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NVIDIA APX 2500 Development Platform
Is that a high-definition video decoding, 3D rendering powerhouse in your pocket?

Last week we got a little taste of NVIDIA's APX 2500 mobile processing platform which allows Windows Mobile device makers to implement high-definition computing and 3D graphics rendering capabilities in to their devices. Needless to say, reading the specs of the APX 2500 processor alone made me drool all over my keyboard.

Late last week, our friends over at InfoSync World released a brief hands-on with snapshots and a video of a prototype phone based on NVIDIA's APX 2500 processor. The graphics are beautiful with silky smooth animations and high quality rendering effects and all this was built into a phone just a bit larger the size of, well, an iPhone.

Cell phones have come a long way from the days of the brick the size of your head. At first, cell phone manufacturers worked to get these devices as small as possible to carry around in a pocket or purse, with some models so small you could fit them in your mouth. Now that phones are at the size consumers want them to be, cell phone manufacturers are laser focused on fitting as many features into them as they possibly can.

I recently upgraded to a Windows Mobile 6 Smartphone-based cellular phone from an old Nokia 6103 clamshell. The Motorola Q9c I picked up with a contract from Sprint has a lot of features, many that I would definitely use on a daily basis. I am able to send text messages, manage POP3 and IMAP4 email accounts, browse the Internet's mobile format websites, and enjoy audio and video in both low quality local and streaming formats. However, the techie that I am, I can never be satisfied with what I have.

As soon as I received the phone I began playing with the features and immediately found a few areas that needed improvement. Focusing on the phone's features and leaving the cellular service provider out of any criticism for now, I found the phone to be a bit on the sluggish side.

I went looking for the settings page to see if there was an area to tweak the hardware. Nothing. So I'm stuck with a phone that has quite a few features but I am not satisfied with the speed the device operates at and there is nothing I can do besides to try and overclock if possible. In the end I realized that no matter what tweaks are performed or what software is added, the current generation of devices will never match what we will see a year from now.

So what will NVIDIA's APX 2500 mobile processing platform bring? From the pictures and video it’s looking like the NVIDIA/Microsoft partnership will take the Windows Mobile platform farther than any other platform currently available.

Based on a scaled down version of the GeForce graphics processing unit the APX 2500 will be able to perform at least the basics of 3D rendering and effects such as lighting and reflections as we see in the video. Another feature that really gets the blood flowing is the ability to decode and encode high-definition video up to a resolution of 720p. However, NVIDIA is not only targeting this platform at consumers with entertainment in mind, but also to those with business needs.

Today we see all types of cell phones with varying features aimed at different markets. We're also seeing a lot more PDA-style devices aimed at the small business and corporate world with push-email, calendar management, and corporate communications suites. NVIDIA plans to have this market in mind as well as it gets closer to launching the APX 2500 platform.

NVIDIA has fed us only a small portion of the main course that will be served sometime next year, according to the graphics giant. Hopefully Computex will bring us a few more bites of what's to come in the near future.

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Next-gen media player?
By Shadowmaster625 on 2/21/2008 10:39:24 AM , Rating: 2
Now if only these new phones could transmit that 720p signal so that I can tune it in on any HDTV, then we'd have something. I guess I could live with some bs proprietary cable that costs $30-40, but wireless would be slicker. I want to beam all my avi's to a tv, instead of messing with ancient unreliable discs...

RE: Next-gen media player?
By noirsoft on 2/21/2008 11:52:57 AM , Rating: 2
It will be difficult.

1280 x 720 x 24 bits = 22,118,400 bits per frame
x 30 fps = 663,552,000 bits per second uncompressed, which is more than current bandwidth for wireless transmission. Compression would obviously make it feasable, but then you have to work out the size vs quality trade-offs.

RE: Next-gen media player?
By maverick85wd on 2/21/2008 2:45:08 PM , Rating: 2
not to mention the TV has to have a receiver, and if you're going to have to carry around a receiver to plug into the TV you may as well just carry around an HDMI cable, at least then you won't have to worry about batteries for the receiver as well.

RE: Next-gen media player?
By GaryJohnson on 2/21/2008 5:07:35 PM , Rating: 2
Most of your video on your phone is going to be compressed anyhow. 1 hour worth of uncompressed 720p ends up being like 280GB right?

RE: Next-gen media player?
By Furen on 2/22/2008 5:42:21 PM , Rating: 2
They're not talking about storage, they're talking about wireless, uncompressed digital transmission. If there's a compression algorith used it has to be supported by both the player (transmitter) and the television (receiver). Personally, I think HDMI would be convenient enough as long as your TV (or receiver) has an available HDMI port that is not too hard to reach.

RE: Next-gen media player?
By GaryJohnson on 2/23/2008 9:55:48 AM , Rating: 2
Right, but the argument was against compressing it in trasnmission because the quality would suffer.

If you're already having to compress it in storage, you're not going to further reduce its quality buy keeping it compressed in transmission.

RE: Next-gen media player?
By UlricT on 2/24/2008 1:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
2 Words: Different Algorithms

RE: Next-gen media player?
By Chris Peredun on 2/21/2008 11:54:36 AM , Rating: 2
The prototype mock-up shown in this article has an HDMI port on the side of it - that would certainly be enough for me right now.

Wireless is a nice thought, and several companies have shown off HDMI over UWB, but I don't think it's ready to be integrated into a phone just yet.

Gaming on Windows Mobile
By GaryJohnson on 2/21/2008 10:57:49 AM , Rating: 2
I have an AT&T Tilt, and the most unsatisfying thing about gaming on it is the control scheme, not the graphics. I hope they figure out how to put a couple of analogue sticks on the phone before they put the fancy graphics chip in it.

RE: Gaming on Windows Mobile
By PuravSanghani on 2/21/2008 11:07:08 AM , Rating: 2
The great thing about the APX 2500 is that it is only a processor for video and graphics. From the press release and product description, NVIDIA and Microsoft will work together with hardware manufacturers to implement this platform. all depends on who the manufacturer is and what type of phone/device they want to build. Pretty exciting stuff!


RE: Gaming on Windows Mobile
By Chris Peredun on 2/21/2008 11:56:37 AM , Rating: 3
I have an AT&T Tilt, and the most unsatisfying thing about gaming on it is the control scheme, not the graphics. I hope they figure out how to put a couple of analogue sticks on the phone before they put the fancy graphics chip in it.

Analog sticks, hell - I'll settle for a proper d-pad, responsive face buttons, and use of the touch screen.

Or someone needs to solder a DS and a phone together.

RE: Gaming on Windows Mobile
By jconan on 2/22/2008 9:17:48 PM , Rating: 2
hopefully the next nds lite iteration includes the apx. dual apx... is sli possible on this processor or dual mode?

By ninjit on 2/21/2008 1:32:49 PM , Rating: 5
... No, I'm just happy to see you.


By elessar1 on 2/21/2008 4:07:14 PM , Rating: 2
dont just your iphone...

By AlvinCool on 2/22/2008 8:52:39 AM , Rating: 2
I really wish I could resist typing this

No those are my head phones

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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