Published in PC Hardware

Tegra 4 shipments still limited

by on05 July 2013

High-end design wins not enough?

Nvidia is reportedly shipping limited volumes of its latest Tegra 4 SoC. Although the company scored a handful of high-end design wins from the likes of Toshiba, Asus and HP, actual shipments volumes seem to be low.

However, it is worth noting that the report comes from Digitimes and its “upstream supply chain” sources, which have a chequered track record – and that’s putting it mildly. Despite the less than reliable source, the report makes sense.

Although Nvidia got a few fancy design wins for flagship tablets, Tegra 4 isn’t getting much attention in the fastest growing segment of the tablet market, in 7- to 8-inch no-frills tablets. The chip is too pricey for makers of budget tablets, who are turning to Chinese SoCs instead.

We don’t know of any Tegra 4 design wins in the sub 10-inch space and if that doesn’t change volumes won’t be spectacular, as 10-inch high-end Android tablets don’t sell in huge numbers. What’s more, there are practically no Tegra 4 phones, either. Basically even if Nvidia can get more design wins for the next generation chip than it did with last year’s Tegra 3, that won’t automatically translate into higher volumes. Tegra 3 ended up in several high-volume devices, such as the HTC One X, LG Optimus 4X and Nexus 7.

This year Nvidia might end up with more high-end tablet designs and more design wins in total, but ship fewer chips in the process. It’s worth noting that Tegra 4 won’t be used in the new Nexus 7 and that HTC and LG have chosen Qualcomm as well.

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