Once Microsoft’s Windows 8 ARM Edition hits the streets, Nvidia’s Tegra 3 and the new Tegra 3+ will be free of their power envelope limitations, and we might see the company shell out some 3 GHz Tegra 3+ chips for netbooks and cheap laptops.
TSMC already demonstarted the 3.1 GHz ARM Cortex A9 CPUs some time ago.
Right now, the current Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 are a complete success and Nvidia proved that the trend is only going up. If last year 15 or so smartphones integrated the company’s Tegra 2 chips, this year more than 30 such designs will surface on the market.
Forbes thinks that if mobile adoption of Nvidia’s SoCs continues at this rate, Tegra could end up as Nvidia’s main bread bringer in the next three years.
Right now, with that modest number of 15 smartphone design wins and a not-so-modest number of tablet design wins, Tegra division brought in 7% or Nvidia’s profits for the last year.
Considering the doubling of smartphone design wins from this year and also considering the new Windows 8 ARM edition market that’s going to open now for Nvidia, the GPU company might actually become a CPU company.
Nvidia itself predicts that it is going to sell around 25 million Tegra processors in 2012, and that is about double compared with last year’s results.
Nobody should forget that Nvidia has two main advantages when it comes to the ARM market. They have the best graphics software system in the mobile market, and they are also very good at building DirectX drivers.
Also, the company is very involved in the software developing world and even sends programmer teams to various game developers to help them optimize their products for Nvidia GPUs.
We can already see Nvidia helping selected game developers to port their games onto the ARM edition of the new Windows 8.
For those that need a reminder, Microsoft is not providing legacy x86 support for its ARM edition of Windows. So any game built for x86 Windows will have to be reworked to run on Windows 8 ARM edition.
With Wayne and Grey processors bringing even more performance to the table, there is a likely scenario where Nvidia’s Cortex A15 designs might end up in 300 ~ 400 USD laptops.