NVIDIA says there are 50 or so different designs in the works for devices based on the new Tegra 2 platform. I got a chance to catch up with some reps from NVIDIA this afternoon, and they say some of those tablets and smartbooks could be available this year. Today Asus introduced a tablet prototype, making Asus the first big name company to hop about the Tegra 2 bandwagon. But we’re also seeing a number of other prototypes based on the platform including the latest version of the Mobinnova Beam mini-laptop and the new 7 inch ICD Ultra tablet introduced today.

The ICD Ultra features a 1024 x 600 pixel touchscreen display and runs Google Android. It also packs 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, and Verizon has announced that it will provide a WiMAX capable version of the tablet later this year.

Tegra 2 is a step up from the original Tegra platform in several respects. It uses a 40nm chip instead of a 65nm one; can handle 1080p HD video instead of topping out at 720p, and it has a dual core 1GHz CPU rather than a single core 650MHz one. Overall, NVIDIA says it gets about 4x the performance for everyday tasks, which should make a huge difference for web browsing and running applications that can’t rely on the GPU.

Adobe Flash content is supported, which means both 1080p HD Flash video and Flash-based video games and other applications. And of course, where Tegra 2 really shines is local and web video playback. In fact, the recently launched D-Link Boxee Box which runs the Boxee media center software for accessing local and online media on your HDTV is running on Tegra 2.

You can find videos of the Mobinnova Beam and ICD Ultra in action after the break. There are also some photos of other Tegra 2-based prototypes.

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8 replies on “Hands on with Tegra 2: ICD Ultra tablet, Mobinnova Beam smartbook”

  1. tegra use an old arm cpu

    prefer to wait other constructor

    “What Windows CE brings is a pretty mature embedded OS, so you have a pretty large development community you can tap into.”

    ya that why linux is so used in embedded market

    1. Um Tegra 2 uses the New ARM A9, which is the latest and greatest from ARM. It’s an out of order, superscaler, multi issue chip. The Original Tegra used and A11, which was an old old model in order, multi issue chip. This thing can almost compete with ATOM, except this has full video encode, decode, and a GPU that looks pretty sweet, and Atom has a integrated hose beast of a IGP on chip, and draws ten times the power…

      So to recap, Tegra 2 is not in fact an old arm CPU, there’s nothing to wait other constructor for unless you’re waiting for yet faster A9’s to get developed.

  2. I’m really juiced about this Tegra 2. It seems the original Tegra wasn’t exactly endorsed to the point where the global audience realized what it was all about. That is all about to change. It’s pretty exciting to see what Nvidia is doing. Tegra 2 is a gamers dream come true. I suppose the issue with a Tegra 2 smartphone would be the hardware limitations. From what they are saying, the Tegra 2 is on par with PS3 and Xbox 360. To me, that’s “over the top”

  3. The 7″ ICD slate looked very nice, but how can it expect to compete with Apple’s slate when it is a sidenote in a giant electronics show with an obscure interface and Apple is going to be pushing a tablet, but a completely involved and fleshed out experience.

    If Asus is going to be Tegra’s big name backer they need to get to advertising. Lenovo should do the same with the Snapdragon IMO.

  4. Brad, getting confusing. Is the Tegra 2 a CPU and an alternative to the Qualcomm Snapdragon?

    1. It’s a chipset and yes, it’s an alternative to Snapdragon.

      Basically, Snapdragon offers an ARM-based CPU with HD graphics capabilities,
      and so does Tegra. The difference is Tegra is much more powerful on the
      graphics side. I haven’t tested either chipset extensively enough to say how
      they compare in terms of general performance, battery life, etc…

      1. Thank you Brad. Your explanation was very clear. Previously, it was Intel that was very confusing with their countless of CPUs and chipsets. Now, all these ARM stuff is getting confusing too.

        I understand it now. Hopefully we will see more Tegra2 around. But I am pretty sure that it would consume more battery than the Snapdragon.

        Many notebook buyers aren’t aware that their graphics card suck battery like crazy.

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