Nvidia shows off Tegra 2 LG superphone, talks up Denver with ARM

An excited Jen-Hsun Huang entered stage left at the Venetian’s pre-CES press day to talk Nvidia – and he’s made some announcements that are off the chart. And there were a lot of charts in his presentation. 

Huang began by talking about the CESpits of yore – and the conference where he and a slew of others saw the unveiling of Windows 95. He could tell it was a real change and was going to make an impact on the industry. Something comes along about every ten years or so, says Nvidia, that really sets the path in a different direction. Established companies have to adapt.

The internet’s a perfect example – in the late 90s and early 2000s, the companies all sitting happily on their laurels had to leap back and go “uh oh, we’d better do something about this here internet.” And new companies came onto the scene as well. Your Googles, your Yahoos – and look at them now. Well, not Yahoo.

Enough beating around the bush: Nvidia and LG have teamed up, with Adobe, to announce today a “superphone”. Smart phone, fart phone, these things have Tegra 2 chips in them. Demoing the remarkable power under the bonnet of the LG Optimus 2X was quite a sight – Angry Birds, in magnificent HD, screamed sorry streamed from a 1080p flatscreen to what Huang said is “probably the biggest screen anyone has ever seen Angry Birds on”. He got past the first round, by the way, but it was a stroke of luck.

It is a pretty thing. See:

The machine’s Tegra 2 is one of the fastest sensing processors in the world. And Nvidia wants to make sure it’s affordable – the high end phones have the better margins according to Huang. As he says: “If you have a super chip, put it in a super phone.” 

Unfortunately the Wi-Fi provided was being rammed so much by the CESsers Huang couldn’t show off its flash capabilities. The Wall Street Journal didn’t load. No matter how much Huang begged, the bandwidth eating didn’t relent. “You guys suck,” he said.

This was also a slide:

The phone has existed in the form of whispers from LG but little else.

There will be more Tegra 2 announcements during the week, and we can expect to see it in tablets, phones, vehicles and even an electric car. 

Huang held off until the end to make another major announcement. Project Denver, long rumoured, is real – and it’s a partnership with ARM. Nvidia has been working on it for years and, despite the flood of rumours, it has been kept remarkably well under wraps. It’s a full custom processor designed at Nvidia and based on ARM. It’s targeted at high performance computing.

Huang said some “other companies” have ignored ARM and been caught off guard. According to official statements Intel is keeping its head cool

But the idea is to help ARM boost its reach worldwide, not just mobile, everywhere. “It stands to reason that all of these OSes will support ARM,” Huang hoped on adoption.