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Nvidia hints at Tegra 2 intro at CES

Breakthrough ARM product?

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Nvidia looks set to announce its next-generation Tegra system-on-a-chip at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show early next year.

The chip maker hasn't formally said as much, but its head of investor relations, Michael Mara, last week signposted CES as the venue for a major Tegra-related announcement. This week, the company is pre-briefing hacks about Tegra news, though we understand not all of January's details will be revealed early.

Tegra's only key design wins thus far are media players: Microsoft's Zune HD and the Samsung M1. Mara indicated Tegra's scope will expand considerably - we assume on the back of the new technology.

"You are going to see roll-outs and deployments of tablet PCs, smartbooks, netbooks [and] MIDs," he said at the Barclays Technology Conference last week. These will debut "throughout the first half - and then you will see major roll-outs of smartphones in the second half."

Tegra 2 is expected to feature a dual-core ARM core and, undoubtedly, faster graphics than the current version. Hara said it will be fabbed at 40nm.

Certainly, ARM has been talking up dual-core chippery of late, though it's allied to no one particular chip maker. ARM sees dual-core chips as the breakthrough product that takes its technology beyond personal media players and phones and into bigger, internet-centric devices.

ARM's pitch is its platform's power consumption characteristics, which will allow, it claims, devices like netbooks to offer always-on 3G data connectivity. ®

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