Nvidia: Personal Computers Will Soon Seem Archaic

Nvidia Praises Mobility, Claims PCs Are Outmoded

by Anton Shilov
07/17/2010 | 12:01 PM

Thanks to massive increase of performance of various microprocessors and improved semiconductor manufacturing technologies, modern mobile devices can feature performance and capabilities that were unbelievable on the PC market some fifteen years ago. Based on this, Neil Trevett from Nvidia suggested recently that traditional personal computer would seem outdated shortly and the real contender for the "computer of the future" is a mobile device.


“PCs will soon seem very archaic. Mobile computing is the future. Mobile is the web, the web is mobile, the two are really integral,” said Neil Trevett, the vice president of mobile content development at Nvidia and the head of the Khronos Group, during his speech at “Apps Everywhere” panel at MobileBeat, reports RCR Unplugged web-site.

At present the lion's share of Nvidia's income ($1.001 billion in Q1 FY2011 that ended on May 2, 2010) comes from discrete graphics processors for desktop, mobile and professional personal computers ($780.85 million or 78%). The company is also developing Tegra-series of system-on-chips (SoCs) for smartphones, slates and other ultra-mobile devices. But that consumer products business (CPB), which also includes license, royalty, other revenue and associated costs related to video game consoles and other digital consumer electronics devices only brought about $31.23 million to the company last quarter, which is 3.11% of the revenue.

Even though the market of discrete GPUs is massive, the future is all mobile, according to Mr. Trevett. Graphics processors inside those low-power handset products should gain performance, thanks to development of Nvidia Tegra, which features ARM cores for general purpose processing along with GeForce-like graphics engine for graphics processing. As a result, those devices will offer better user experience.

"HDTVs to car infotainment systems would benefit from the lots and lots of GPU goodness Tegra could provide," said Mr. Trevett.

It is not completely clear whether Neil Trevett expects the market of traditional personal computers to vanish into thin air only to be replaced by tablets, smartphones or thin clients. Or he was just talking about incoming platforms to deliver content and applications to and indicated that the total available market of ultra-portable devices is much larger than that of traditional PCs.

The head of content development at Nvidia also stressed that his company views Google Android as the potentially dominant platform for smartphones and slates in the coming years.

"For Nvidia, coming from a PC perspective to the world of mobile, we really see the benefit of the open approach versus that of a closed one. We really see the benefit of Android over Apple. Android is going to be the Windows of the mobile world,” concluded Mr. Trevett jokingly.

Ironically, the only Nvidia Tegra-based products that have shipped to the market so far are Microsoft Zune HD player and Microsoft Kin phones.