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CES 2010: NVIDIA Powers Touch-Screen Tablet Video Revolution

CES is heralding the start of a new category in consumer electronics. The touch-capable tablet sits between a laptop PC and a mobile phone and is one of the buzzwords of this year’s show.

"2010 is the beginning of the tablet revolution," declared Jen Hsun Huang, CEO and president of graphics card manufacturer NVIDIA. This he said requires an enabling technology that delivers the graphics performance and reliability of a PC with the lean power consumption and portability of cell phones.

Naturally NVIDIA had the answer announcing its new Tegra 2 chip which claimed Huang delivers ten times the performance of a smartphone at twenty times less power than a PC. The chip features the world's first dual core CPU for mobile applications and eight independent processors. Combined, it can optimize power usage to deliver a 16 hours of HD video or 140 hours of music on one charge, the company claims.

The impressive demo accompanying the unveiling showed 1080p HD game and movies content web-streamed to prototype tablet devices from ICD, Asus and Compal incorporating Tegra technology. Adobe has ported its development platform Air to Tegra enabling the download of rich media like digital magazines and Flash acceleration.

More than 50 tablet devices of varying description are in development using Tegra, according to Huang.

Apple is likely to announce its own tablet later this month, so CES is a battleground for rival manufacturers bidding to take the upper hand. In Las Vegas touchscreen computers were debuted from Dell, HP and Lenovo among others, the later incorporated as part of a laptop but with the screen able to be lifted off and used separately as a tablet.

"The Tegra processor has a unique feature set critical for tablets," said Mike Rayfield, general manager of NVIDIA's mobile business. "Fast web browsing with fully rendered pages, uncompromised graphics, snappy user interface and HD video - all with the battery life we’ve only seen with cell phones."

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