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Nvidia Corp.’s entrance into the market of mobile application processors has been pretty hard, but rather fruitful. On its peak, Nvidia’s Tegra business earned nearly a quarter of a billion per one quarter. However, in its most recent quarter Nvidia reported a sharp decline in Tegra business revenues, a result of ramp down of Tegra 3 and the delay of Tegra 4 shipments.

As announced in May, Nvidia had a “trough” in Tegra sales in Q2 FY2013 because it delayed revenue sales of Tegra 4 system-on-chips in a bid to speed up shipments of Tegra 4i by around six months. As a consequence, the company faced declines in sales of Tegra 3 application processors and could not offset the drop with any new revenues from new-generation products. The Tegra SoC business had revenue of $52.6 million, down 49% sequentially and down 70.7% year over year. 

“These decreases were largely due to lower unit shipments of Tegra 3 processors as customers ramped down production of Tegra 3-based smartphones and tablets, as expected. They also reflect lower revenue associated with the sale of embedded products and game consoles, offset by increased revenue from automotive products,” said Karen Burns, chief financial officer of Nvidia.

During the second quarter, Nvidia ramped up production of its next-generation processor, Tegra 4, in support of new devices coming from its customers in the second half of the year. On July 31, Nvidia also began customer shipments of Shield, an Nvidia-branded game console.

One thing that should be noted about Nvidia’s revenue split is that starting from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, Nvidia began reporting three primary financial reporting segments: GPU (GeForce, Quadro, Tesla, Grid, memory, etc.) products, Tegra (Tegra, Icera, revenue from game consoles and consoles-related licensing) products and “Other” segment (license revenue from Nvidia’s patent cross license agreement with Intel). Previously, the company provided three other primary financial reporting segments – consumer graphics products (included desktop, notebook, memory, license revenue from patent cross license agreement with Intel, and the ramp-down of chipset products), professional solutions business (Quadro, Tesla), and consumer products business (Tegra, Icera, revenue from game console licensing).


Nvidia Tegra 4i features four new high-performance ARM Cortex-A9/r4 cores running at 2.30GHz as well as one low-power ARM Cortex-A9 core that operates when performance is not required. The processor also integrates custom ultra low-power GeForce core with 60 stream processors, LPDDR3 memory controller, software Icera i500 LTE baseband modem (GSM, HSPA+, TD-HSPA, 4G/LTE), advanced image processor as well as Chimera HDR photography processor, which is expected to become one of the main selling-points for Tegra 4i-based handsets. The SoC is aimed at mainstream smartphones.

Nvidia Tegra 4, previously code-named “Wayne”, features four ARM Cortex-A15 general-purpose cores as well as custom second-generation low-power general-purpose cores.  The chip also incorporates 72 custom Nvidia GeForce stream processors that provide six times graphics processing performance of previous-gen Tegra 3. The new application processor also fully supports output to ultra high-definition screens with up to 4K resolution (3840*2160). Tegra 4 offers exceptional graphics processing, with lightning-fast web browsing, stunning visuals and new camera capabilities through computational photography, according to Nvidia. The new SoC is made using 28nm process technology and is aimed at high-end smartphones and media tablets.

Tags: Nvidia, Tegra, Wayne, Grey, ARM, Cortex, Geforce, 4G/LTE


Comments currently: 7
Discussion started: 08/09/13 08:38:27 AM
Latest comment: 08/10/13 11:48:47 AM
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Tegra is good only for devices with MAX 720p resolution. On the newer phones/tables with 1080p Tegra is a complete disaster, a catastrophe!
That's why their SHIELD device with Tegra 4 has 720p screen.
2 3 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 08/09/13 08:38:27 AM]
- collapse thread

The SHIELD device has a 720p screen because of budget and power consumption goal. A 1080p screen will consume more power and make the device twice as expensive. Still a 720p resolution in a size of 5 inches which translates to about 294 PPI. This is quite good.
1 1 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 08/09/13 02:10:57 PM]

When AMD bought ATI and started to develop fusion APUs, Nvidia's fate was sealed - they were squeeze out of x86 market as Intel aslo started to develop APUs and forced into a more saturated and competitive ARM market with their graphics IP. Nvidia's next grab for life will be to attempt to develop a CUDA based APU (Non HSA) using a PowerPC license.
3 3 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 08/09/13 09:21:41 AM]
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That is the most stupidest comment. How can nVidia develop a Power CPU when they do not have the rights? Also how can nVidia develop an 80x86 CPU when they do not have rights?

nVidia is doing a lot better than AMD in the CPU business. AMD is in a poor state for a CPU company and AMD wants to develop ARM processors which is already congested. Intel is going to dive in to develop their ARM based processor, so it is all over for AMD's CPU business. All what AMD has to offer is graphics. nVidia started developing ARM processors back in 2008, so AMD is very late to the game. Qualcomm and Samsung are very big players in ARM and it took Tegra 4 to start to compete against these companies. One thing that nVidia has to muscle through these big players is good marketing. This is one thing AMD lacks when entering in to ARM markets.

The so called APU that AMD calls them was not in development when AMD bought ATI. It took them many years after AMD bought ATI to get to the stage to actually do research for "APU".
1 0 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 08/09/13 01:54:30 PM]

Can you please elaborate that piece of info TAViX?

How do you know that the 1080p rendering performance is so weak that it led to the decision of using a 720p screen?
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 08/09/13 09:37:08 AM]
- collapse thread

TAViX should of said Tegra 3 instead of just stating Tegra. Tegra 4 shows it can handle 1080p and above, so TAViX is wrong.
0 1 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 08/09/13 01:56:36 PM]
I own a phone with Tegra 3 GPU and 1080p screen. Believe me, gaming is a joke on it. Having aprox 5-10 fps in games like NFS, Asphalt 6, etc, etc is not something I would have wished for. And please don't gimme bullshit like Tegra 4 is 5 or 6 times stronger than Tegra 3...Please.
Tegra 3 is good for playing full HD movies and clips and very casual games. That's it.
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 08/10/13 11:48:47 AM]


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