A couple of months ago, Nvidia CEO fired up a surprise attack on Intel saying that the age of faster CPU is over with new heterogeneous computer architectures. His stated that the end-user can get better performance with a high-end graphics card than with (even) a lower end processor. He supported his argument stating that Nvidia CUDA platform will make use of GPU as a multitasking processor, with faster 3D, 2D image processing capabilities. In other words, PCs with CUDA enabled graphics card, will be able to run normal (That has to be more specific though) applications (written with CUDA platform,) from their GPU!!!.
Well, that is infact, an awesome approach to make use of lost GPU cycles of a PC. But Jen-Hsun's (Nvidia's president) argument fired back at them, when Intel said that it is GPU, in the verge of extinction!!. And that in fact has some credibility, since both Intel and AMD will be integrating better graphics processors in to the CPU die, and most non-gamers, which accounts to more than 80% of the PC market, will be happy with those integrated graphics chips.
But last week, Nvidia announced their new heterogeneous computing platform, 'TEGRA'. A new mobile chipset designed for sophisticated mobile devices with capabilities of a full blown PC. This chip includes a Processor, Geforce GPU, HD Video chip, Image processor, and other IO chips, ALL IN A SINGLE DIE...!!. And only using 100mW at idle, this directly competes with Intel's Atom, which has a power range of 110mW-220mW, just for the CPU. And Tegra 650 (Tegra is initially announced with three chips. APX2500, Tegra 600 and 650. Whereas APX2500 was the launch model) boasts a plethora of features, Output video support up to 1080p with HDMI, 1080p h.264 decoding and 720p h.264 encoding, OpenGL2.0 support and upto 12MP camera support will give manufacturers to integrate full HD cameras (w/Video) to their new Tegra based mobile devices.
All in all, Nvidia seems to be working towards it's 'Heterogeneous Computing' solutions. And the launch of Tegra, and their participation in VIA's isiah nano launch, seems to be a direct punch in the face for Intel, who just introduced their Atom platform.
For now, everyone have their own views with these new technologies. But after the launch of iPhone (and possibly iPhone 3G,) the devices based on these chipsets will provide handhelds with 'real' high-end capabilities and 'i' comparable look and feel (you know what I mean!), without sacrificing performance. And this newyear holiday season is going to filled with surprices.