Mobile Phones Technology

Nvidia wants to overcome Apple’s iPhones with cheap yet powerful processors

Nvidia Tegra 3Nvidia is out for blood from the big Apple. They are going head to head against the iPhone 4S with dual-core phones cheaper than Apple can touch. The graphics chip maker is shooting to undercut Apple’s iPhone 4S by a mile, cnet anticipates. It may look to the average person as if Nvidia has lost its quad-core mind, going up against the world’s most valuable tech company.

Nvidia calls the segment they are targeting the “1,000 RMB phone” in China. They will launch their phone with a 3G modem and the Tegra 2 dual-core chip, or so says Jen-Hsun Huang, Chief Executive Officer. At this price, the phone turns out to be 75 percent cheaper than the 4,988 RMB iPhone 4S.

Huang admitted, “This is a great chance for us to break into a market and offer stiff competition against the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer. This is clearly our time to shine.” And Huang was not talking from a mental institution. He might be completely sane, despite his insanely wild ideas.

Analysts had anticipated 19 cents per share and they were not disappointed. Nvidia posted fourth-quarter net at $116 million, in contrast with $172 million the previous year. That is 19 cents per share, or 10 cents per share lower than the previous year. Nvidia’s revenue of $953 million beat out its revenue from the previous year, at $886 million. So there is some improvement, though whether it is enough, remains to be seen.

Huang highlighted the fact that Nvidia is in direct competition with Qualcomm, through their LTE chip. While Qualcomm has an application processor, which is in fact the primary ARM chip, that is loaded with the LTE 4G modem built into the processor, Nvidia will release the Nvidia Tegra and integrated LTE modem soon. This was a surprise to all, since Qualcomm is currently the only processor manufacturer who does this. This is a huge step for Nvidia, but if they can pull off more, they might succeed.

Nvidia is anticipating a growth of more than 50% per quarter with their Tegra chips. HTC is set to release a quad-core Tegra 3 phone. Also, leaks have made it to the public regarding the LG X3. These are only the beginnings of Nvidia’s plans to dramatically increase quad-core Tegra 3 acceptance and integration with phones and tablets, though they are not insignificant ones.

The so-called “28-nanometer yield storage” is the next gen chip arising from 28 nanometer processor fabrication, but for Nvidia, this has been a bear to break through. They do expect to make it to the other side soon, but the sluggishness of the process development has been a quagmire for the chip manufacturer since its beginning.

Meanwhile, Samsung and Apple are capturing a larger share of the market. Samsung used to use Nvidia chips, but no longer. Apple never has. And Nvidia has complete faith in its competition against phones depending on the quad-core Tegra 3, Windows 8 oriented gadgets, any Android tablet with the ICS 4.0, and the RMB 1000.

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