Nvidia Tegra

Battery life of 25 days of music and 10 hours of 1080p video playback. This is what Nvidia Tegra is built for. Tegra called ‘System on a chip’ i.e ‘computer on a chip’ processor is from the graphics giant Nvidia.

Ilustration of Nvidia Tegra

Ilustration of Nvidia Tegra

It has a CPU i.e ARM 11 processor, GPU, northbridge, southbridge and memory controller all integrated onto a single package with size smaller than a coin. The graphics processor supports Open GL 2.0 and 3D acceleration. It also support 3G, WiFi and WiMax for the ‘always-on’ computing experience. Nvidia is also targetting a subwatt(<1W) power usage for the chip.

Internal architecture of a Nvidia Tegra chip

Internal architecture of a Nvidia Tegra chip

Nvidia is will release two class of Tegra devices, Tegra 600 Series and Tegra APX series.

  • The key features of Tegra 600 series are:Up to 1080p HD video playback
  • Ultra-low-power GeForce GPU for intuitive and smooth 3D user interfaces
  • Integrated media processor for over 100 hours audio and 10 hours HD video playback
  • Image processor with advanced DSC and HD camcorder processing
  • Connectivity to support Web 2.0 and social media applications
  • Display support for up to 1080p HDMI, WSXGA+ LCD, SXGA CRT, and NTSC/PAL TV-Out

The key features of Tegra APX series are:

  • 720p HD video capture and playback
  • Lowest power for demanding applications like 720p HD video
  • 3D user interface
  • HD video playback
  • Ability to access visually intensive applications like mapping and gaming

Nvidia is working with Google and Open Handset Alliance to use Android OS on Nvidia Tegra. Microsoft has announced Zune HD that will run on Nvidia Tegra for better video quality and battery life. Samsung annonced that is working on a Tegra based phone. Nvidia is expecting use of Tegra processor in Mobile Internet Devices(MID) and Netbooks.

For more specifications on Nvidia Tegra visit Wikipedia.

The main thing I’m thinking about is will be perfect for an Home Theatre PC (HTPC) setup? Will it be able to replace the Nvidia Ion Platform?

Asus EEE PC

asus-eee-pcThe name Eee is an abbreviation of “Easy to learn, Easy to work, Easy to play”. Asus started the range of netbooks with 7 inches screen, and later advanced to a 10.2 inches screen.

The technical specifications of the Asus EEE PC are:

  • Display: 7 inches with resolution 800 x 480, 8.9 inches and 10.2 inches with resolution of 1024 x 600
  • Processor: The models EEE PC 900A, 901, 1000H, 100HA and 1000 use the Intel Atom processor. Other models use the 900 MHz Intel Celeron-M processor
  • Graphics: The 7 inch variants have the Intel GMA 900 graphics processor, the 8.9 and 10-inch variants have Intel GMA 950 graphics processor
  • RAM: 512 MB for the 7 inch variants and 1GB for 8.9 and 10 inch variants
  • Storage: 2 GB to 8GB Solid State Drive for 7 inches variants. 4 GB to 16GB Solid State Drive for 8.9 inches  variants, 32 GB Solid State Drive for 10 inch EEE PC 1000. The 8.9 inch 904 HD and 10 inch 1000 HD contain 80 GB Hard Disk, 10 inch EEE PC 1000 H, 1000 HA contain 160 GB Hard Disk.
  • Additional storage: SD, SDHC, MMC, MS and MS Pro support.
  • Wireless support: 802.11b/802.11g wireless LAN
  • LAN: 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
  • Three USB 2.0 ports.
  • Camera: 0.3 megapixel to 1.3 megapixel
  • Operating System: Xandros Linux or Windows XP but other operating sysytems like Eeebuntu are also avaiable
  • Dimensions: From minimum 225 × 165 × 35 mm to maximum of 265.9 × 191.3 × 38.1 mm
  • Battery life: Vary depending upon models. Minimum of 2.45 hrs for 7 inch variants to maximum of 7.8 hrs for 10 inch variants.
  • Some variants support bluetooth and wireless 802.11n
  • Audio: High definition 5.1 audio support
  • Additional ports: Microphone input, headphone jack, VGA out

The Asus EEE PC is available in colours White, Galaxy black, Lush Green and Sky Blue. The prices vary depending upon the model chosen starting at $249.

MSI Wind U100


MSI Wind U100 the $560 ultra-mobile PC from MSI has finally hit the market. With so many companies getting into the market, the competition in UMPC market is getting hotter, with increasing options for the end user.

The technical specifications of the MSI Wind U100 which measures 260 mm x 180 mm x 31 mm are:

  • 10 inch display with resolution of 1024 x 600
  • Intel Atom N270 Processor (1.6 GHz)
  • Graphics Driver: Intel GMA 950
  • 1 GB DDR2 SDRAM (Windows XP), 512 MB DDR2 SDRAM (Linux) 667MHz
  • 80 GB Hard Drive SATA
  • SD, MMC, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro card support
  • 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 2.0 (optional)
  • Ethernet 10/100
  • Three USB 2.0 ports
  • 1.3 mega pixel web-camera
  • OS: SUSE Linux or Windows XP
  • Battery Life: 2.5 hrs 3-cell, 5.5 hrs 6-cell

It will also sport VGA port, MIC-in and Line-out port. It weighs around 1.2kg and will be available in three colours White, Pink and Black.

It will cost $399 and $549 ie Rs 17000 and Rs 24000 in terms of direct conversion for Linux and Windows XP version respectively.

Acer Aspire One


Acer launched its $399 ultra portable notebook the Acer Aspire One.

The technical specifications of the Acer Aspire One which measures 9.8 inches x 6.7 inches x 1.14 inches are:

  • 8.9-inch display with resolution of 1024 x 600
  • Intel Atom N270 Processor (1.6 GHz)
  • Graphics Driver: Intel GMA 950
  • 512 MB or 1 GB DDR2 SDRAM
  • 80GB Hard Drive (XP) or 8GB Solid State Drive (Linux)
  • SD, MMC, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, xD-picture card support
  • 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • Ethernet
  • Three USB 2.0 port
  • One PCI slot for WWAN
  • 1.3 mega pixel camera
  • OS: Linpus Linux Lite or Windows XP

The battery life expected is 2.5 – 5 hours for XP version and 3 – 7 hours for Linux one on 3 and 6 cell batteries respectively. It also sports a VGA port and 3.5mm audio out.

All these features at an unbelievable weight of 1 kg.
It cost $399 for Linux version and $600 for Windows version ie INR 17000 and INR 26000 respectively in terms of direct conversion.