Nvidia will introduce a 3D version of its Tegra 2 processor this year at MWC 2011.
The new Nvidia 3D chipset will run at up to 1.2GHz, which is up from 1GHz that Tegra 2 operates at. It will support 3D video streaming from, say, a smartphone that uses the chipset to a 3D HDTV nearby – same as happens with regular HD media. Read more: Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset
Nvidia’s 3D Tegra 2 chipset is for use in displays that use the parallax, or the perceived difference in the position of an object when it is viewed with either eye. The principle underlying this phenomenon is that an object’s position and orientation changes depending on where it’s viewed from. This principle is exploited in glasses-free 3D display technology that many makers have invested in.
These manufacturers include Sharp, Toshiba, Samsung, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft and Apple, many of which are expected to showcase the technology at Mobile World Congress 2011, to be held in Barcelona next month. Nvidia is expected to unveil both Tegra 2 3D and a quad core Tegra 3 chipset at MWC 2011.
Glass-free 3D technology often first has to be calibrated to understand the viewer’s position – imagine the viewer (or viewers if you will) to be a pair of eyes, rather than a whole person. This works well because it means you don’t need 3D glasses, but there’s no saying how it will work when more than one person watches the screen or when the viewing angle is a little extreme. (As if LCD wasn’t bad enough.) But then the 3D feature can usually be turned off with a switch, which means you’re at least not worse off than before.
Nvidia’s processors, which will support glasses-free 3D imaging, will start shipping this spring and will presumably be released in smartphones and tablets around mid-2011 at the IFA consumer electronics exhibition in Berlin.
Many products support glasses-free 3D and could use processors such as Nvidia’s. These products include LG’s 4.3-inch 3D smartphone with a built-in 3D camera; iPhone 4 3D, Nintendo’s 3DS portable gaming device; Windows Phone 7 operating system coupled with Xbox Live; Toshiba’s 3D Android tablet released at CES 2011 and its 3D HDTV; Sony’s Bravia 3D HDTV; Sharp’s 3D HDTV; Hitachi’s sliding 3D display handset; and Sharp’s Galapagos tablet.
Some of these devices are inconvenient to use with the 3D display. Nintendo’s 3DS, for instance, has to held at a particular angle for 3D to work. However, due to the sheer weight of research behind the technology, it would be reasonable to expect rapid improvement in the technology.