Nvidia is known far and wide for having the best GPUs on the market. Just a short couple years ago they decided to try their hand at entering into the mobile space by coming up with their Tegra 2 chipset, and delivering the worlds first dual-core smartphone with the LG P999(G2x for T-Mobile). The phone had mixed reviews due to what some claimed were issues with the processor, others saying the fault should lie with LG alone. Whatever the case may be, the fact remains that nvidia hasn’t been able to get their processors for mobile smartphones off the ground as the did with the Tegra 3, like they and some fans of the products were hoping. Bar none the Tegra chipset provides the best graphics and visual quality for games and anything else that is graphically intensive, but performance wise they fall a little bit short, and with battery life it’s almost impossible to compete with Qualcomm and others.
Perhaps it’s because of this that Nvidia and CEO Jen-Hsun-Huang decided that going forward, they will shift their focus from mainstream smartphones to other avenues, like vehicle computing and non-mainstream SuperPhones that have the capacity and components, to offer high quality performance alongside Nvidia’s unparalleled ability to deliver the most amazing quality graphics. If you were looking forward to grabbing up a future mainstream device that houses a Tegra Chipset at a reasonable price, you’re probably out of luck. However let it be known that Nvidia and the Tegra chipset powerhouse aren’t going anywhere. Just for a second, let’s focus on the term “SuperPhone” that Huang mentioned was the companies future focus at their most recent quarterly earnings call. You can probably guess on your own what SuperPhone means, but basically Nvidia will be diverting their Tegra chipset efforts to what it sounds like will be only High-End pricey handsets that come with with large price tags and probably large displays. You know, cause Nvidia has a huge specialization with games, and bigger screens are better to play them on.
If it’s any indication from the graphics display they showed off at CES with the Tegra k1 chip, graphics performance of that caliber with the capabilities to power multitudes of devices most likely won’t come cheap. So likely, the handsets and products that the we’ll end up seeing the k1 inside of won’t be cheap either. It’s not that Nvidia couldn’t really compete with the other companies on a performance or graphics scale, but rather they couldn’t compete with chip makers like MediaTek and Rockchip who are producing chips for the budget market at astoundingly low cost prices.That and the battery life on Tegra powered devices has been nothing if not questionable. Nvidia naturally can’t continue to put out chips with the quality of the Tegra 4 and upcoming k1 at the price they had with previous chip releases. It just isn’t good business for them. The proof is in their earnings, as the Tegra revenue from 2013’s 4th quarter only amounted to $131 million, which was an overall loss of 37 percent from the 4th quarter in 2012. All this likely amounts to most of the reasons why they will be looking forward to new devices for their awesome products, and rightfully so, as businesses aren’t in the business of losing money. Perhaps, and hopefully, with the new gameplan for Nvidia’s chips in the future, we can see them regain some ground in the mobile space with more high end products. If they could shine anywhere it would be here, as the people who would buy the high end SuperPhones are usually looking to spend some serious cash for the device.