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Computex: Nvidia Tegra netbooks to debut with Windows CE

June 1, 2009 at 12:04 am


Nvidia TegraNvidia will be showing off the first netbooks that run on the Tegra platform at the Computex show, which kicks off on Tuesday in Taiwan. The Tegra platform is different to ION in that it pairs an ARM-based processor with an Nvidia GeForce GPU (ION pairs an Intel Atom CPU with the Nvidia 9400M graphics).

The lack of an x86 processor, means that Windows XP/Windows 7 is not an option. Instead, these netbooks will be running the Windows CE operating system. Nvidia says that at some point down the road, it hopes to use Google Android instead.

“The Internet is all about (Adobe) flash and HD (high-definition) now so we’ve built a platform that can do that,” Michael Rayfield, general manager of Nvidia’s mobile business unit told Cnet. “There are two operating systems we support. Microsoft Windows CE and, as it becomes more interesting for large screens, (Google) Android,” he said.

Rayfield expects the Android OS to appear in netbooks by the middle of next year. “Android has got a roar ahead of it but I think it’s three of four quarters from a large-screen device. And the market wants something interesting before that,” he said.

The first devices will not be shown off by some of the larger PC names, but by telecommunication carriers. “We’re bringing the carriers in. I’ve got 100 people showing up from carriers at Computex,” said Rayfield. The devices to be shown off at Computex will be those that “are about ready to release into production,” he said.

“The ODMs (original design manufacturers) will sell directly to the carriers. The OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are getting cut out of the deal. The carriers want to brand it themselves. They would prefer not to show a large OEM (e.g., PC maker) name, they would prefer to show T-Mobile or Vodafone or whoever the carrier might be,” he said.

In terms of price, smaller devices with WVGA displays (800 x 480 resolution) will sell for $99, whilst your typical netbook will sell for $100 to $200. We look forward to more detail on these Tegra netbooks to come out of Computex in the next few days.

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