Android is the most versatile operating system the company has known.
Given Nvidia's involvement with Valve's Steam Machines initiative, it's a little weird to hear the GeForce GPU company call Android the future of gaming. Then again, both Android and SteamOS are based on Linux, so maybe the prediction isn't quite so farfetched. The company also ignored the Windows platform with the recently-released Shield handheld console, which uses Android "Jelly Bean" even though it can stream PC games from a Windows-based, Kepler-based computer.
According to co-founder, president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, Android is the most disruptive operating system that the company has seen in several decades. "We have some for WinRT or Surface but our focus is that going forward the vast majority of Windows on ARM will be Surface and the vast majority of everything else in Tegra is Android," he said. "Android is not just about phones."
He made the comments during a conference call with analysts following the announcement of Nvidia's third quarter financial results. He pointed out that Android resides in a number of platforms including phones, tablets, set-top boxes, games consoles, and some all-in-one PCs. He also noted that Android powers Shield.
"We believe that Android is going to be a very important platform for gaming in the future, and to do so we have to create devices that enable great gaming to happen on Android," he said. "Android is probably the most versatile operating system that we've ever known, and has the benefit of also being connected to the cloud. And so the day that you turn it on, it's incredibly useful, with all kinds of applications already on it."
In related news, Huang also said in the third quarter fiscal 2014 announcement that visual computing is increasingly important to more and more markets, that it's creating demand for GPUs and opening up large opportunities.
"The proof can be seen in the proliferation of Tegra into new verticals like automotive and set-top boxes, in our all-time high Quadro and Tesla revenues, and in the record number of customer trials for our GRID datacenter initiative," he said. "At a time when many are struggling with the decline in the mainstream PC market, our visual computing leadership has positioned us well to grow with the accelerating adoption of GPUs in the cloud and the world of connected devices."
Just recently, Nvidia and Amazon revealed G2 instances, a new Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance designed for applications that require 3D graphics capabilities. The new instance is powered by Nvidia's GRID GPU with 1,536 parallel processing cores, allowing customers to build DirectX, OpenGL, CUDA and OpenCL applications and services without having to make expensive up-front capital investments.