When Microsoft announced the Zune HD in May, we said there had been talk of the device sporting an Nvidia Tegra system-on-a-chip. Well, that's now pretty much official. Ryan Shrout from PC Perspective says he received confirmation directly from Nvidia staffers at Computex earlier this month.
If you missed Microsoft's big announcement, the Zune HD will come out this fall and fill in as Microsoft's answer to the iPod touch. The device will have a 3.3" 480x272 touch-screen OLED display, Wi-Fi connectivity, a full-screen web browser, and an HD radio tuner. You'll be able to buy music online straight from your Zune HD, and Microsoft will even offer a docking station that will enable 720p video output via HDMI.
As for Nvidia's Tegra, that little piece of silicon has an ARM CPU core and some Nvidia logic that lets it both decode and encode 720p video. There's also an OpenGL ES 2.0-compatible GeForce graphics core, which could (at least in theory) allow the Zune HD to go head-to-head with the iPod touch in terms of gaming capabilities. Microsoft would need to bring game developers on board for that to happen, though.