There is a lot of news circulating today about some rumors of the new Zune HD using the NVIDIA Tegra processor.  Several websites have been following the rumor, that started at, but apparently no one can confirm whether or not Microsoft’s latest portable media player does indeed use NVIDIA’s system-on-a-chip design. 

Zune HD uses NVIDIA Tegra processor - confirmed - Mobile 3
NVIDIA Tegra processor

Well PC Perspective can: the Zune HD does in fact use NVIDIA’s Tegra processor.  I actually learned this fact from some NVIDIA staffers over at Computex in early June but I guess I just didn’t realize how “news worthy” the information was.  No longer do you have to worry about “rumors” on the subject – Tegra has its first major design win.

NVIDIA Tegra likely won the design with impressive statistics like its ability to decode a video stream using just 150 mWatts of power and output audio at only 20 mWatts.
The new Zune HD – now with confirmed Tegra hardware

The Zune HD features a stunning 3.3-in OLED touch screen display with a resolution of 480×272 and can playback just about any video including high quality H.264 content.  While the resolution on the screen is somewhat limiting, the Zune HD has an HDMI output that will support HD video up to 720p – thus the need for a powerful graphics-based processor like NVIDIA’s Tegra.  The device also includes an HD radio receiver, IE-based web browser, Wi-Fi and accelerometers for rotation support.  Overall I think it will make a great competitor to Apple’s iPod touch line up when it comes out later this year.

Zune HD uses NVIDIA Tegra processor - confirmed - Mobile 4
Diagram of NVIDIA Tegra processor features

While we first looked at the technology behind Tegra in June of 2008, the SoC made its first big splash in the technology world at Computex this year where a host of new devices including netbook and MIDs were shown integrating it.  Not only that, but Tegra will be the first chip that supports Adobe Flash acceleration – a move that could make the Zune HD the first portable device to get an integrated Flash Player!  If that happens, Microsoft might finally have the killer feature needed to give Apple a run for its money.

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