Nvidia: For smartbooks, Windows CE beats Android
Mature CE trumps Google's upstart OS, says chip maker
Computerworld - Despite the hype surrounding Google Inc.'s Android operating system, Nvidia Inc. sees more immediate promise in Microsoft Corp.'s Windows CE for ARM-based netbooks.
Mike Rayfield, general manager for Nvidia's mobile business unit, said Nvidia preferred Microsoft's Windows CE over Android because of CE's maturity. He said Android currently has a rough user interface.
Rayfield also plugged Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang's prediction yesterday that Tegra, Nvidia's System-on-Chip (SoC) for ARM hardware, could account for half of Nvidia's revenue within a few years, while also reaping higher profit margins than Nvidia's current products.
"Microsoft hasn't confirmed that ... so until they comment, I can't," he said.
For smartbooks, Nvidia is working with Microsoft to optimize Windows CE when it runs on Tegra. The counterpart to Nvidia's Ion platform for Intel Atom-based netbooks, Tegra bundles an ARM CPU (the 750 MHz ARM 11) with specialized chips designed by Nvidia for graphics, HD video encoding and decoding, stereo sound and more.
That will allow Windows CE devices to offload much of the heavy multimedia work onto Tegra, resulting in better performance, 1080p video, and low power usage. Nvidia claims that Tegra smartbooks should allow users to listen to music for 25 days or watch HD video for 10 hours, versus 5 hours and 3 hours, respectively, for an Intel Atom netbook.
Nvidia chose to work with Windows CE first, said Rayfield, because it "is a rock-solid operating system that has been shipped billions of times."
Windows CE also has a "low memory footprint and a good collection of apps," Rayfield said.
He said Nvidia is also improving Tegra for use on Windows Mobile, a close variant of Windows CE, for ARM-based smartphones.
Nvidia is working with Google to accelerate Android, which is based on Linux, when running on Tegra hardware. But it will be about a year before that delivers for smartbooks, due to existing limitations in Android, he said.
For instance, Android screen icons that fit on smartphone screens (usually 4-inches and under) are oversized on a smartbook's 8- or 9-inch screen, he said.
Also, all video and graphics rendering in Android is done today by the operating system's Java code, a technique he says is too slow for HD video.
"There's no hardware acceleration. It's all software," Rayfield said. "Everyone's talking about Android for cell phones, but the reality doesn't exist for the larger displays [of a smartbook.]"
A Google spokeswoman declined to respond to Rayfield's comments about Android.
Rayfield's comments echo those about Android by others in the emerging smartbook space. Kerry McGuire, director of strategic alliances at ARM, told Computerworld recently, "I do think that there is more work that can and will be done to bring the things we love about Android into form factors [such as netbooks.]"
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Processors White Papers | Webcasts