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Nvidia Wants To Build Tegra Reference Devices

By - Source: UnwiredView | B 10 comments

Nvidia may provide reference designs for smartphones and tablets.

Mobile Review, translated by UnwiredView, reports that Nvidia is looking to saturate the low-end smartphone and tablet sectors by creating reference designs based on its Tegra SoC platform. Currently the market is dominated by Qualcomm solutions while Mediatek is gaining ground with the low-cost Chinese vendors.

According to the report, Nvidia wants to go "white label," or rather, build its own smartphone and/or tablet hardware design that will be used by OEMs. The resulting products likely won't have Nvidia's green goblin logo stamped on them, but rather would use the OEMs' branding instead.

By building its own reference designs, Nvidia will have complete control over the entire product design, maximizing the performance of its Tegra SoC. Nvidia will also be able to build its SoCs on a much higher scale, thus low-cost partners will be able to distribute even more cheap, high-quality units in developing markets.

In turn, distribution and volume will be scaled up, allowing Nvidia to buy the components it needs at a competitive price. Ultimately this means partners will be able to undercut first-tier brands in price while delivering devices with comparable quality.

That said, Nvidia is reportedly looking to saturate the market by focusing on those that have up until now sold low-quality Chinese-made tablets and phones in local markets. Several examples are Fly and Wexter in Russia, and Micromax and Lava in India. Nvidia is shooting for one or two strong partners per market that, thanks to the reference designs, will become strong regional vendors over time.

Nvidia will reportedly start churning out the tablet reference designs in May or June of 2013. These will consist of cheap and high-quality models ranging between 7 to 10-inches, and will appear in various markets under different brands. Some will actually have the Nvidia or Tegra branding, and some will not – this will ultimately be left up to the OEM, the report said.

This isn't Nvidia's first dip into the reference design waters, as the company was highly successful offering designs in the PC graphics card market. But Nvidia may gain more traction in the mobile market due to its existing Tegra 3 platform, and the upcoming Tegra 4 which was announced weeks ago at CES 2013.

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  • 2 Hide
    g00fysmiley , January 29, 2013 5:48 PM
    interested in seeing where this leads, might be good.. might be bad , can't wait to see what they make te refrence tabs like to see where it falls... either way hopefully we will get mroe info as more comes out about tegra 4
  • -6 Hide
    killerclick , January 29, 2013 6:06 PM
    I thought the Windows PC had a future as a mainstream computer system until I ran Epic Citadel on my $199 Nexus 7 (Tegra 3).

    Now all mobile devices need is some productivity software (and to be connected to big screens and proper input devices), and they can do 99% of what desktop PCs can do at 1% the volume, 2% the weight and 30% the price.
  • -2 Hide
    ojas , January 29, 2013 6:34 PM
    killerclickI thought the Windows PC had a future as a mainstream computer system until I ran Epic Citadel on my $199 Nexus 7 (Tegra 3)..

    Yeah, but can it run Crysis?

    /trolololololol
  • 1 Hide
    killerclick , January 29, 2013 6:54 PM
    ojasYeah, but can it run Crysis?/trolololololol


    On a serious note, Tegra 4 will probably be able to run Crysis equivalent games. Of course, controls on any 3D tablet game blow compared to keyboard+mouse, but graphics performance is rapidly approaching mainstream PC laptops at least. Tegra 4 is said to be 500% faster than Tegra 3, while for example Radeon 8xxx will at best be only 50% faster than the preceding generation (let's not even compare Ivy Bridge and Haswell).

    Doesn't take a math genius to figure out that the performance gap is closing fast, and it only has to do with how fast the market is growing. As less people use PCs for gaming and processing-intensive applications, the less they will advance.
  • -1 Hide
    warmon6 , January 29, 2013 6:55 PM
    ojasYeah, but can it run Crysis?/trolololololol



    You needed this :p 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFJXefGnEqY
  • 2 Hide
    whyso , January 29, 2013 10:09 PM
    killerclickOn a serious note, Tegra 4 will probably be able to run Crysis equivalent games. Of course, controls on any 3D tablet game blow compared to keyboard+mouse, but graphics performance is rapidly approaching mainstream PC laptops at least. Tegra 4 is said to be 500% faster than Tegra 3, while for example Radeon 8xxx will at best be only 50% faster than the preceding generation (let's not even compare Ivy Bridge and Haswell).Doesn't take a math genius to figure out that the performance gap is closing fast, and it only has to do with how fast the market is growing. As less people use PCs for gaming and processing-intensive applications, the less they will advance.


    Tegra 4 will have at most ~70 GFLOPS.
    Most low end gpu's have about 250 GFLOPS (hd 4000, gt 530) and will have trouble running crysis.

    There aren't realy many cross platform benchmarks but I don't think that one tegra 4 gflop = 1 regualar gpu gflop due to different rendering mechanisms.
    The xbox 360 has about 250 GFLOPS of which a really high percentage are extracted and it looks like crap playing a lot of games compared to a decent pc.
  • 2 Hide
    killerclick , January 29, 2013 10:50 PM
    whysoTegra 4 will have at most ~70 GFLOPS.Most low end gpu's have about 250 GFLOPS (hd 4000, gt 530) and will have trouble running crysis.


    What I was saying is not so much from a technical standpoint but from a consumer standpoint. If the resilience of 7 year old consoles and the high unit sales of Wii have taught us anything, it's that most users don't really care that much about graphics detail in games as much as they care about price, frame rate and fun. As long as the game plays smooth and is fun, it's going to work for most people whether it's 16xFSAA and 1080p or 4xFSAA and 720p or 20% lower polygon count or whatever. And tablet GPUs are progressing a lot faster than desktop and laptop GPUs, so whatever the difference is now, it'll only be getting smaller and less noticeable.

    When mp3 first came out, it was 128kbps CBR at best and it still destroyed the CD, never mind that mp3s sounded worse. Laptops have been outselling desktops for 4 years, never mind that they're underpowered, have tiny screens, limited upgradability and limited battery life - they're just more convenient for most people.

    When journalists talk about tablets being a PC replacement, they don't mean tablets can do everything a PC can do, just that for some (ever growing number of) people tablets can do everything they need. Once there is a critical mass of users who use ony tablets (email, Facebook, YouTube, casual games, web browsing), the OEMs and software companies will start putting more emphasis on tablet/mobile development and less resources in PC hardware, which will make PCs slow down both in technical advances and in sales, which will in turn raise prices and lead to even slower advances and sails, with tablets/mobile doing the opposite.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , January 30, 2013 9:31 AM
    warmon6You needed this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFJXefGnEqY

    hahaha that's not the original though :p 

    And killerclick: Running crysis is a technical thing not a consumer thing. Epic citadel makes my ipod touch 4th gen too hot at the back. Running crysis would...heheh.

    My trolling is thus valid :p 
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , January 30, 2013 11:42 AM
    This isn't Nvidia's first dip into the reference design waters, as the company was highly successful offering designs in the PC graphics card market. But Nvidia may gain more traction in the mobile market due to its existing Tegra 3 platform, and the upcoming Tegra 4 which was announced weeks ago at CES 2013.

    You dont say? :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 19, 2013 11:03 PM
    IMHO Icera modem has not shipped much in volume. OEMs think it is risky to invest in that modem. They need to build reference designs and give them to tier 2 OEMS as the big guys will hesitate to use that modem.