Zune HD: Powered by NVIDIA Tegra Processor


Tegra Powered What is NVIDIA’s Tegra processor and why is it so important that Microsoft’s Zune HD has it? According to NVIDIA, Tegra is the brand for a family of “computers-on-a-chip” processors that “brings the power of advanced visual computing to a broad range of handheld and mobile platforms. Tegra enables intuitive user interfaces, advanced multimedia features, and access to rich online interactivity, all while delivering longer battery life.” So, simply put, it is a powerful graphics chip for portable devices like the Zune HD that sips power. What’s so great about Tegra on the Zune HD?

HD Video Playback The Zune HD can playback 720p HD movies, TV shows, via a connection to your HDTV. On the Zune HD itself, video playback is limited to the resolution on the Zune HD, which is just 480 x 272–certainly not HD. You’ll need an optional cable to connect the Zune HD to your HDTV. Let’s hope that the Zune HD2 will support Full HD playback on a connected HDTV with a native resolution that’s a bit closer to HD: how about 800 x 480?

Microsoft is Big HD video playback on an external HDTV is about it when it comes to the special qualities of NVIDIA’s Tegra processor. The other three that gets mentioned on NVIDIA’s site are: Web Browser, Music and Photos, Exceptional Battery Life. These features can be found in other mobile devices and do not seem to be all that special. Microsoft is the largest customer to integrate NVIDIA’s Tegra processor into a mobile device; other companies include: CCI (CN88), ICD (Ultra), Inventec (Rainbow), mobinnova (Mabo, elan), Pegatron (Vivid) and Wistron (M5). These are mostly no-name brands; why aren’t other major brands like Samsung, Sony, LG, Sharp, Panasonic, HP, Dell, etc. jumping on the bandwagon?

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