The nanopowders of zirconia toughened alumina (ZTA) as soft spherical granules were directly synthesized by combining co-precipitation with spray drying (CPSD). The co-precipitation of alumina (Al2O3) and yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) was performed together in one step to obtain the ZTA precipitate. Spray drying, which is the most preferred industrial processing way to produce the nanopowders as spherical granules, was used to atomize, dry and granulate the suspension like milk prepared from the synthesized ZTA precipitate under previously optimized spray drying conditions. However, the important and complex processing parameters of spray drying such as the solid-liquid ratio and the feeding rate of the suspension, the inlet temperature and the flow rate of the hot air have to be optimized depending on the moll mass and volume of the component in the prepared suspension. The ZTA nanopowders containing 4-20 wt% YSZ synthesized by the CPSD method have a crystalline structure of alumina and YSZ, an average nanoparticle size between 26.64 and 46.70 nm with a very high specific surface area (SSA) between 77.43 and 112.41 m(2) g(-1) in a soft spherical granule form, which were determined by XRD, BET and SEM, respectively. The preparation and drying conditions of the synthesized precipitate, the solid-liquid ratio of the suspension and the molar mass ratio of YSZ in Al2O3 matrix have a significant effect on the crystallinity, morphology, particle size, SSA, and granule form of the synthesized ZTA nanopowders.