Nvidia Tegra chips to support wireless display on mobile devices

Nvidia will support Miracast technology on its Tegra 3 chips, which has also been adopted by Qualcomm and Texas Instruments

Nvidia on Thursday said it will bring wireless display to its Tegra chips, which will allow tablets and smartphones based on the chips to beam images and audio directly to high-definition TVs.

The technology being implemented in Tegra chips is based on the Miracast wireless display standard, which was announced at the end of May by the Wi-Fi Alliance. The technology could reduce the need for HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) cables that are currently needed to connect mobile devices to high-definition TVs.

Nvidia, known as a graphics company, hopes high-definition games will benefit from this technology. Games can be loaded on mobile devices, and then be played on high-definition TV sets.

"We're not just talking about flinging Angry Birds but racing a super-charged jet ski in the game Riptide THD and playing heart-pounding first-person shooter games like Shadowgun THD. You can even take mobile gaming to the next level by pairing a Tegra device with a console controller for the ultimate wireless display experience," wrote Mike Han, senior product manager for Tegra at Nvidia, in a blog entry.

Nvidia combines the Tegra 3 processor with a Wi-Fi chip and an Android software stack to enable Miracast. However, the TV also needs to have Miracast support at the hardware and software level to receive the signals.

Nvidia joins a number of Miracast standard supporters including Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, which are top chipmakers for tablets and smartphones based on the ARM architecture. Nvidia's support could give weight to the Miracast standard.

Intel offers the competing Wi-Di (Wireless Display) technology, which also uses Wi-Fi to transmit images wirelessly from PCs to TV sets. PCs with Wi-Di chipsets send images and audio wirelessly to TV sets connected to Wi-Di set-top boxes. The Wi-Di technology has been criticized for the latency in receiving the signals for playback on TV, which for example could reflect in lag time in mouse movement. Intel has said Wi-Di is improving, and the chip maker hopes to bring the technology to mobile devices.

Another alternative is Apple's AirPlay technology, which allows users to stream movies and music from mobile devices directly to stereo systems and Apple TV set-top boxes.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com


Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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