Nvidia CEO: I like webOS, but it needs faster silicon, like Tegra | webOS Nation

Nvidia CEO: I like webOS, but it needs faster silicon, like Tegra 52

by Derek Kessler Tue, 25 May 2010 10:25 am EDT

Jen-Sen Huang

Pardon us while we offer up our calm and practiced reaction to the "better hardware" chant: duh. The next flagship webOS device is looming large in the minds of all geek-oriented webOS users (after all, it’s been over a year since the Pre was unveiled), and up there with the calls for a larger screen and better battery life is the hope for a beefier processor. Perhaps something like Nvidia’s Tegra or Tegra 2 chip?

Asked about webOS, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told Laptop Magazine that he thinks “the world will want webOS” to be supported in the next iteration of his company’s processor technology, much like they first wanted Windows Mobile and then Android.

And when prompted about the mythical webOS tablet that we all want to believe HP is working on (despite the fact that they have yet to officially absorb Palm), Huang dropped the usual “I can’t comment on that line.” Except that he really wanted to comment on it, “But it sure would be an honor to work on webOS. It’s a great operating system. If you look at the first generation of webOS phones, the Palm Pre, the UI is just brilliant. It’s just too slow. So it needs a faster processor. Otherwise, it’s a great operating system.”

We’re not going to try and read between the lines here, except that Mr. Huang is clearly a man with discerning tastes when it comes to mobile operating systems. Could an Nvidia chip power the next webOS device, be it a new phone or a tablet or a toaster? Sure, there’s the possibility. And yes, HP has worked with Nvidia in the past, but there isn’t a single major computer builder that hasn’t put Nvidia graphics chips in their machines at some point in the last decade.

Thanks to everybody who sent this in!



The mention of a WebOS toaster again just made me think of a use for it. You can download images to your toaster, and make toast with those images cooked into them! That would be awesome!

Multitasking. Burn two different images onto your bread at once.

And then sell all those pieces of bread with the image of Jesus & Virgin Mary on eBay. We'll make a fortune!

Aww man.. Think of all the Jesus and Mary Bread that will be on Ebay....

Like 5... Who's seriously going to buy a WebOS Toaster?

I'd get an upgrade..


You know that is totally possible.
After all HP owns Lightscribe technology :)

Yea! then you could sell them on Ebay for $$Millions... like the cracker with the image of GOD etc....

Hmm, I already have a ToastStone...

I love that there is still buzz about WebOS and that people are noticing how awesome it is still!!
And that is a clever toaster idea right there...

For my taste the inside of the current products is great.
The thing that could be better next time around is the outside of the phone...so not too much in their territory...

toaster?...anyway I read that article and I hope HP/Palm are listening. Tegra technology is leaps and bounds ahead of snapdragons. With a tegra chip running on Web OS it not only would fly, but you would expect days in battery life. I hope HP/palm uses it rigioursly in the future. Please HP/Palm listen please hes stating it would be an honor to work with Web OS.

Sounds like a blatant plug to sell Nvidia chips...

don't think they need a plug. Sounds like someone who see's BIG potential and big partnership. Since everyone is turning their back on Palm, why not slide in the wide open door. So... Snapdragon, tegra and intel. Exciting times!!

I don't know, mine is pretty darn fast. It's overclocked to 800mhz and this thing flies pretty good.

But I still think the really awesome thing about my Pre is how much I got it for. I'm 30 and this is my first smartphone because they've always been way too expensive. $50? Hell yeah I'll take a smartphone for $50! I hear they're even cheaper now.

I think the Pre fills a niche that wasn't there before, being as powerful as it is, plus really cheap right now. I haven't seen a better deal.

I for one would love a tegra2 powered WebOS device especially if it a slate type device.

Nice article Derek. It would be such a kick in the nuts to the evo jumpers if the next webos phone had a tegra chip : )

Not. I do not game on a cell phone nor do I plan or look forward to gaming on a printer. Pre can't get Flash on it even though it was promised more than a year ago, much less will they get a Tegra chip. Someone else said before me, this looks like a sales pitch from a company which is stalling to lack behind ATI when it comes to video cards. Nice try though.

I'm just counting the days until the EVO 4G launch. Then you can spend your time here http://www.androidcentral.com bitching! June 4th can't come soon enough!

I 100% agree.. Already have mine preordered!!! Bye palm!!! Just check craigslists on june 5th for all the pre's & touchstones being sold!!!

sorry palm, too late, too slow!!! Technology is passing you by!!

Enjoy! Don't let the door hit ya...

To be fair, the lack of Flash is Adobe's issue. Only now is the first device, Android, getting a beta copy of Flash 10.1.

And released on June 11th on Sprint...would LOVE to see this happen...

(I know it won't but, I guy has gotta dream)

I'm pretty certain the only thing that would make that a kick in the nuts would be some decent apps to go with decent hardware, and we don't have any.

What apps are you looking for?

I think the Tegra 2 would the best thing to happen to the next gen WebOS device. Just check out the specs!


Here is to hoping that HP/Palm/Nividia make this happen.

update: The Tegra could also be used for a WebOS tablet! Think of the possibilities! Make it happen HP/Palm!

The Tegra 2 would be nice on the next WebOS. But considering that Palm has been working with Texas Instruments, they will probably remain with them.

Keep in mind that the Palm Pre was the first mobile device with TI's OMAP3 processor, because of "its desktop capabilities."
And we know that the OMAP3 has speed (800MHz Kernel). Palm just decided not to clock it at that speed.

With that being said. I think Palm has already been working with TI's new OMAP4 processor. And when you do a comparison between TI's OMAP4 and Nvidia's Tegra 2 - you will see that the OMAP4 platform has a lot more power.


I did a little research and it does look like the OMAP4 is no slouch. If this is the direction I look forward to seeing what HP/Palm produces.


DOOD! Correct me if I'm wrong, but the picture on that site looks like a palm pre plus!!! a hint of palm working with them for OMAP4??

Umm, haven't I been hearing about how great Tegra will be since before I got my Pre?

I'd be much more impressed if he said "like this shipping product". On the other hand, I too would ne interested in a nice fast WebOS tablet...

I just read that Tegra spec sheet and I'm a bit impressed HOWEVER, when I came across TI's OMAP4440 specs I was totally blown away. Both use the same Cortex-9 design but TI's little monster can blast past Snapdragon and Tegra speeds/processes without a hitch. True, TI stumbled with the processor built within the Pre, especially being clocked @ 500mHz when it is capable of more, but hey you live and learn. When it comes to the next webOS "mobile" device, I hope H/Palm sticks with Ti and it's OMAPP4440 beast >=]

The TI OMAPP4440 does look promising and thanks for the insight. Doesn't hurt that Palm is already using TI hardware and should make the transition to something new, faster, and performance oriented more of a reality.

Good times ahead! Sorli...

New hardware is all well and good, but I think they also need to tweak the software. Because even running at 800MHz, I get periods of lag. I think the reason is that the linux kernel is not a real-time kernel. As a result, it does not handle interrupts in a precise and predictable period of time. Which means that the kernel can (and does) get stuck doing one thing while other things just wait.

Better prioritization can help in this area. But applying the linux kernel patches to make it more real-time. Better hardware can help, too. But again, predictable event response times go a *very* long way towards alleviating the perception of slow. And that's not to mention all the other software improvements that could be made, several of which they've already announced (see post above mine).

For more details on real-time computing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real-time_computing

My point: new hardware is good. But it's not a magic bullet. It alone isn't going to solve the "slow WebOS" problem.


people that care about webOS gotta bear in mind the new webOS software update they have been working on and will be available "by fall" includes among other things:

hardware accelerated css transform
new native fast xml parser
new native super fast json database
removing java services and change them by javascript ones
and quite probably the new 30% improvement in performance the open source v8 javascript engine from google has experienced and is the reason they claim the android browser in froyo is faster (without flash) than the one in ipad. Just you must bear im mind v8 is used everywhere in webOS not only the browser so the increment in performance will be even more noticeable.

And thats just in our palm pres or pixies a new tegra2 machine or could fly.

I hope the next webos phone is filled with cream filling mmmm.......

That would definitely make the "oreo" effect more satisfying!

nicely said bud. haha that made my day

Seriously i need to see a new webos phone and soon cause that htc evo looks bad ass if only it had a hardware keyboard and rumor has sprint wants to charge extra for th mobile hotspot app that verizon includes if it was 5 or 10 bucks extra i would be ok with that but 30 bucks a month !!!! still palm needs to dress to impress the competition is tough right now

I agree that Sprint may not want to be too greedy right now. Most markets do not have access to 4G/WiMAX, so why would someone pay extra for 3G that they could get from Verizon for free?

actually i am not standing up for the evo here but there is something about the pricing plan that some people look over that is intriguing,,, first off you have to pay 10 dollars extra that is mandatory for the 4G data service,, even if in your area you dont have data,, but here is the perk to that,,

its 10 dollars for true unlimited data plan!! if you know anything about unlimited data plans everyones normal 3G unlimited data plan is not unlimited its got a 5gig cap on it. Now when tethering i bet most will reach that 5gig cap fast. however 10bucks gets you true unlimited data,,, no cap,, thats pretty cool,, i dont think anyone else in the united states has that option,,

next this 30 dollar fee for using the phone as a wifi. well Verizon was also that price to use the Pre Plus as a wifi hotspot at first but is right now a free upgrade but if i read that correct its a limited time offer. so if you dont get it before they remove the offer you have to pay 30 bucks. However if i heard correctly if your already on the free plan it will continue free for the duration of your contract,, lets hope because we all know how Verizon likes to change their minds.

with that being said on Sprint if you get the 69.99 unlimited plan with 1400 anytime minutes with free mobile to ANY mobile,, which come on does anyone really make more then 1000 minutes calling land lines anymore? ok so 69.99 for that,, add in 10.00 for the unlimited (no data cap) data plan then the 30.00 wifi hotspot that total comes to 110.00.

so here is what i am getting at. the Sprint unlimited everything plan is 99.00. So for 10 bucks more you get a true unlimited data plan(no 5gig cap)AND you can tether wifi (up to what is it 8 computers the EVO can handle?)and in the right areas you have 4G service..... wheres the issue of 10 bucks in the end of that?

just curious,, im not sticking up for the EVO but at first i thought that the Sprint pricing on 4G devices like the EVO was bogus until it was broken down for me like i did here. now it actually doesnt seem that bad,,,, and you know when the Palm 4G is ever released (fingers crossed) its going to have similar features and similar pricing,,, still cheaper then Verizon who does not have 4G until next summer and has a 5gig cap on their unlimited data plan.

im just saying

If one of the major smartphone companies wants to corner the market, forget all the video card or speed upgrades: simply consult with the sex toy industry and get these babies to vibrate like crazy (with various speeds and pulsing actions)! My wife has been asking for such a stealth device for years.

umm...you've got a little VD on your Pre there, bud.

Hey how about "FLYING TOASTERS" theme... Anyone here remember when that was the cool wallpaper on a PC!

with the HP clout/resources I see a launch of WEBOS on a new smartPhone and Tablet in July/August, cuz the ease of updates that Palm now has, we could see/get daily/nightly updates adding feature & functionality on the fly! aka Flying Toaster Updates...

they should put a good video chip in there.

a good video chip? Um last I checked the Pre has a kick ass GPU in there. They can run the same 3-D games iphone does. Android can't do that.. Not even their precious EVO that HTC will make obsolete in about a 2month window. Google really needs to put their foot down with HTC and tell them to quit saturating the market.... With HTC's UI it makes Android slightly fragmented and eventually people are gonna leave Android..

which means Palm/HP needs to get the wheels turning fast so they have good hardware and speed up WebOS for when the Android exodus happens.. I give that exodus happening within a years time at this rate.

I'll take 2 of them. Also get out a faster pre stat.

Probably would never happen, but does anyone know of a cell phone with a non-removable internal battery that provides 5-10 minutes of emergency power? I would absolutely love it if my pre had the ability to remain on for a few minutes while I swapped out its battery (I can't get through a full day on one charge, but am in large concrete buildings most of the time.

I'd love Tegra2 with webOS, but the original Tegra chip would actually be a step backwards.

I don't care what it is, OMAP4, Tegra2, but I'd love to see a Cortex A9 in the next device.

Oh, and while we're at it, use faster flash memory. The Pre is way too limited with transfer speeds when using it in USB Drive mode for example, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's contributing to the speed issues that still exist sometimes even at 800MHz. Doesn't matter how fast the CPU runs if it's stuck with slow storage.

Tegra250 can suck it.

Watch OMAP with whatever the hell phone that is.. nevermind the phone, check out 3 displays!!


this is basically the best idea ever. Nvidia tegra is amazing, I bought the zune hd just because it is so smooth and easy to use with tegra on board and it really is. Instant response,incredibly smooth ui and games like audiosurf which are catching dx8 standards. Ive been waiting for a tegra phone for ages and if they put this in a webos device it would literally be amazing!


WebOS doesn't take advantage of the rendering hardware that it already has. A faster video processor isn't going to do anything for it.