NVIDIA (Insights…CES 2013 Part 4 of 5)

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NVIDIA unveils Batman’s secret identity at CES 2013.
Microsoft Surface RT with Type and Touch Covers

NVIDIA and Microsoft have long been partners. The original Xbox featured NVIDIA graphics. On the Windows PC, NVIDIA graphics cards have powered Microsoft’s DirectX graphics and gaming compute technology for years. October 26, 2012, NVIDIA’s ARM-based Tegra 3 processor was featured as the launch platform for Microsoft’s first media tablet-Surface RT.

At CES 2013, NVIDIA showcased the next generation Tegra 4 (formerly codenamed: “Wayne”).  During the keynote, NVIDIA co-founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang asked a great question (paraphrased here), “Do we need any more performance from our mobile devices?”

Essentially, does the world need a Tegra 4, when reading magazines, eBooks, playing games, and updating events on our social networks is pretty effortless to do with existing processors?  You could take the argument further and ask, do students need high-performance mobile devices for learning, or does last generation technology fit the bill?

Huang argues that we need a significant leap in performance to do all of the things we want and can imagine to do with our mobile devices. I am inclined to agree. Web browsing, a common and daily task, can be improved with almost twice the performance.

Beyond basic tasks, NVIDIA is also focused on high-level graphics capabilities.  While the demonstration focuses on gaming; it is important to remember the capabilities needed for HD photo-realistic gaming are also the same capabilities needed for immersive learning simulations.

The NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor will be featured in a variety of devices later this year–smartphones and media tablets. While the processor is the foundation, the operating system and the apps have to take advantage of the processor’s capabilities to have a fully-optimized experience.

There is more in the press event that is noteworthy and some Easter eggs. I have compiled a playlist of the Tegra 4 CES 2013 press conference to help you see what’s coming from NVIDIA.

Video: NVIDIA CES 2013 Tegra 4 Press Conference Playlist