Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft has announced today that its highly anticipated Zune HD media player is now available for pre-order and is expected to hit store shelves on September 15. The device, which will be available in 16GB and 32GB capacities, is said to be capable of providing users with an ultimate multimedia experience, thanks to the integration of NVIDIA's Tegra processor. This high-end, ARM-based processor is one of the
hardware manufacturer's most talked-about products, as it will enable the Santa Clara, California-based chip maker to make its debut in some other areas, further expanding its horizons from the discrete graphics market.
NVIDIA's Tegra processor is one of the main features on Microsoft's next-generation Zune multimedia player, being capable of providing support for a number of cool new features, like HD video output. Designed on the ARM11 core, the Tegra platform is designed to integrate eight independent processors, according to Michael Rayfiled, the manager of the company's mobile business unit. The chip can accelerate Flash, has HD Video support and can accelerate the rendering of web pages on the GPU, providing the end-user with a high-quality Internet browsing experience.
The Tegra has been designed to deliver all of the aforementioned features and more, but in a package that also enables a high level of energy efficiency. This is a major change from the company's traditional line of products, part of the GeForce family. Most of these desktop and mobile graphics processing units are designed to deliver fast graphics performance, but in a package that often exceeds that of 100 watts.
The Microsoft Zune HD is designed with a 3.3-inch, 16:9 OLED (480x272 resolution) touchscreen display, HD Radio, HD 720p video out, WiFi, integrated web browser, built-in accelerometer and an integrated software QWERTY keyboard. The device is expected to become a direct competitor to Apple's iPod Touch multimedia player.