The Tegra system-on-a-chip, the zippy hardware that powers the Zune HD, had so much potential. Then, the delays. Slow pickup. Disappointment. Whatever happened to the Tegra, Nvidia doesn't want it to happen again. This time, they say, will be different.
As for what the Tegra 2 is, nobody really knows, because the closest Nvdia execs will get to a spec rundown is to offer vague promises of MORE: evidently it will be at least twice as powerful as its predecessor, which was was impressive in its own right. We'll get a sense of how powerful it is at CES, but the major point Nvidia would like to make is that unlike last time, the Tegra 2 will actually get used:
At CES we are going to make a major announcement about Tegra family. It is highly possible that we will see some very interesting form-factors coming out at the same time. [There will be products] shown by our partners using the next-generation Tegra device. You are going to see roll-outs and deployments of tablet PCs, smartbooks, netbooks, MIDs throughout the first half [of the year]; and then you will see major roll-outs of smartphones in the second half
This jibes with chatter from the last few months that companies like Samsung, Nintendo and even Nvidia themselves have suddenly started working on Tegra hardware; we just didn't know until now that it'd be next gen. What we still don't know is what that means: If the original Tegra could decode 1080p video, what can the new one do? Decode 1080p video more enthusiastically? [XbitLabs]