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Opera tweaking web browser for Nvidia's Tegra chips

  • Sumner Lemon (Unknown Publication)
  • 09 September, 2008 22:00

Norway's Opera Software will develop a version of its Opera 9.5 web browser that is optimised for Nvidia's upcoming Tegra processor line, the company said Tuesday.

Announced in June, Tegra is a series of system-on-chip processors built around an Arm processor core and Nvidia's GeForce graphics processor. The processors are designed for handheld computing devices and will compete with Intel's Atom processors.

The upcoming version of Opera 9.5 will add support for Nvidia's implementation of the OpenKode media-acceleration APIs (application programming interfaces) and OpenGL ES 2.0, a subset of the OpenGL 3-D graphics technology designed for mobile devices. This version of the Opera browser will appear on Tegra-based devices running Windows Mobile and Windows CE in 2009, the software company said.

The market for processors that drive inexpensive, mobile computers is still wide open, with a showdown looming between Arm and Intel, according to analyst firm In-Stat.

"Processing solutions that offer high performance, while limiting power consumption, are needed," said In-Stat's Richard McGregor in a statement.

A version of Intel's Atom has appeared in laptops and desktops, but these applications are essentially a sideshow for the chip maker's Atom ambitions. Intel really wants to see these low-power chips used in small, mobile computers, including smart phones.

While the promised range of inexpensive Atom-based handheld computers has yet to hit the market, a range of similar devices based on Arm processors -- including Apple's iPod Touch and Nokia's N800 -- have long been available.

This reflects the established position Arm holds in the mobile device market, where its low-power processor cores have long been the heart of mobile phones and other products -- a factor that Nvidia is counting on to give Tegra an advantage over Atom.