Nvidia Expects Android Operating System to Prosper

Nvidia: Tegra 2 Will Be a Success Because of Android

by Anton Shilov
05/18/2010 | 11:55 PM

Chief executive officer of Nvidia Corp. believes that the second generation of the company’s system-on-chip (SoC) devices for mobile gadgets will be successful because of increasing popularity of Google Android operating system. In fact, Nvidia seems to pin most of its hopes onto Android powered smartphones, tablets and other handheld products.

 

“On the second generation [of Tegra], we were able to expand to focus a lot of our energy around Android. Although it made sense for the first-generation Android[-based devices] to use available phone processors, the follow-on generations of Android are really going to go after performance. […] I think the second-generation Tegra [will be] doing incredibly well because Android is doing incredibly well,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive officer and president of Nvidia, during the company’s quarterly conference call with financial analysts.

The first-generation of Tegra SoC was not a big success, only Microsoft Kin smartphones and Microsoft Zune HD media players are powered by Nvidia Tegra. The head of Nvidia implies that the lukewarm welcome was a consequence of Nvidia’s concentration on Windows Mobile platform, which has been losing market share for a long time. However, the second-generation Tegra fully supports Android and Nvidia indeed focused on Google’s platform.

“So we are going to come to market with the second-generation Tegra with the third-generation Android. That is our focus now. I think [Tegra 2 and Android 3rd gen will] come together at the end of the year, and we have talked about smartphones and tablets. We have a very large number of designs in pipe and flight, and so we are looking forward to starting in third quarter and fourth quarter,” added Mr. Huang.

Earlier this year Nvidia indicated that among the design wins for Tegra 2, there are more slate-type PCs than smartbooks. However, it did not reveal that it had won smartphone designs as well.

It is noteworthy that throughout the conference call, the chief exec of Nvidia did not mention Symbian, the No. 1 mobile phone platform in the world.

Consumer products business, which includes smartphone and tablet products, as well as embedded entertainment, represented 3% of Nvidia’s total revenue, or $31.2 million in Q1 FY2011.  The sequential decrease of 31% was due to seasonality in its game console business and other items, the company said.