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Nvidia Wants To Build Tegra Reference Devices

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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