Nvidia Reports Best Year Ever, Shipping Tegra 4 in July

During a conference call after its financial results report for annual and fourth quarter fiscal 2013, Nvidia said that revenue shipments of the Tegra 4 "Wayne" SoC will start in July. Because of this, the first commercial devices to utilize the new chip won't be seen on the market until sometime between August and September.

"We ship Tegra 4 starting in Q2 [of fiscal 2014]. We are ramping production now and we will have full production release. […] [The second quarter] is when we ship to customers. Q2 is also when we ship the Tegra 4 based Shield device. […] Although it is in the latter part of Q2, it is going to be in Q2," said company CEO Jen-Hsun Huan.

The July date is based on Nvidia's second fiscal quarter which spans from May to July. As stated, Nvidia's own Project Shield handheld Android gaming console will be the first out the door to feature the new SoC, and may be accompanied by tablets offered by Asus and HP. Toshiba is also reportedly signed on to use the Tegra 4 chip whereas Acer is currently undecided.

Nvidia's new SoC features four ARM-15 general purpose cores and a second-generation "battery saver" core for low power during standard use. Also packed into the 28-nm chip are 72 custom GeForce stream processors and Prism 2 display technology to reduce backlight power. There's also an optional chipset that enables worldwide 4G LTE voice and data support.

"This Variable SMP architecture invented by Nvidia, enables four performance cores to be used for max burst, when needed, with each core independently and automatically enabled and disabled based on workload," the company said. "The single battery-saver core handles low-power tasks like active standby, music, and video playback, and is fully transparent to the OS and applications."

On Wednesday Nvidia said its full-year revenue increased 7.1-percent to a record $4.28 billion USD, up from $4 billion USD. Its quarterly revenue decreased 8.1-percent sequentially to $1.11 billion, but the revenue year on year revenue was up 16.1-percent. The company also repurchased $100.0 million of stock and paid a dividend of $0.075 per share, equivalent to $46.9 million, during the fiscal fourth quarter.

"This year we did the best work in our company's history," Jen-Hsun Huang said. "We achieved record revenues, margins and cash, despite significant market headwinds. We grew our GPU and Tegra Processor businesses. We are sampling production silicon of the Tegra 4 platform which includes our 4G LTE modem. And we created new pillars for long term growth with Project Shield and Nvidia Grid -- first-of-their-kind devices that will extend our leadership in visual computing into mobile and the cloud."

Project Shield will serve as both a Tegra 4-powered handheld Android gaming console, and a receiver for local cloud-based PC gaming. To stream games directly from a PC to the gadget, customers will need at least one Kepler-based GeForce GTX 650 (Desktop) or GTX 660M (Notebook) GPU, an Intel Core i5 or equivalent CPU, 4 GB of RAM, Windows 7 and the GeForce Experience app. A dual-band Wireless-N router is also suggested.

Nvidia said that during the fourth quarter it continued to drive the streaming of gaming from the cloud by signing deals with six middleware providers that will supply Grid gaming technology to service operators worldwide. The company also launched the Tesla K20 family of GPU accelerators, making the technology behind the world's fastest supercomputer, Titan, available to all.

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