The past two years have been a nonstop, around-the-world trip espousing the virtues of this tiny computer on a chip. The acquisition of Portal Player sent me on a one-day trip to India to welcome them to NVIDIA; 10 hours on the ground and 58 in the air is the wrong mix, but it was worth it. They have been an amazing addition to the Tegra team. I also learned a few other things during my travels for Tegra: I now know that United Airlines on again/off again direct service to Taiwan is not reliable but EVA Airlines does a great job; that as much as I love Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, it would be even better if it did not coincide with my kid’s spring break every year; and I know that the “Clear Lane” at SFO allowed me to show up only an hour before international flights, until they pulled the plug on the program.
Part of what keeps me going is that I have long believed that all these gadgets we carry would one day become our “most personal” computers, and consumers would demand amazing visual experiences, days of battery life and uncompromised web experiences. Well, after hundreds of man-years of work and hundreds of millions of dollars invested, the first Tegra product was announced on Aug. 13, and it is really a beautiful device that delivers on this promise. The ZuneHD from Microsoft will be available in stores on Sept. 15, and it’s a great showcase for Tegra’s capabilities. It has a beautiful OLED display, the ability to play 720p videos to external displays and a stunning and intuitive user interface.
Since the announcement I have talked to press and analysts around the world and the feedback has been amazing. We showed the device to NVIDIA enthusiasts at QuakeCon, in Dallas, and BlizzCon, in Anaheim. These folks have been asking for “pocketable” NVIDIA technology for years and soon they can have it. At ARM’s annual partners conference in Cambridge last week, Kevin Dallas, Microsoft’s GM of Windows Embedded Business Unit, held up the device during his keynote and then plugged it into the dock and showed the audience a 720p video projected on a 20-foot screen. They loved it.
As excited as we are about the ZuneHD, we are still heads down, helping our customers deliver even more amazing devices. Samsung’s media player, the M1, is also based on Tegra, and there are 50 more designs in the works. Tegra technology is finding its way into cars, IPTVs, Media players, smartphones, smartbooks, web pads, and a host of other cool visual devices. So keep you eyes open for more cool devices, but in the mean time wander over to the Microsoft site and pre-order your ZuneHD.