Microsoft has already more or less disclosed every aspect of its next-generation portable media player; from price to feature set and the hardware inside. However, Nvidia has recently shed some additional light
on the Tegra processor that will form the brains of Microsoft’s Zune HD, detailing exactly what we should expect next month when the device launches.
The graphics firm’s Tegra product family consists of two main lines: the high-end Tegra 600 series, which Nvidia is aiming at smartbooks and mobile Internet devices (MIDs), and the APX series geared towards phones and portable multimedia players. The Zune HD will be using the top-end offering in the APX range, the APX2600, which is comprised of eight independent processors. These are the HD video decoder, HD video encoder, 2D engine, imaging, GPU, audio, and two ARM cores.
Each of them can be powered on or off as needed; for instance, if you're listening to an MP3, the audio block will be powered on while the rest of the blocks are asleep to save power. On paper, this will supposedly translate to up to 33 hours of music and 8.5 hours of video use, with Wi-Fi turned off. Battery life specs are rarely a match for reality, though, so we’ll have to wait for real world benchmarks on this.
Real 2D and 3D performance also remains to be measured. Many are excited about games, so whatever Microsoft and Nvidia are able to deliver on this front might be crucial for the device and chip’s success. You can check out some additional specs, including video and audio formats supported here