This just in: NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA) is getting Tegra-based smartphones on store shelves -- and they look really good.

The LG Optimus 2x will feature a dual-core Tegra 2 processor front and center, pushing smartphone performance to the next level. That unique advantage won't last long, of course -- Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) recently announced its own two-core OMAP processor lineup and Marvell Technology Group (Nasdaq: MRVL) has had its triple-processor chip ready for a while. It's just that NVIDIA's next-generation chip is the first to make it into retail products.

Analyst reports also show Samsung supposedly placing large Tegra 2 orders for its upcoming smartphones and tablets, which would be a huge vote of confidence in NVIDIA's technology from a company that also makes its own high-speed mobile processors. Moreover, Tegra 2 might be the reference design for the next version of the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android platform -- the tablet-focused Honeycomb.

The stars are aligning for NVIDIA to become a major player in mobile computing. Meanwhile, its traditional bread-and-butter business in graphics processors for laptops and desktops is suffering from manufacturing problems, delayed releases, and tough-as-nails competition from both Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD).

If current trends continue, it won't be long before NVIDIA's old graphics powerhouse image becomes a mere memory, replaced by a larger role in mobile computing. Given how sales for tablets and high-end phones are shaping up in comparison to boring old computers, that's not necessarily a bad thing for NVIDIA.

Oh, and before you get too excited about the Optimus 2x, I need to tell you that it's coming to Korea in January with select European and Asian markets to follow -- no mention of North America. Then again, equally powerful or even better phones and tablets are bound to show up here shortly, and some of them should have Tegra 2 inside.

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Google and Intel are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. NVIDIA is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor choice. The Fool owns shares of and has bought calls on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on Intel. The Fool owns shares of Google, Marvell Technology Group, and Texas Instruments. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.