Nvidia Tegra

After the recent news that Nvidia's Harmony platform would see no further support, Nvidia's Developer Zone forums got slammed with concerned citizens and their displeasure at the decision.  Turn's out none of it was necessary, as they plan to support the consumer devices using the Harmony platform as long as needed after all.  Before any conspiracy theories about Nvidia backpedaling or the like get started, you need to realize that their definition of the Harmony platform is different than the Android communities.  Andrew Edelsten, from Nvidia's Tegra Developer Relations promptly clarified this for us, saying the he was responding specifically about the Tegra 250 development kit and had this to say about their hardware partner's Android devices:

NVIDIA provides support until the hardware partner chooses to no longer support the device. So, for instance, NVIDIA will support the Xoom on all versions of Android Motorola requests until Motorola ceases to support the Xoom. The same goes for ViewSonic with the G-Tablet, Notion Ink with the Adam, Acer with the Iconia, LG with the Optimus 2X and so on.

The Android community refers to early Tegra 250 devices by the code name "Harmony" because the open-source kernel has that reference in its files.  The Harmony development kit is what Nvidia uses that codename for, and that's why it appears in the kernel.  Nvidia is simply shifting developer focus to the Ventana development kit for their current and future Android OS images.  So now any OS version updates for the first generation Tegra 2 Android devices are in the hands of the device makers. 

But, wait, there's more -- and it's possibly the best part.  I'll end this with a quote from Andrew:

Finally, while we cannot support or give out third party peripheral drivers or provide the Android 3.0 source before Google does, we do want to explore whether we can assist the open source ROM makers. We will be reaching out to them today.

That's simply mouth-watering.  [Nvidia Developer Zone] Thanks, timoh!

 
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Nvidia still supporting Harmony platform, blame codenames for the mix-up

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So does this now mean that Viewsonic, for example, will need to write device drivers for Nvidia's hardware if they ever intend to release an upgrade to Gingerbread?

"So, for instance, NVIDIA will support the Xoom on all versions of Android Motorola requests until Motorola ceases to support the Xoom. The same goes for ViewSonic with the G-Tablet, Notion Ink with the Adam, Acer with the Iconia, LG with the Optimus 2X and so on."

This implies that Nvidia will support it, but it has to be requested by the manufacturers. Once they stop requesting updates for the next version of Android for their device, Nvidia will stop supporting it.

So now the question is, does request = pay? It's unlikely that Nvidia would put forth the time and expense to develop and release Honeycomb drivers with just one phone call from Viewsonic (for example); I imagine there might be more to it then that.