, so it also bosses over 3D graphics for navigation, super-slick UIs, and probably some half-decent games—just need decent controls. The end of the release says it's competing with Intel's highly hyped Silverthorne, so we can't wait to see the head-to-head benchmarks.

NVIDIA INTRODUCES APX 2500 - THE WORLD'S LOWEST POWER, HIGH DEFINITION COMPUTER ON A CHIP New NVIDIA Applications Processor and Microsoft Windows Mobile Combine to Enable Smartphone 2.0 MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2008—BARCELONA, SPAIN—FEBRUARY 11, 2008

NVIDIA Corporation, the world leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of the GPU, today introduced NVIDIA® APX 2500, a breakthrough applications processor that enables intuitive 3D user interfaces and engaging high definition video on connected Windows Mobile phones. The APX 2500 applications processor uniquely delivers an unprecedented 10 hours of 720p HD playback - an industry first for video quality and power consumption on a mobile device, as well as stunning HD camcorder and ultra-high resolution photo imaging capabilities.

"This is the dawn of the second personal computer revolution," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. "Technologies are converging in amazing mobile devices that have all of the rich, visual capabilities of a modern PC — from watching movies and making video calls to surfing the web and playing 3D games. The APX 2500 combined with Microsoft Windows Mobile, will make the next generation of smartphones our most personal computer."

NVIDIA® has worked closely with Microsoft on the development of APX 2500, marking a significant milestone in a long term relationship that has seen the companies share a passion for making interaction with technology more visual and instinctive across multiple platforms. The combined engineering efforts of the two companies will ensure that next generation versions of the Windows Mobile operating system will harness the capabilities of the APX 2500 applications processor across challenging multimedia use cases.

"Microsoft is dedicated to providing people true mobile freedom, so that they only need to carry one device for both communication and entertainment," said Todd Warren, corporate vice president of the mobile communication business, Microsoft Corp. "We are delighted to work with NVIDIA to offer our users an amazing visual experience on the next-generation Windows Mobile phones."

The NVIDIA APX 2500 applications processor, which is the culmination of 800 man years of engineering, delivers:

• The industry's first HD (720p) playback and capture capability for handheld devices.

• A new ultra-low power (ULP) GeForce® core, fully OpenGL ES 2.0 and Microsoft® Direct3D®

Mobile compliant and the lowest power 3D hardware solution available for the acceleration of intuitive 3D user interfaces.

• NVIDIA nPower technology, enabling over 10 hours of high-definition video playback and up to 100 hours of audio - more than 4 times the audio playback of the latest touch-screen phones.

• The connectivity and media acceleration technologies required to enable the latest web 2.0 applications, from effortless web browsing and social networking, to GPS and mapping applications.

The NVIDIA APX 2500 applications processor is sampling today with key customers and will enter into full production by the end of Q2 2008.Nvidia's solution will compete with Intel's own Silverthorne chips and other x86-based solution.

[Dean Takahashi ]