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Toshiba first to embrace Nvidia Tegra 4, but others hesitant to follow

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Toshiba first to embrace Nvidia Tegra 4, but others hesitant to follow
Of all smartphone and tablet makers, Toshiba is by now the only one to adopt the Nvidia Tegra 4 chip for tablets, with a launch expected in June 2013. This suggests Nvidia is having a hard time finding support among vendors as Qualcomm has secured a strong position and the biggest Android vendor, Samsung, is using its own chips.

Asus and Acer which have previously used Tegra 3 for their tablets have now focused on 7-inch tablets and might not use the Tegra 4 chip.

For smartphones the situation seems similar with Qualcomm already being used by companies like Asus, so it’d be hard for Nvidia to make a dent there.

Interestingly, Nvidia is allegedly thinking of reducing the price on its last year’s Tegra 3 platform to make it a more viable choice for affordable entry-level solutions, but there Chinese MediaTek already has a strong showing. Overall, it seems Nvidia will have to go the extra mile to get its Tegra platform no more devices.

source: DigiTimes

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posted on 01 Feb 2013, 03:14

1. Retro-touch (Posts: 257; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


"Nvidia will have to go the extra mile to get its Tegra platform no more devices"

Typo!!!!

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 03:29 6

3. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)


Well. Considering how Tegra 3 was big disappointment in many fields, it doesn't surprise me that Tehra 4 is getting less adoption.

Before you bash, here are the reasons:

1) 4-PLUS-1 Variable SMP architecture did not deliver. As a result Tegra 3 had relatively less Perf/Watt as compared to competitors (v/s Qualcomm S4 Plus and Exynos 4 Quad).
2) GPU Performance was a huge disappointment (v/s Exynos 4 Quad)
3) IO performance was quite bad (v/s Qualcomm S4 Plus and Exynos 4 Quad).
4) NVIDIA PRISM had a lot of bugs.
5) Nobody used excellent features like Direct Touch.

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 03:44

5. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)


5) NVIDIA built Direct Touch which was quite useless. Synaptics' Solutions are much better.

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 05:40

11. akishakoi (Posts: 65; Member since: 06 Dec 2011)


he is not bashing. He only said there was a typo.

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 08:40

19. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 831; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


Herrr, both the Tegra 3 and Exynos Quad had their weakpoints in the GPU, check out the GLBenchmark website. Not to mention Tegra 3 got constant support from Nvidia which fixed power consuption to some extent, heat, performance and GPU performance. Unlike qualcomm that just releases the SOCs and only fixes the problem in the next hardware revision.

posted on 03 Feb 2013, 06:21

25. joaolx (Posts: 353; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


It wasn't bad when it was released, the problem it that 2/3 months later we had better chips. I feel like they just wanted to be the first to release a 4-core cpu.

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 03:28 3

2. Sniggly (Posts: 7033; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Well of course. Nvidia did a piss poor job of making the Tegra 2 play nice with future Android updates. Is it any coincidence that no Motorola phone with that processor got updated to ICS? Also, it was kinda funny how the Tegra 3 got outbenchmarked by the S4 dual core processor.

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 03:54

6. BadAssAbe (Posts: 434; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)


Xoom got day one ICS Update with the tegra2, all until 4.1.2
RIP Xoom RIP

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 05:26

10. tusshharish (Posts: 341; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


can anyone tell me which will be best trega 4 or snapdragon 800 or enoxs octa........

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 05:55

13. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4022; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


It always confused me how the S4 beat out the Tegra 3 in almost every test, yet manufacturers used almost exclusively the Tegra 3 in tablets last year, aside from Samsung.

Did they just want the quad core marketing, or was the Tegra 3 better for tablets than it was for phones somehow? Almost every flagship phone had the S4 (even mid-ranges), especially when moving to the U.S, and almost every tablet had Tegra 3.

Or was it because they were afraid of the possibility of Qualcomm having too many orders, and chose Tegra to make sure there wouldn't be any shortages?

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 07:40 2

16. TylerGrunter (Posts: 913; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


The Tegra 3 was built in 40nm, while the S4 is built in 28nm.
So it was not only more powerful but more battery efficient. Therefore the Tegra 3 was not very good for phones, as it was more power hungry than the S4.
On the other hand, as it is built in 40nm it's way cheaper than the S4 that uses a more modern and expensive technology, as tablets don't have the profit margins than the high end phones have, therfore most of the OEM selected it for cost reasons.

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 17:03 2

23. ThirdEye (Posts: 7; Member since: 31 Oct 2012)


Qualcomms strength is not its SOC. People often mistakenly think that. It is its killer baseband. Qualcomm(QCM) is the leader in radio technologies chips that handle GSM+WCDMA+EDO+LTE across multiple frequency bands. Apple iPhone uses QCM Gobi chips to connect to LTE networks. The LTE IPAD uses QC chip for LTE connectivity.

With "Krait" series, Qualcomm had its next generation ARM architecture prior to Cortex A15 derivatives. After a long time, QC effectively had a better ARM core than ARM itself.

Coming to tablets,
Tablets do not need baseband. Tablets need to use WiFi efficiently thats all. In the US carriers charge for tablet data by capacity. So QCM is not that un-vulnerable in tablet area.

More importantly 28nm was limited in supply for QCM in 2012. That is the sole reason QCM was not able to make more money and Tegra 3 somewhat survived. Add to it T3 was in 40nm TSMC bulk while S4 (except for S4 Play) was in 28nm HKMG.

See what happened to Texas Instruments. It was waiting for the 28nm from UMC for so long and QC invested 1B in UMC for "preferential" access to 28nm and thus OMAP5 became dead.

The golden days of Qualcomm in 2012 was when it had dual core Krait. Because at that time QC was the only 1 manufacturer that could do a MSM [Multi Station Modem] which combined the Krait cores + Adreno cores + LTE baseband in 1 single chip. This made it the defacto choice for any US LTE phone as LTE (Still) is a power sipping technology,

When it came to Quadcore Kraits, QCM could not create its MSMs and hence it had to do the baseband on a separate chip. So now Samsung was able to release Note II with its Quad Exynos for the US market. Then we also had HTC One X+ for ATT with Tegra 3 and QC baseband radio.

Now since 28nm supply is becoming more common, QC in the future having help from additional foundry UMC besides TSMC and NVIDIA limited only by TSMC, the latter is in a world of hurt. But the important thing that NVIDIA has its Icera baseband [which it got from acquisition of Icera Tech in 2010]. So NVIDIA going forward can make its own MSMs. Something that Samsung till now can't. So while in 2013 NVIDIA has to compete only on price in the phone market, 2014 would be when there will be more competition.

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 03:43 4

4. nikenturd (unregistered)


The Tegra 3 never delivered.... period....certainly THE MOST overrated chipset ever

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 05:47

12. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4022; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


It was in pretty much every tablet out there last year, except for Samsung's. The Surface, Asus' lineup, Toshiba's, the Nexus 7, and maybe a few others I'm forgetting. It was a good chip, just out shined by Exynos and Snapdragon just like Tegra 2 was.

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 17:08

24. ThirdEye (Posts: 7; Member since: 31 Oct 2012)


Well Tegra3 packed a lot of innovations by NVIDIA. 4+1 was uniquely theirs. Unbelievably they were able to do all this in the same old 40nm TSMC fab. But they choose 2 different types of transistors LP for low power and HFT for high power which made manufacturing more complex. So they were not able to get much ROI at the price they sold.

It might have been far better if it was designed at 28nm but then if NVIDIA had designed it for 28nm, it would have been in a world of hurt due to availability.

T2 did not even have NEON unit available. What T2 did was give a kick in the butt of Qualcomm, TI, Samsung to get their dual cores ready when a new company to the market NVIDIA beat them to punch.

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 08:36

18. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 831; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


Right, that's why my One X with Tegra 3 kills the Galaxy S3 in a lot of benchmarks?

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 03:57

7. BadAssAbe (Posts: 434; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)


I think the tegra 3 did a great job on the Nexus 7 at least compare to my xoom

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 04:25 1

9. joey_sfb (Posts: 2924; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


My disappointment with tegra 4 is they don't support Open ES 3.0 still struck at Open ES 2.0. That going to hold back on game graphics quality. Both Qualcomm and ARM do support Open ES 3.0 in their new SOC.

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 04:00

8. cezarepc (Posts: 565; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


That's why they are thinking of outing reference devices, which in my opinion is great.

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 06:20

14. aokde (Posts: 186; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)


NVIDIA, Eff youhttp://youtu.be/iYWzMvlj2RQ

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 06:58 3

15. BattleBrat (Posts: 1071; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Nvidia Never had the most powerful chips, but they have done more for android gaming than the other companies. What you hardware hounds fail to see is that the Tegra 4 itself is pretty much overkill, as is any other latest gen mobile processor. How much do you really need on a 5" 1080 screen? What needs work is the gameplay, and just as important, control. Few android game developers provide controller support, Nvidia (and Ouya) are working on it with Shield with OUYA, is Qualcomm? Is Sammy? Nvidia is the one working on making Android a gaming platform. And for that Nvidia has my support. I have an Xperia Tablet S (Tegra3 ) and a sony Walkman Z (Tegra 2) and they play games BEAUTIFULLY You may also Notice that these devices have lower res screens, I think that Retina screens are over kill, my walkman 840 x 480 screen ( i believe) playing Samuri 2 JUST as pretty as my iPod Touch 4th, Anything beyond 720 on a phone and 1080 on a tablet is just wasted horsepower (maybe 1200 on larger tablets)

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 08:35 1

17. cezarepc (Posts: 565; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


True. Nexus 7 user here and my tab can play anything smoothly. I'm actually planning on getting a bluetooth controller to pair with this bad-ass tab.

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 09:08

21. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


I have a nexus 7 and games such as most wanted, wild blood, horn etc are far from smooth... Games on my s3 perform much better.

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 16:59

22. faisolbauuz (Posts: 121; Member since: 05 Jan 2013)


Tegra 3 is good on tegra 3 optimized games such as dead trigger shadow gun etc, when it play gameloft games it lagged very much

posted on 01 Feb 2013, 09:05

20. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


Well no surprise oems are running from tegra 4 considering how over hypetthere chips are and how they really perform in real life.. Every tegra device including my own nexus 7 have been slow and laggy.

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