Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th May 2010 23:09 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Ah, NVIDIA's CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang. This guy is usually to the point, and doesn't sugar-coat his words, so interviews with him are generally good stuff to read. This time around, he had Intel and Apple down his sights. The iPad's A4 processor doesn't measure up to his company's Tegra 2, and Intel's Z6 Moorestown is not competitive in any way. At least, that's what he claims.
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it's a software, stupid.
by gehersh on Mon 24th May 2010 23:12 UTC
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and Apple processor is good enough.

Reply Score: 2

RE: it's a software, stupid.
by darknexus on Tue 25th May 2010 02:36 UTC in reply to "it's a software, stupid. "
darknexus Member since:

and Apple processor is good enough.

Couldn't agree with you more. For years we've had phone manufacturers (LG, Samsung, RIM, et al) beefing up their specs but reusing the same old and tired software. Who cares if, f.ex, the LG Expo has a 1 ghz processor when it runs the horribly slow and clunky Windows Mobile 6 os? Blackberry, WM, Symbian S60 (which I actually really like personally), and all the J2ME-based phones let their software age and get cluttered. Now, personally, though I really like f.ex Symbian S60, there's no denying that it's complex and chock full of features most people will never need or even want to see (though I personally couldn't do without the built-in phone-integrated SIP client and the true multitasking in a very limited RAM space). This is what Apple gets right. Where most major smartphone makers tried to include everything and the kitchen sink, Apple made it easy to use and simple (though at the cost of features techies like me really love). Fortunately, Apple's approach seems to have given most of the major smartphone companies and phone os makers a boot up the ass. In a way, we should thank Apple for making the iPhone so limited and locked down, because what we've got now are phone oses that are trying to carry forward the simple UI approach of the iPhone but with all the techie features added in.
However, I'm seeing a trend starting in the mobile space. In the end, I'm not sure we should boost our phones processor too much. I don't really want to see the phone market end up like the desktop PC, where all of the major oses are huge compared to what they were a few years back and the mentality is "well, the hardware can handle it." In the mobile space, we really should be cramming everything into the smallest and least-powerful (and therefore most energy-efficient) space we possibly can. I have two phones: an iPhone 3GS and a Nokia N82. I use the N82 most often these days, as even though it's less powerful in specs, it's faster and gets a lot longer battery life than the iPhone 3gs ever does without adding a bulky battery pack. The N82 is two years old and will outperform my iPhone 3gs. Anyone see the start of the PC trend here?

Anyway... sorry, long-winded partial sort of rant. ;)

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: it's a software, stupid.
by WorknMan on Tue 25th May 2010 13:21 UTC in reply to "RE: it's a software, stupid. "
WorknMan Member since:

This is what Apple gets right. Where most major smartphone makers tried to include everything and the kitchen sink, Apple made it easy to use and simple (though at the cost of features techies like me really love).

This comment is spot on. To me, the iPad has a lot of parallels with the Nintendo Wii. Hardcore gamers are always bashing the Wii because it doesn't have HD graphics, a hard drive, robust online play, etc, and if they do own one, it just collects dust while they play their 360 or PS3. Meanwhile, the Wii is still selling like hotcakes and continues to be enjoyed by millions. And why is that? Oh, it must be because the people who buy Wiis are morons and don't know they're supposed to be playing the latest FPS or space marine shooter of the week, right?

My dad just bought an iPad and really, really likes it. He doesn't give a rat's ass that it doesn't have a USB/HDMI port, a camera, or that you can't multitask on it. I sat down with him for about 15-20 minutes and taught him almost everything there is to know about the device. Now he's off installing and using a couple dozen different apps, and he can do so in the comfort of his recliner. One could say that the iPad is just a scaled-down PC for idiots, but then I suppose people said the same thing (and some people are still saying it) about the graphical user interface.

It just goes to show you that the tech geeks and the hardcore crowd are usually way out of touch with what the 'mainstream' really wants. Me personally, I am holding out for an Android tablet ;)

Edited 2010-05-25 13:21 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: it's a software, stupid.
by spiderman on Tue 25th May 2010 14:55 UTC in reply to "it's a software, stupid. "
spiderman Member since:

It's marketing, stupid. The software has nothing to do with that. Nothing beat a horde of fans selling the device for you at no cost. Apple managed to get that.
People going to forums and news tech site and posting things like that: "If it has no USB, this is a FEATURE, people! It's better without USB guyz, who need USB when you have the sofware? The USB is bloat!"
It does not matter how the product suck or perform when you have such a good marketing team.

Edited 2010-05-25 15:01 UTC

Reply Score: 4

love it
by poundsmack on Mon 24th May 2010 23:19 UTC
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Jen-Hsun Huang just says whatever he feels like and I love that!

apple did a great job with their chip (as say this as a huge Nvidia fan). It is powerfull and they got it out of door very very quickly, I personally was shocked.

Intel does have some huge catching up to do.

VIA, where were you on this? This could have been your grand arena with your S3 graphics chips and everything. you could have had the complete package! i still have hope....

Reply Score: 5

RE: love it
by poundsmack on Tue 25th May 2010 14:58 UTC in reply to "love it"
poundsmack Member since:
Comment by squelart
by squelart on Mon 24th May 2010 23:48 UTC
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"a number of websites which didn't work on the iPad because of its lack of Flash (like Farmville on Facebook)"

That would be an argument for the iPad.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Comment by squelart
by Kalessin on Tue 25th May 2010 19:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by squelart"
Kalessin Member since:

"a number of websites which didn't work on the iPad because of its lack of Flash (like Farmville on Facebook)"

That would be an argument for the iPad.

Well, I certainly hate flash, but I don't really think that it's argument in favor of the iPad.

1. It's the website that's screwed up by using flash. That has nothing to do with the device.

2. As much as I hate flash, there are tons of people - especially more lay users - who practically rely on it (even if it's typically for stupid flash games). And a product which can't use a good chunk of the web definitely has a problem, even if it's because that portion of the web is screwed up. Most consumers will just be ticked that the product doesn't let them use those sites, rather than being irritated at those sites for using such an annoying technology.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by squelart
by squelart on Wed 26th May 2010 05:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by squelart"
squelart Member since:

Sorry, forgot the " :-P " qualifier...

I was actually making fun of Farmville!

Otherwise I agree that Apple could have integrated a Flash player and they probably only chose not to for business reasons rather than technical ones.

Reply Score: 1

Zune Tablet ...
by GenBlood on Tue 25th May 2010 00:01 UTC
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I'm looking forward to a Zune Tablet
sometime next year. The Zune pass and the
Xbox services for watching movies and TV
shows. This could be a big deal if Nvidia
can get a chip deal.

I'm hoping and if it shows up I'll get it ...

Reply Score: 2

Article by SemiAccurate
by rjamorim on Tue 25th May 2010 00:15 UTC
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Everybody knows Charlie hates Nvidia, but still, this is a quite interesting read about why Tegra has so many "design wins", but hardly any product shipped:

Reply Score: 5

RE: Article by SemiAccurate
by timl on Tue 25th May 2010 08:33 UTC in reply to "Article by SemiAccurate"
timl Member since:

Thanks for that link, it was a *very* interesting read.

At the same time, it makes me wonder how NVidia could represent the best of breed in the desktop GPU market. Perhaps the whole desktop 3D hardware is actually in a rather sorry state, despite the appearance that modern FPS games give?

Reply Score: 2

It goes beyond just the hardware.....
by mlankton on Tue 25th May 2010 00:26 UTC
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Apple usually creates something wildly great out of nothing. iPod. iPhone. Not just innovative, but revolutionary. I was really expecting Apple to show us what a tablet could be. I was astonished when the iPad keynote finally got delivered. iPad is just so, ordinary.

They got the price right. They'll sell a bunch. I am a lot more interested in what HP is going to do with webOS, or even Notion Ink's Adam.

Apple left the door open for everyone else.

Reply Score: 1

No it isnt Member since:

Oh, come on. There was nothing revolutionary to the iPod.

Reply Score: 4

Tony Swash Member since:

Oh, come on. There was nothing revolutionary to the iPod.

The question of how revolutionary the iPad is is an interesting one because it touches on how Apple does stuff and why they succeed so often and so much better than the competition most of the time.

What seems to happen at Apple is that every so often what might be termed a "step change" products is planned, something that will move Apple in to a whole new area of product or market segment. One can think of MacOSX itself as an Apple step change event, and I think you can think of the iPod and iPhone as step change products.

Once Apple have started to plan such a step change device they then hone the design down ruthlessly, everything not central to the new products central function is stripped away and all effort goes into making sure that version one of the new product clearly addresses its central function in a way that immediately leads to an improved and streamlined user experience. Version 1 must be a polished product above all even if that means leaving things out

Its worth noting how different this is to the way most companies work which is they have an idea of a product and then they often try to cram as many functions into the product as possible. They think that a longer spec list makes a better product. They looked at iPod V1, for example, and saw an MP3 player without an FM radio and thought because their MP3 had an FM radio, because its specs list was longer, their MP3 player was a better product. But what Apple did with iPod Version 1 was strip the MP3 player down to its basics (playing music) and then make those basics a fantastic and pleasurable user experience.

Once Version 1 is out then Apple carefully craft annual upgrades that steadily add new functions, each one carefully designed and added in a way that does not undermine the end user experience. And so iPod Version 1 evolves into the latest iPod Nano.

So to return to the question as to whether the iPad is revolutionary, is it a step change device? I think the answer is yes and no but mostly yes it is.

iPad clearly builds on the back of iPhone so that not only are there now millions of people familiar with the revolutionary touch interface introduced with the iPhone (people who can pick up an iPad and immediately know how to work it) but there is also a huge developer community ready to fill the new iPad with tremendous and inexpensive apps. But by the sheer impact of its size it opens up a whole new user experience and takes the iPad into areas that the iPhone hardly went. For example it is possible to read a newspaper or book on an iPhone but doing it on an iPad is so much better and nearer to the enhanced experience of using a real newspaper or book.

Nobody would do this with their iPhone for example:

Now that Apple have got Version 1 of the iPad out the door (and it already seems to be a spectacular success) they will release Version 2 next year with enhancements, Version 3 the year after. By the time of iPad Version 3 their competitors will probably just be bringing our devices that match iPad version 1 and Apple will own the market

Reply Score: 4

tony Member since:

Agreed. The tech industry has long been dominated by a blind push towards features. Apple is fanatical about experience, and are happy to throw non-core features under the bus, something which most tech companies were afraid to do.

Experience versus features.

Reply Score: 1

Experience Vs Featuers
by abc123 on Tue 25th May 2010 17:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It goes beyond just the hardware....."
abc123 Member since:

Experience IS a feature.

Reply Score: 2

tylerdurden Member since:

My mum was able to get her iPod going, and get iTunes songs on it... in a few minutes, without me helping her or hand holding.

That is revolutionary IMHO. It is not "geek porn" tech revolutionary. But most people don't care what the heck is going on under that shiny LCD screen as long as it does what they bought the device for: taking their media with them.

Reply Score: 3

Neolander Member since:

My mum was able to get her iPod going, and get iTunes songs on it... in a few minutes, without me helping her or hand holding.

Well, I know some people who learned how to use their mp3 players in about the same time, without even requiring the previous iTunes usage knowledge that your mother obviously had.

1/Plug pen drive in.
2/Move music to pen drive through drag and drop, just like you move any other file to a pen drive (even if you don't know how to use a pen drive, which is highly unlikely, annoying popups from windows help you in the task).
3/Unplug pen drive.
4/Use standard VCR-like controls, just like on the cassette player of the stereo.

Now come on ! A multimedia player easier than iPod ! Is it revolutionary ? Not at all. Multimedia pen drives have been out for ages now. It's just the right tool for the right...

Then, there's the notion of knowing about the right tool, yeah. That's where marketing, one of Apple's strong points, comes on the scene. But on the fair competition area, well... is the iPod really still revolutionary ? I don't think so. It used to be, in ye olde Archos Jukebox Recorder days. Now it lies behind, due to stupid corporate practices...

Edited 2010-05-25 21:06 UTC

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:

I'll agree that Apple has great product designers but "out of nothing" is stretching it. There was a bustling "mp3 player" business before Apple joined in. They had a hopping market to watch and research before dropping there own late entry into the competition. Brilliant marketing combined with good product design and a market that had been through the gauntlet of some really crappy hardware/tethered-sync-software combination. Apple did come in with a better product offering but they didn't invent a new market with the Apple MP3 Player.

The same goes for the phone. We already had a smartphone segment within the general mobile phone market. Apple didn't invent this. Mr Jobs did not exhale the mystic words "let there be phone". While the product itself is good for what it's allowed to do, there was also a heavy dose of marketing and consumer lock-in involved and ongoing.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kittynipples
by kittynipples on Tue 25th May 2010 02:26 UTC
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So I guess when a product using his chips ships that gets consistent 10+hours of battery life in a form factor the size of the iPad, then he can brag about how much more powerful they are than the A4.

Reply Score: 2

The tegra based pads are still in R&D.
by NeoX on Tue 25th May 2010 03:25 UTC
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The "NVIDIA TEGRA-POWERED PRODUCTS" sections of NVIDIA's website have tumbleweeds rolling by.

LOL! That is classic!

The tegra pads are still in R&D, don't ya know? ;-) You don't need a shipping product as long as it is in R&D and you are spending more on R&D then your competitors. That's right you go NVIDIA, let Apple sell the products and make all the money and provide users with a good solution. You are better then that, you have your R&D!

Reply Score: 2

Morty Member since:

You don't need a shipping product as long as it is in R&D and you are spending more on R&D then your competitors. That's right you go NVIDIA,

I think you got it wrong, both the R&D bit and where the problem lies. Nvidia is not the bottleneck here, as the Tegra is out of R&D for quite a while. The problem is the device manufacturers, the ones with the R&D power and budget to bring units to the market have been sitting on the fence too long when it comes to tablets. Letting Apple get a big head start. Companies like Notion Ink or Neofonie do not have the budget to do the R&D needed, and manufacture a large quantity of devices to get them on the market fast. The problem for Nvidia, and the consumers, is that the companies that easily cold have taken on Apple have not committed to the segment. The problem lies with the likes of Asus, Acer, Dell and similar.

Edited 2010-05-25 18:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

NeoX Member since:

I guess my sarcasm did not come through to well. ;-) I was not being serious with my post, it was a jab at NVIDIA and nothing serious...

That said, I do understand that they rely on the likes of Asus, Samsung, HP and others to integrate their chips into a product. But still this NVIDIot guy is pretty funny...

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Tue 25th May 2010 09:48 UTC
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"Talk - Action = Sh!t"

Reply Score: 3

The Specs Game...
by nathbeadle on Tue 25th May 2010 13:58 UTC
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...and it's getting old. I may also be getting there, but really... what's the benefit of running movies in HD on a tablet? The screen is 10 inches! Is there really something beneficial to having HD quality movies on these things?

Reply Score: 2

RE: The Specs Game... - better visibility
by jabbotts on Tue 25th May 2010 17:54 UTC in reply to "The Specs Game..."
jabbotts Member since:

With such a small screen, one needs the higher resolution to make out small details like characters on screen.


Reply Score: 2

RE: The Specs Game...
by viton on Tue 25th May 2010 19:50 UTC in reply to "The Specs Game..."
viton Member since:

what's the benefit of running movies in HD on a tablet?

You can transfer a video to device without the need to waste your time waiting for transcoding

Reply Score: 2

by viton on Tue 25th May 2010 19:44 UTC
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Maybe the mistake that we made was with Tegra we focused completely on Windows Mobile.
Their bet on 5% market underdog OS looks rather odd.

Reply Score: 3

nvidia and relevancy
by bnolsen on Tue 25th May 2010 20:49 UTC
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With nvidia getting kicked out of the intel chipset business and releasing gpus that run at 95+C I think they're struggling to stay relevant.

Reply Score: 4