Nvidia: Windows CE performs better than Android on smartbooks

June 18, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Nvidia TegraGoogle’s Android operating system has been getting all of the column inches and hype relating to an eventual transition to netbooks and smartbooks. However, Nvidia feels that Windows CE is the more mature platform, as things stand, for Tegra-based smartbooks.

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). Nvidia certainly has high hopes for the Tegra platform, with its CEO Jen-Hsun Huang predicting that Tegra will benefit from higher margins than its existing products and could contribute as much as half of Nvidia’s revenues within a few years.

Android currently has a “rough user interface”, Mike Rayfield, general manager for Nvidia’s mobile business unit told Computerworld. Rayfield said that it would probably be 12 months before Android really delivers on its promise for smartbooks. It is currently working on accelerating the platform, as all of the video and graphics rendering is done by the operating systems JAVA code, which is too slow for HD video.

There’s no hardware acceleration. It’s all software,” Rayfield said. “Everyone’s talking about Android for cell phones, but the reality doesn’t exist for the larger displays [of a smartbook.]

Rayfield also dug the knife in other netbook-focused Linux OSes. “The world soundly rejected the first netbooks that came out with Linux,” he said. “Printers didn’t work, and devices didn’t get recognized. The whole thing was a mess.”

Nvidia is prioritising work on Windows CE as it “is a rock-solid operating system that has been shipped billions of times,” said Rayfield. It also has a “low memory footprint and a good collection of apps.” Nvidia is also looking to improve the video and game performance on Windows Mobile.

He also gave an indication as to what expect for future versions of Tegra. Tegra 2, due early 2010, will be four times as powerful as the current version, whilst Tegra 3, planned for 2011, will improve performance ten-fold over the current Tegra platform.


61 Responses to “Nvidia: Windows CE performs better than Android on smartbooks”

  1. Michael said:
    June 19th, 2009 2:00 AM

    I am looking forward to Smartbook TV!

  2. BoloMKXXVIII said:
    June 19th, 2009 12:57 PM

    Has Jen-Hsun Huang ever checked hardware compatibility with CE? He should check before he makes a public statement.

    CE is a limited OS, but then so is Android. The “failure” of the linux netbooks is nothing of the sort. There are hundreds of thousands of them out there right now being used. Linux is a full featured OS. There is a Debian port for ARM. If you want to run Android apps it can be done within Debian. Unless MicroSoft decides to port 7 (if possible) to ARM or Apple decides to change it’s mind, the only real choice of a full featured OS is linux.

  3. Jet Sun said:
    June 19th, 2009 1:53 PM

    I agree, it’s a strange statement to make. Especially as most people are looking forward to netbooks/smartbooks with Moblin, Jolicloud, Ubuntu NBR rather than Windows CE.

    Difficult to know what kind of games Nvidia are playing by making statements line these…

  4. Angel Genchev said:
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    Android is slow by architecture – it relies on java for almost everything. They can fix the things if they manage to compile it to CPU-optimized binary code…or rewrite most of it in pure C++. Dot Net and Java are not the most speedy things – they`re intended to make the code portable and to allow developers not to care so much about the platform.

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