Nvidia launches Tegra for tablets

Graphics chip outfit Nvidia decided to launch a version of its graphics chip, Tegra, for tablets computers at CES this week.

Quite why the industry has gone tablet bananas is beyond us. Hype won't fill a vacuum.

Tegra actually features chips from British mobile chip firm ARM, in this case updated from the ARM11s in the original design to the dual-core ARM Cortex A9. A weedier chip, the Cortex A8 can be found in products like the iPhone 3GS.

Tegra 2 features eight individual processing cores, each of which can be turned off or scaled back to cut power consumption.

Different cores have different functions, so there's an audio processing core, a 2D/3D graphics processor, an HD video decoding processor , an HD video encoding block, an audio processor, and a still image processor.

The 3D graphics processor in Tegra 2 is similar to Tegra 1, but Nvidia boosted clock rates and improved memory bandwidth.Nvidia is punting the design, built on a 40nm process by TSMC, at tablets - probably because it is too expensive for phones and too weedy for proper computers.

We confidently predict that the tablet idea will fail big time.