Tue, Jun 03, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Nvidia set to unveil new MID chipset at Computex show

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Computer graphic processor maker Nvidia Corp said yesterday that it would showcase its first chipset family for mobile Internet devices (MID) during the annual Computex computer show in Taipei.

Nvidia’s Tegra chipsets will compete with Intel’s Atom chipset, which was unveiled in April.

Atom is especially designed for MIDs, which are portable computers outfitted with a smaller screen size, ranging from 4 inches to 12 inches.

Nvidia claims that Tegra chipset series can deliver up to 25 hours of 720p video playback compared to less than five hours with an Atom chip. It can power PC applications for up to 10 hours, compared to less than two for Atom, Nvidia said.

Q4 ARRIVAL

Personal computers powered by Tegra chipsets are expected to arrive by the fourth quarter of the year, Nvidia said.

Wireless chipmaker Qualcomm Inc will also present its MID chipset series — called Snapdragon — during Computex, which looks likely to become a battlefield for MID chipmakers this year.

Qualcomm also expects partners to begin shipping MID products by the year-end, Luis Pineda, a senior vice president at Qualcomm, told reporters.

“A year ago, very few companies were targeting this segment. But, now, more and more companies are seeing this as a key segment,” Pineda said.

More than 20 companies, including Taiwanese handset maker High Tech Computer Corp (HTC, 宏達電), PC maker Inventec Corp (英業達) and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co are designing their products on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets, he said.

SNAPDRAGONS

One of those three will be the first to ship products using Qualcomm’s snapdragon, Pineda said.

PCs with the Snapdragon chipset can only run the Linux operating system, Android, an open platform led by Google Inc, or Microsoft Corp’s Windowns Mobile system. They cannot run the Windows XP system.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is supplying the chips to Qualcomm.

Many Taiwanese laptop computer makers, including Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), which is well known for its Eee PC series, will use the Atom chipset to power their latest products.

But, Pineda said Qualcomm is approaching those companies using Atom chipset and some of them are considering using Qualcomm’s chipset for their next-generation products.

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