Nvidia has announced
a new mobile media processor aimed at the feature-rich mobile phone market - and they've even built a prototype handset running it.
The APX 2500 is a low-power ARM11-based processor designed to support multimedia functionality on a handset-like device. Supporting OpenGL ES 2.0, the mobile flavour of Direct3D and with built-in programmable vertex and lighting support in hardware we're talking about a chip light years away from what we've seen in the past.
Even more amazing than the 3D features is the video support. Nvidia is claiming that the new chip will allow mobile phone handsets to play back 720p video. To prove it, the prototype handset the company has developed comes with a HDMI 1.2 port on the side for output to a compatible display device. That's right: 720p HD video from your mobile phone to your big-screen TV, no extras required.
Of course, you'll need somewhere to store these HD videos, and the prototype has an SDHC compatible MiniSD slot to take care of that. Interestingly, the slot is accessible from the outside of the case without removing any covers or batteries – something which certainly makes switching cards an awful lot more convenient.
Power is always a consideration with mobile devices, and Nvidia claims that the ultra-low voltage design of the new processor will allow for ten consecutive hours of HD-quality video playback or one hundred
hours of MP3 audio playback. Which is nice.
The device is, as mentioned, only a prototype at the moment. If Nvidia can find a partner willing to tick as many geeky boxes with a retail product as they have done with their prototype, they can certainly put me in the queue for one.
Tempted by a multimedia handset that can interface with an HDTV, or do you just use your phone to make calls? Share your thoughts over in the forums