Nvidia Expects Large Cell Phone Maker to Adopt Tegra in Q4 2009

Nvidia Rumoured to Ink a Tegra Deal with Motorola or Samsung

by Anton Shilov
06/30/2009 | 06:04 PM

Nvidia Corp. on Tuesday said that one of the top five makers of cell phones would utilize the company’s Tegra system-on-chip in one of its mobile phones set to be released in the fourth quarter of the year.


Michael Rayfield, general manager of mobile business unit at Nvidia, said in an interview with The Street web-site that he expected Nvidia Tegra system-on-chip to “debut in a phone from one of the top five cell phone makers” in Q4 2009. Mr. Rayfield decided not to elaborate regarding the actual manufacturer of the devices, which is why rumours that Nvidia had inked a deal with Motorola or Samsung transpired almost instantly.

According to Gartner market tracking firm, Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, LG Electronics and Sony Ericsson are the world’s largest suppliers of mobile phones.

Earlier this year rumours transpired that HTC Corp., the world’s fourth largest maker of smartphones (which commands tiny share of the mobile phone market in general), will utilize one of the Tegra SoCs in its smartphone due in the second half of the year. No official announcements have been released so far.

Considering that Nvidia Tegra can only work with Google Android or Microsoft Windows Mobile or Windows CE operating systems, usage of the chip inside smartphones by Nokia, Apple, Research in Motion and some others can be ruled out.

Nvidia is not completely new to mobile phone business: back in 2003 it acquired MediaQ company and continued to sell a lineup of its media processors for mobile phones for several years. For example, a number of Motorola V3-series phones were powered by Nvidia GoForce/MediaQ processors.

In case a large mobile phone vendor releases a phone powered by Tegra, this may substantially change the destiny of the family that was not adopted by a single company for a year. Recently a number of Taiwan-based contract makers unveiled several mobile Internet devices with Tegra inside, whereas Microsoft Corp. said that Tegra powers the company’s forthcoming Zune HD portable digital media player.

Nvidia Tegra 600-series SoCs feature ARM11 central processing unit core, GeForce graphics core with programmable pixel shader and programmable vertex shader support, build-in low-power DDR memory controller, NAND flash memory controller, high-definition video processor that supports MPEG 4, H.264, VC-1/WMV9 decoding, H.264 and MPEG4 encoding and features some other capabilities. Besides, Tegra 600 and Tegra 650 support two displays, 12MPixel camera sensor, USB, Parallel ATA a variety of display outputs, including HDMI, as well as other necessary interfaces.