Following reports that Microsoft was working on a device to compete with the iPod Touch and iPhone, the software giant decided to announce the Zune HD in order to put an end to all the rumors floating around. However, other than details of the device’s screen and ability to ouput HD video, Microsoft didn’t provide further information on the hardware that powers the Zune HD.
In our “Microsoft Working on Digital Entertainment Handheld” news story, we speculated on the possibility that the Tegra family of computers-on-a-chip could be the technology powering the next mobile devices from Microsoft. Well, we were right.
Multiple sources has confirmed that NVIDIA is indeed powering the Zune HD with its all-mighty Tegra. PC Perspective even claims NVIDIA officials confirmed such fact at Computex earlier this month.
According to NVIDIA, the Tegra offers the industry’s longest HD video and MP3 playback on a mobile device (over 100 hours audio and 10 hours HD video playback). It also features, among other things, a true dual-display system that lets you watch media on an HDMI display while using the Tegra-powered handheld as a remote control device.
It makes sense, considering that when Microsoft announced the Zune HD, it revealed that “The HD-compatible output lets Zune HD customers playback supported HD video files from the device through a premium high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) audiovisual docking station (sold separately) direct to an HD TV in 720p.”
Judging by the spec mentioned by Microsoft of 720p, we can conclude that the Zune HD is using the Tegra APX 2500 (the 2600 has been created for Android-based devices and the Tegra 600 Series is for larger mobile devices and can output up to 1080p HD video).