bit-tech.net

Nvidia shows off Tegra netbook prototype

Nvidia shows off Tegra netbook prototype

Nvidia has shown off a prototype of a Tegra-based netbook running Windows CE at the CTIA Wireless 2009 show (photo courtesy of Engadget).

Nvidia has already hinted at plans to produce an x86-compatible platform for mobile Internet devices (MIDs), but the company has now shown that even its existing ARM-based TEGRA platform is capable of powering a basic netbook.

To prove its point, Nvidia gutted an HP Mini 1000, which is usually based on Intel’s Atom CPU, and replaced its innards with a Tegra board and a basic version of Windows CE. The netbook prototype was shown off at the CTIA Wireless 2009 http://www.ctiawireless.com/ show in Las Vegas, and Engadget took some shots of it, as well as a photo of an entire Tegra computer that’s around the same size as your average SODIMM.

So are we ever likely to see Tegra-based netbooks going into production? We asked Nvidia’s senior corporate communications manager, Bea Longworth, who replied with a definite “absolutely,” adding that Nvidia hopes to “announce OEMs at Computex.” However, Longworth wouldn’t reveal whether HP itself was interested in making a Tegra-based netbook, saying that Nvidia “can't comment on our partners' plans."

In the meantime, though, this prototype shows the potential for using Tegra in a netbook. At first, it might seem like a bit of a redundant idea, seeing as full versions of Windows such as XP and Vista require an x86 processor, and you won’t be able to run them on an ARM CPU.

However, Windows CE is still capable of running everyday computing tasks and more. As Tegra is basically a smartphone platform, and there’s space for a much larger battery in a netbook. Nvidia says that the Tegra 600’s integrated media processor results in up to ten hours of HD video playback, or 100 hours of audio playback, on a standard smartphone battery, so there’s a lot of potential for a Tegra-based netbook with battery life that extends into days rather than hours.

Plus, Tegra 600 already has features such as 1080p video playback, HDMI output, wi-fi support and basic 3D acceleration. The lack of a fully-fledged Atom CPU and Microsoft OS could also help to bring down the cost of such devices. At the Mobile World Congress show in February, Nvidia first announced its new platform that enabled Tegra 600 to be used in MIDs. The company said that such devices could cost as little as $99 US, and could be switched on for days at a time.

Would you be interested in a cheap Tegra-based netbook with long battery life, or would you rather have an Intel Atom and a full version of Windows? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

21 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
perplekks45 3rd April 2009, 15:53 Quote
I'd be interested in a netbook [10" preferably] that would have more than the average 4-5 hours of battery life. But Windows CE? I'm not a huge fan... well, let's wait for the first implementations.
docodine 3rd April 2009, 15:55 Quote
Sounds good to me, I hate the path that netbooks are taking, they started below 9", but are all getting huge now.. I If some partner makes a 7" Tegra MID, it's going in my backpack ASAP.
proxess 3rd April 2009, 16:05 Quote
Just another reason to install a fully fledged Linux distro. Yay Nvidia!
steveo_mcg 3rd April 2009, 16:14 Quote
Indeed, Debian a huge number of architectures out the box including ARM. Seeing as Debian is the base for a few of the more popular distros (Ubuntu included) its fair to say that these machines could be used for any thing any other netbook could be. The biggest problem would be packages outside of the main repositories might not be available.
Burnout21 3rd April 2009, 16:27 Quote
give it a touch screen at 9in, and ubuntu MID edition and i am sold.

i dont think windows belongs on a netbook.
Krikkit 3rd April 2009, 16:30 Quote
That sounds awesome to me, I'd snap one of those up for £140 or so if it had such a massive battery life, and was capable of 1080p etc.
Jipa 3rd April 2009, 16:44 Quote
Whaaaat? Since when has Microsoft had a suitable OS or netbooks anyway...

I'm fed up with the current netbooks, all of which share the same specs. Some change would be welcomed! Show me a 10" netbook that's performance- and battery life-wise a real upgrade from IBM X31 and I'll get it..
docodine 3rd April 2009, 16:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnout21
i dont think windows belongs on a netbook.

Works just fine on my original Eee PC 4g.
Burnout21 3rd April 2009, 16:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by docodine
Works just fine on my original Eee PC 4g.

it still dont belong on a netbook, its like Vista on a mac instead of OSX.
Jonalethdm 3rd April 2009, 17:08 Quote
If they can produce the entire system on a motherboard the size of a stick of ram, and still have it play back multiple HD (720p) sources similtaneously, surely they put that into a netbook 9" shell and fill all the space generated with extra batteries, gving the device a huge running time.

Yeah the big screen will draw quite a bit of power, so not quite mobile timescales, but enough to dwarf the wintel netbooks.
Burnout21 3rd April 2009, 17:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonalethdm
If they can produce the entire system on a motherboard the size of a stick of ram, and still have it play back multiple HD (720p) sources similtaneously, surely they put that into a netbook 9" shell and fill all the space generated with extra batteries, gving the device a huge running time.

Yeah the big screen will draw quite a bit of power, so not quite mobile timescales, but enough to dwarf the wintel netbooks.

See that dosen't sound that mad now, 10 years ago you would have been laughed at all day.

what would be awesome is a netbook about the size of an A5 notebook, thin as a Mac Airbook, running a decent sized SSD and a decent bank of li-ion battieres. 20 cell or something.

Of course all aluminium and by this point i am starting to think this is what apple is going to end up releasing....
koola 3rd April 2009, 18:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fast1
i read somwhere they ARM-based netbooks will dominate in 2012, well now its only 2009, so give them some props for moving in the right directionhttp://photosnag.com/img/3322/n09x0302vnsn/clear.gif

Sooner than you'd think... I've just come back from Shenzhen, China after working with a company who are developing ARM architecture appliances for enterprise and consumer markets, and imo it's the future.

Highly impressed with the performance when compared with a general x86 processor.
bowman 3rd April 2009, 19:15 Quote
So you've got an ARM processor. Why aren't you running Linux or Android? WHY ON EARTH are you running _Windows CE_?!!? Noone, absolutely noone wants that. It's of no use. It belongs on PDAs from the 90's.

I would be interested in this if it had some good open source support for Linux, something Nvidia is not well known for (but Intel is).
Saivert 3rd April 2009, 19:39 Quote
lol PDA's from the 90s? you do know Windows Mobile is built on Windows CE? And is used in numerous smart phones today.
Get out from your rock.
perplekks45 3rd April 2009, 21:40 Quote
It's ARM based, it has "Linux support".
And Saivert is absolutely right: Win Mobile is the direct successor to CE.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiki
Windows Mobile is best described as a subset of platforms based on a Windows CE underpinning.
cyrilthefish 3rd April 2009, 21:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saivert
lol PDA's from the 90s? you do know Windows Mobile is built on Windows CE? And is used in numerous smart phones today.
Get out from your rock.
It was a fair point, Windows mobile is hardly any different from when it was first released. It's had a few things tacked on over the years, but the base OS hasn't changed much in as long as i can remember.

I'm really looking forward to the day HTC decides to release an android phone on non-horrible hardware so i can dump windows mobile for good
docodine 4th April 2009, 06:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnout21
Quote:
Originally Posted by docodine
Works just fine on my original Eee PC 4g.

it still dont belong on a netbook, its like Vista on a mac instead of OSX.

But why?

It does more than the cell phone-like OS that came with the thing. Why doesn't XP belong on netbooks?
bowman 4th April 2009, 14:18 Quote
A very fair point. Why Asus and Acer install these old, unsupported, trimmed and half-useless distributions when the netbooks can handle Ubuntu, Fedora and the like just fine.. Beats me.
alpaca 6th April 2009, 09:11 Quote
two screens for the little bugger: a 'electronic paper' screen for day to day internetting without consuming much power, and a lcd or the like for viewing your HD certified pr0n...
Puzzu 6th April 2009, 10:15 Quote
Long battery life..........

Now that alone would sell it to me.
kenco_uk 6th April 2009, 10:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnout21
See that dosen't sound that mad now, 10 years ago you would have been laughed at all day.

what would be awesome is a netbook about the size of an A5 notebook, thin as a Mac Airbook, running a decent sized SSD and a decent bank of li-ion battieres. 20 cell or something.

Of course all aluminium and by this point i am starting to think this is what apple is going to end up releasing....

While a 20-cell battery would give it the lifetime of a year or something, wouldn't it add considerable weight?

I think a 6-cell or 9-cell tops would do the job. If they can fit one ARM computer on a circuit board the size of a SoDIMM, what's to stop two, three or even four being put in, running in parallel? A Quad-Core ARM cpu?

1280x768 (iirc) on a normal HP Mini 1000 is nearly unreadable. Very sharp, but very small text (in XP, particulary the clock on the taskbar). A perfect match for the Tegra hardware though, with it being capable of 720p. Using an operating system on it could be a headache with associated eye strain.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums