The design and manufacturing process of a smartphone phone takes up to two years and as you could see with Nvidia’s Tegra 4, the two quarter delay pretty much destroyed the sales of this chip and put this business unit on its knees. In 2014 Nvidia could not let this happen and the outlook is a bit better at this time. The recovery, according to CEO Jen-Hsun Haung, starts in late Q1 2014 when the company starts shipping some of its new chips.
“Tegra K1 and T4i devices coming to market, and other modem devices coming to market and our automotive business.” claims Jensen.
We expect to see high performance tablets, set-top and gaming boxes (essentially Android PCs), Tegra T4i in some mainstream phones and of course Tegra parts in car infotainment systems.
Companies start shipping chips at least a quarter before we see the actual products shipping and with late Q1 2014 as shipping date for some chips, we can expect to see announcements in Q2. Jensen claims that the near term catalyst growth for Nvidia starts in late Q1 but happens mostly in Q2 and mostly in Q3 2014. This is in line with what we were expecting all along. Like we said back in August, much of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014 were (very) bad for Nvidia’t Tegra division.
From some preliminary Tegra K1 benchmarks revealed at CES 2014 it is obvious that the chip looks faster than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 powered by Adreno 420, but it is still too early to announce any winners.
Traditionally Nvidia did well in tablets, while Qualcomm always did great in phones thanks to LTE support. In 2013 Qualcomm swiped the most significant tablet wins as well as virtually all significant high-end phones with LTE, except Apple and Samsung flagships based on in-house parts.