NVIDIA Tegra "Grey" arriving this year with 4G radios inside, Samsung now a competitor, not customer

Last summer NVIDIA splurged to buy Icera, the wireless radio maker for $367 million, with the intention to make its mobile Tegra silicon a true system-on-a-chip offering, complete with the baseband radios inside, Qualcomm Snapdragon-style.

Nothing has been heard on that front since then, but now on the conference call presentation for Q4 yesterday, NVIDIA's CEO threw some light on the matter. NVIDIA saw its profit slump 32% due to the Thailand flooding that are affecting the PC industry, and the mobile industry utilizing less Tegra chips than expected, warning that it will sell less than $1 billion worth of Tegras this year, which was the previous target.

Now NVIDIA lays hopes on an upcoming Tegra "Grey" line of chipsets, which will integrate 3G and 4G baseband radios, together with the usual multicore CPUs, GPUs and the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS trifecta. The first "Grey"-ed devices are expected to ship by the end of the year, making NVIDIA a formidable competitor to Qualcomm. NVIDIA might not have the most powerful or efficient mobile processors, and probably won't have the most polished baseband radios intitially, but it's been first to market with dual-core and now quad-core devices. Sometimes that's all it takes, so providing the baseband radios inside as well might tip the scales for mobile manufacturers in its favor.

As for the relationship with Samsung, NVIDIA's CEO Huang said that it has turned from a customer into a competitor, producing its own Exynos mobile chips successfully and outfitting most of its own devices with them: "It's a changing world. Samsung is now a direct competitor to us. They've been building processors for Apple for some time. ... And surely they've learned quite a bit and they're applying what they've learned for their own phones," said Huang. It will be interesting to see whether Samsung will follow the same path and buy one of its LTE chip suppliers, or develop its own to match with Exynos.

source: Reuters & TheVerge



1. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

hurry up with Grey(son), so we can get to Wayne!! :)

2. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

These chips are becoming very powerful. NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Samsung, & Texas Instruments all this year will drop some very sweet & powerful processors. To me the REAL differentiator will be who has the BEST battery life. I am going to stick with my Samsung Galaxy Nexus until all these processors are all out. I really am going to go for the battery life. There is so much great work in the root scene with kernels that I can see an efficient quad-core processor paired with an efficient kernel last in the multiple days realm, like maybe 2 to 3 days especially with a 2000 to 2500 mAh battery. I am so excited about what's coming this year, especially in late summer/early fall. These next gen phones are going to sh*t on everything that is out now & will be coming out this spring/early summer. My advice is to wait until late summer/early fall to get a new phone, because what will be available then will literally be light years ahead of what will come out this spring/early summer.

3. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

I'll probably sit out this year, I'm eying 2013 and to what wonders it will bring .

6. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i hear ya. Thats why im waiting for the A15 chips.. they should bring a big improvement in battery as well as power,even from what Nvidia has out now. Thankfully, we should start seeing them by summer so its not too long

4. spiderpig2894

Posts: 597; Member since: Jan 10, 2012

technology changes everything, every year. whoa!

5. vijaysivakula

Posts: 229; Member since: Aug 17, 2011

I will sit out too. Wait for the world to end this year and pick up the best of what is left.

7. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

the key will be battery tech more then pure speed. along with screens.

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