NVIDIA Unveils New Handheld Graphics Processor

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At the Computex trade show in Taiwan, NVIDIA Corporation has taken the wraps off the GoForce 2150, a new graphics processor for handhelds and smart phones.

While NVIDIA has long been known for its graphics processors for PCs, this is its first foray into the handheld realm. It comes as a result of the company’s purchase of MediaQ, which makes graphics processors used in many handhelds, including ones from HP, Sony, Toshiba, and Palm.

A graphics processor is included in a computer to handle the specialized task of dealing with graphics and video, taking the load off the primary CPU. This can considerably improve the multimedia performance of the device.

The GoForce 2150 includes a 64-bit 2D graphics accelerator, embedded memory for LCD frame buffer, and flexible CPU interface. The LCD controller also allows for fast-switching dual screen interfaces, typically implemented as a large active-matrix color screen inside the handset and a smaller LCD located outside.

It supports over 70 different display interfaces, including CSTN, TFT, OLED, and LTPS. Its maximum resolution is 320 by 480 pixels, making it suitable for inclusion in almost every handheld currently available.

An increasing number of smart phones and handhelds include digital cameras. The GoForce 2150 is the industry’s first low-power graphics processor with 1.3 megapixel camera support. It provides device designers with a product for delivering high-resolution picture capture, motion JPEG video capture, and advanced camera controls for cellular handsets and other handheld devices with integrated digital cameras.

Phil Carmack, vice president of handheld products at NVIDIA, said, “While new imaging features and higher performance drive current solutions to ever increasing power consumption, the GoForce 2150 processor is specifically optimized to deliver exceptional image quality and camera functionalities at a small fraction of the power consumption.”

Volume production of the GoForce 2150 is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of this year. NVIDIA has not yet announced which upcoming handhelds will make use of this chip.

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