Nvidia intros applications processor for smart phones

Almost two years ago, Nvidia announced plans to drastically increase its presence in the mobile device market. Subsequently, the company made two related acquisitions: that of PACE Soft Silicon, an Indian developer of mobile products and components, and Hybrid Graphics, a Finnish embedded graphics solution developer.

Today, Nvidia made a breakthrough announcement at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, revealing its first mobile applications processor, the APX 2500. Nvidia's APX 2500 combines an ARM11 MPCore processor, a high-definition audio/video processor, an ultra-low-power GeForce graphics processor, a 16/32-bit low-power DDR (LP-DDR) memory interface, and support for both NOR and NAND flash memory.

The ARM CPU core isn't anything to get all that excited about, but one can't say the same for the A/V processor and integrated GeForce core. Nvidia claims that the APX 2500 is not only able to play back and to capture high-definition 720p video, but that it's power-efficient enough to display 720p video continuously for up to ten hours and to play audio for up to 100 hours. The GeForce core also supports OpenGL ES 2.0 and Direct3D Mobile application programming interfaces in order to accelerate both 3D user interfaces and 3D games.

An APX 2500-based prototype and its user interface. Source: Nvidia.

The APX 2500 is currently sampling with "key customers," and Nvidia expects the applications processor to hit production "by the end of Q2 2008." Nvidia says it developed the APX 2500 in close collaboration with Microsoft with an eye towards "next generation versions of the Windows Mobile operating system," so you can probably count on it hitting Windows Mobile smart phones later this year.

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