CES 2011: Nvidia and LG launch first Tegra 2 Smartphone

CES 2011: Nvidia and LG launch first Tegra 2 Smartphone

Huang hailed the LG Optimus 2X is the world's first 'superphone'

CES 2011: Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang chose to use Nvidia's keynote speech at this year's CES show to highlight not only the massive uptake in mobile internet devices such as smartphones and tablets, but also to officially launch the world's first Tegra 2-powered phone, the LG Optimus 2X.

The smartphone market has grown at staggering pace in last few years, with iPhones and Android smartphones becoming ever more ubiquitous. However, it's fair to say that they haven't always, and in many ways still don't, deliver the user experiences we'd like. Flash support is still patchy (or just absent for iOS) and our demands still far outweigh what the current hardware can provide.

During the unveiling of the Google Android-powered Optimus 2X though, we were seriously impressed with the capabilities of the Tegra 2 powered device, which Huang dubbed the ';Super Phone, the next generation of smart.' We have yet to determine whether the Optimus 2X can fly or stop a speeding bullet, alas.

While the 1GHz dual-core ARM CPU of the Tegra 250 chip used in the Optimus 2X was first announced at last year's CES show, uptake has been slow, with mostly only tablets using the chip. Now Nvidia has secured a mobile phone partner for its technology, as well as also recently announcing that Tegra 2 chips will be used in the new Tesla electric car, the company will no doubt be hoping for a faster uptake in adoption.

During the keynote, Huang demonstrated many of the handset's features, not least full 1080p playback on an HDTV via an integrated mini-HDMI socket, and perhaps most importantly, hardware-accelerated Adobe Flash. While we didn't get to see if the handset could handle 1080p YouTube, demanding browser-based Flash games ran fantastically, opening up a whole new avenue for free mobile gaming without the need for app downloads.

This certainly looks to strengthen Adobe's position in its long running dispute with Apple, which has chosen not to support Adobe Flash in iOS in favour of HTML5. While he acknowledged the potential split between the two standards, Huang stated that, 'Our devices should be able to support either format.'

Jenson also took the opportunity to show off some of Tegra 2's graphics power, with the most impressive demo being Dungeon Defenders, an online action RPG built with the UE3 engine. It was shown being played in cross-platform multiplayer between a PC, PS3 and an Optimus 2X, all with the same core gameplay, level design and graphics.

Whether the adoption of Tegra 2 into phones will see a jump from smartphones to superphones remains to be seen. However, Samsung is also launching a smartphones based around an ARM 1.2GHz dual-core Hummingbird processor (albeit without the graphics and Flash acceleration properties of Tegra 2). Meanwhile, the dross-filled Android MarketPlace remains the OS's weak point.

Do you think that hardware-acceleration for Flash is important in a phone? Or do you take Apple's side and think that HTML5 is the way forward? Sad there was no new GeForce announcement in Nvidia's keynote? Let us know in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
Nexxo 6th January 2011, 19:16 Quote
Battery life?
wuyanxu 6th January 2011, 19:32 Quote
there is absolutely nothing wrong with Imagine Technology's graphics units for smartphones.

i think Tegra line by nVidia really should be aimed at tablets instead of a small smartphone where due to space limitations, you cannot have a very large battery capacity.
chrisb2e9 6th January 2011, 20:06 Quote
amazed that it took this long to get tegra 2 into something. Was looking forward to it a long time ago. Especially after seeing what tegra did for the zune hd
Turbotab 6th January 2011, 20:39 Quote
Flash on a smartphone is not a deal breaker, however on a tablet purporting to be an internet device, it is essential.

To think Tegra 2 is already old-hat, Jen-Huang has announced that Tegra 3 is almost complete.
azrael- 6th January 2011, 20:55 Quote
Nothing less than "super" would do it for Jen-Hsun...

That being said the vids I've seen of this phone do look delectable.
Psy-UK 6th January 2011, 22:32 Quote
Considering how terrible battery life is on pretty much every smartphone nowadays, I don't think this is going to work out.
Yoy0YO 6th January 2011, 23:13 Quote
nVidia claims that their battery life is improved because it's using two cores. Their logic comes from the idea where high workload = less efficient power consumption.

In a single core situation their one core is under high workload and thus uses more power
In a dual core situation, both cores share the high workload so each core has a much lower workload and together they have a better power efficiency than the single core. Their dual core chip is also capable of downclocking/shutting down a core for power savings.

I'd take that with a grain of salt though.
cgthomas 6th January 2011, 23:50 Quote
Just add that Tegra chip to the upcoming iPhone and you could have the best phone on the market
(by the way I'm not an Apple fan boy the only apple piece I've got is the iPhone)
Yoy0YO 6th January 2011, 23:58 Quote
Haha, Apple would never allow that to happen. Tegra 2 is too mainstream, they need to be 'different.'
Skiddywinks 7th January 2011, 01:13 Quote
Originally Posted by Psy-UK
Considering how terrible battery life is on pretty much every smartphone nowadays, I don't think this is going to work out.

Two cores sucking no power still equals no power. However, in regards to Tegra 2, I remember reading that although the whole SoC is clock gated, it isn't power gated, which is not going to be great.

Samsungs SoC though should deliver on the lower power draw promises (compared to a single core), but even then, the screen is by far the most power hungry component of any phone, so while you may see figures like "20% less power draw", they are only refering to the SoC, not the whole phone, so any gain will be minimal until screens get a lot more efficient.
MSHunter 7th January 2011, 07:27 Quote
power draw will drop when color E-ink becomes "fast switching" and will not be as power efficient as black slow E-ink.
Bad_cancer 7th January 2011, 10:58 Quote
you guys seen the motorola ATRIX?

Same processor but it has 1g of ram. (If this site is correct)
Yemerich 7th January 2011, 11:04 Quote
Apple and adobe had some serious dispute since the problem adobe had with apple while launching the 64 bit version of the CS2 (or was it CS1?) and the snow leopard OS. Apple was so full of crap that adobe simply quit developing the 64 bit version for that OS.

Since then adobe and apple were stepping in eggs with each other. Anyway, it looks the natuaral flows of events that adobe adopts the HTML5 for them. And every time I see "Apple" and "Adobe" in the same topic I think there's much more than what meets the eye.

But back to the topic:
LG, Nvidia, Google and Adobe in a single package? Where do I sign?
perplekks45 7th January 2011, 12:58 Quote
Was looking in the Nexus S to replace my Galaxy Spica (I5700) but I might just wait for that LG phone. Most important for me would be battery life and future OS support.

Support from Samsung is a bad joke. My phone's barely 14 months on the market and hasn't seen an OS update since August. And I'm not talking about any update provided by Kies, the biggest joke when it comes to phone software I've ever seen. I'm talking about getting ANY Samsung-provided firmware on the net. Yes, Android 2.1 is nice but 2.3 is out already! Thanks Samsung for not supporting my phone anymore.
VipersGratitude 7th January 2011, 13:58 Quote
While not supporting flash in browsers Apple lifted the ban on 3rd party app development tools (read: flash) a few months ago.

HTML5 and WebGL probably wont reach market saturation of above 80% any time this side of 2015...So it's really pointless talking about it at the moment. My personal opinion is that HTML5 is fragmentation disguised as standardisation, just as html standards have always been.

Hardware acceleration is more important than ever due to the next internation of Flash, called Molehill, which is in beta at the moment but due for relase in the first half of 2011. It includes a low-level 3D API and gamepad support, so this is what Flash-based browser games are going to look like by the end of this year:


link to MAX 2010 unvieling - Shows task manager CPU load at 0, and the demo being controlled with a logitech steering wheel
Psy-UK 7th January 2011, 15:31 Quote
Originally Posted by perplekks45
Yes, Android 2.1 is nice but 2.3 is out already! Thanks Samsung for not supporting my phone anymore.

This is my one major gripe with Android. I really wish Google would make it mandatory that manufacturers at least provide a means of installing stock versions of Android as they're released. :(
HourBeforeDawn 7th January 2011, 22:11 Quote
so is this one of those I have a battery attached to my belt so I can have a decent talk time with this thing lol

you know its sad that todays phones the WORST feature to be tested ends up being the phone part you know the whole reason why you got a phone to be able to call people lol... I think we are loosing focus a bit on what a cell phone is suppose to be geared for lol.
Nexxo 8th January 2011, 11:42 Quote
Originally Posted by Yoy0YO
Haha, Apple would never allow that to happen. Tegra 2 is too mainstream, they need to be 'different.'

Yeah, because we all know that the ARM processor that Apple uses instead is a really rare beast.
azrael- 8th January 2011, 13:30 Quote
No no no... You're getting this ALL wrong. Apple doesn't use an ARM processor. They use an A4! There's a world of difference (because Apple says so).
Nexxo 8th January 2011, 17:07 Quote
There is and there isn't. The ARM is probably the best processor ever designed (by Steve Furber Sophie Wilson, who are probably reincarnations of Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace). As such most small and mobile devices that contain a CPU probably contain an ARM CPU.

One of its most excellent features is that it is a modular design, the IP rights of which are sold on that basis. You can manufacture an ARM under copyright but bolt your own bits on and omit others (and not pay IP rights for those) depending on your needs. There are special power management bits, floating point bits, graphics bits. You can have a basic, cheap CPU for disposable devices to an all-singing, all-dancing CPU for performance devices. Apple has been using the ARM since the Newton. Its modular design means that Apple has been able to commission an ARM with extra bits of its own design bolted on. So yes, it is an ARM. And yes, it is Apple's own, proprietary design also.
Nexxo 9th January 2011, 16:11 Quote
Originally Posted by Bad_cancer
you guys seen the motorola ATRIX?

Same processor but it has 1g of ram. (If this site is correct)

Just looked at it. Now THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is the future of mobile computing. ;)
Cthippo 9th January 2011, 16:17 Quote
Yeah, I think they may have nailed it

Be interesting to see where this goes.
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