In a recent financial report, Nvidia says its fourth generation Tegra 4 sales have dropped dramatically in Q3 2013. Tegra revenues have plummeted 54% relative to last year’s numbers, according to the company. Nvidia’s CFO Colette Kress relates the drop in Tegra sales numbers directly to lower volume shipments of the Tegra 4.
The company is losing ground to Qualcomm, who has a commanding hold on the high-end Android space. Even though Tegra 4 will be onboard Microsoft’s Surface 2 and with a large portion of Tegra chips servicing the automotive industry, the lack of sales from the Android market is really taking its tole on the company\’s Tegra business.
However, there does appear to be some good news here. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has announced that the company’s LTE hybrid Tegra 4i chip will appear in devices revealed early next year and would ship in the second quarter of 2014 at the latest. The less powerful 4i is aimed at the mainstream mobile market and will likely help the company\’s mid market sales numbers.
While AT&T has now already certified the upcoming 4i, Nvidia will turn its focus to the Tegra 4 until the new LTE edition makes it debut. After HP made use of the chip with its 21-inch Slate, according to reports Huang mentioned that he sees it appearing more regularly in full size and desktop devices, as well as continuing its push into the automotive sector and other tablets.
Nvidia’s Tegra 4i, designed to work with a variety of 3G and 4G wireless networks, was first introduced just ahead of Mobile World Congress back in February. The chip was billed as a cheaper alternative to the original Tegra 4 although it did include one noteworthy feature: it carries a software-defined LTE radio that allows Nvidia to modify it with a simple software update.
That’s exactly what Nvidia has done with the Tegra 4i, boosting the chip’s 4G LTE network speed from 100Mbps to 150Mbps, or what’s collectively known as LTE-Advanced. What’s more, Nvidia said another update will allow the chip to support voice over LTE (VoLTE) although at last check, that technology consumed up to two times as much power as a standard 2G call.
All of this, Nvidia claims, will make their chip more future-proof than the competition.
Carriers will begin to roll out the speedier 4G LTE-Advanced network standard later this year. That said, smartphones carrying Nvidia’s Tegra 4i are still a ways off. The company recently said they are going through the certification process with AT&T – a process that was described as lengthy. As such, we probably shouldn’t expect to see Tegra 4i-powered handsets until sometime in the first part of 2014 at the earliest.
It’ll be an uphill fight for Nvidia when the chip does arrive, however, as competition from other mobile chipset providers is fierce. But with a mid-range mindset, perhaps Nvidia can steal some market share while the big players continue to fight for control at the high end.
via Nvidia’s Tegra 4i gets updated for LTE-Advanced networks – TechSpot.