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Nvidia Firefly smartbook to launch in September?

July 23, 2009 at 9:51 am


Nvidia Firefly smartbook to launch in September?Rumours of an Nvidia-branded Tegra netbook/smartbook launching later this year surfaced late last month. These rumours were quickly squashed by the company, denying any plans to sell its own brand of smartbooks. However, according to ODM sources, Nvidia will be releasing a Tegra-based device under the ‘Firefly’ name and it will launch in September.

Nvidia is already showing off a Firefly prototype to ODMs according to SemiAccurate. This device will come with the Tegra platform and Windows CE operating system. 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).

There’s little other information than that. The previous rumours talked of a Black Friday release in the United States, along with the device launching with a wireless carrier. I’d take all of this news with a pinch of salt, however it certainly seems like Nvidia is up to something. Whether this prototype sees the light of day is another thing.

Comments

3 Responses to “Nvidia Firefly smartbook to launch in September?”

  1. Bob said:
    July 23rd, 2009 10:38 AM

    nVidia’s Tegra and ION, both seem promising .. I think they may need to look at WinXP OS as well as it makes compatibility easy for all round usage. The price of ION may be a nagging factor considering netbooks rooting for the 400 dollar tag.

  2. Andrew said:
    July 23rd, 2009 5:17 PM

    Full blown Windows (XP/Vista/7) won’t run on the Tegra (ARM) platform. There are rumours that MS is looking at porting 7 to ARM but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    ARM is already more ubiquitous than x86 architecture, with ARM-derived processors in everything from routers to mobile phones. It’s very low power (compared to x86) and used in situations where this is the over-riding concern. ARM isn’t a chip manufacturer like Intel, AMD or VIA; instead it licences it’s technology to third parties and they derive products from it, like nVidia and Tegra. So ARM is more flexible than chip manufacturers but it’s totally at the whim of it’s licencees as to what technology the chips are integrated into.

    For instance, imagine a HD-capable, low power, Set Top Box capable of everything the average netbook/nettop is while costing less than $100. It wouldn’t matter what OS it ran, it would just sit near the TV whilst streaming almost everything that’s currently available whilst also being a full blown PC. A friend phones you on Skype, the machine pauses what you’re watching (live TV, recorded or streamed) and allows you to take or ignore the call and continue watching where you stopped.

    Beyond that, you could have a central ARM-based server always on and connected to the internet. This would then serve as the hub for all your information based services and connect to all the other computers in your house. Cable/Satellite/Terrestrial television, browsing, email, music, video etc. would all come through this machine and then be served out to whichever client machine(s) you want.

    Whilst neither of these machines are available at consumer grade right now, they’re not far off. Tegra could, in theory, do both of these jobs if there’s a willingness on nVidia to push the tech that far – we shall see.

  3. Shawn M said:
    July 26th, 2009 8:23 PM

    A lot of rumors are surrounding this device – and I have to say, regardless if they are true or not I can’t wait to get my hands on one. I personally think this is long overdue and am somewhat surprised that it took this long to get something in the hands of consumers. Anyways, great article, take a look at http://www.smartbook.asia for updates on this as well, they track all of them.

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