To expand its survivability, in addition to defend its share in the GPU market, Nvidia is also pushing its ARM-based Tegra processor, designed specifically for the latest generation smartphones, tablet PCs, e-book readers and embedded solutions such as set-top boxes (STB). However, due to the PC and smartphone markets being dominated by Intel and Qualcomm's platforms, respectively, Nvidia's Tegra series has not been seeing any significant improvement over order volumes, but as several first-tier smartphone brands decided to adopt Tegra 2 for their new products, market watchers have recently started to re-evaluate the potential of the Tegra platform in the future.
Although it does not have an x86 processor product line, Nvidia's ARM-based Tegra processor, which has been developed for close to six years, is targeting next-generation mobile products such as digital music players, smartphones and tablet PCs. Different from Intel's platform, Nvidia has been enhancing its Tegra processor to allow the CPU to have high performance and low power consumption. Devices adopting Tegra processors will feature playback of high definition video, while allowing consumers to view high-definition images through the Internet for long periods of time as well as support a 3D user interface.
Since Intel and Qualcomm have firm leading positions in the PC and handset markets, respectively, market watchers were conservative toward Nvidia Tegra's future. In August 2009, Nvidia saw some improvements in its Tegra business as the processor received orders for Microsoft's Zune HD and also received orders for its Kin handset at a later time; however, due to Zune HD's sales being unpleasant, while Kin also under-performed, Tegra's shipment performance dropped back again.
As iPad has recently triggered several IT brands to launch tablet PCs, Nvidia has successfully caught up with the trend and its Tegra 2 has already landed orders for use in Asustek Computer, Micro-Star International (MSI), Toshiba and High Tech Computer's (HTC's) tablet PCs, while the processor has also entered the smartphone market and landed orders from Motorola. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, at the company-hosted GTC 2010 also noted that Motorola is one of the major clients that Nvidia is cooperating with for the long term.
After receiving orders from Asustek, HTC and Motorola, Nvidia's GPU lineup has successfully expanded from only the PC market to also the handset and the consumer electronics markets. The company's inferior status in competition against AMD and Intel, is expected to see a significant improvement.
In addition to explaining the roadmap of its Fermi GPUs, Nvidia, at GTC 2010, also pointed out that the Tegra 3 is already being prepared and the company is working on the development of Tegra 4.