DigiTimes: NVIDIA struggling to secure Tegra 4 orders, only Toshiba is interested

by: ŠtefanFebruary 1, 2013

Last month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NVIDIA showed off their latest chip for smartphones and tablets, the Tegra 4. It’s got four ARM Cortex A15 cores, one incredibly fast graphics processor, and the whole package is allegedly six times faster than the Tegra 3, but we’re not going to believe that until we run our own benchmarks.

Sounds like a great chip, right? According to our favorite Taiwanese rumor site DigiTimes, it seems that device makers are not that interested. Only one company has so far committed to using the Tegra 4, and that’s Toshiba.

Why is this happening? The DigiTimes report says companies are more interested in using chips from Qualcomm and MediaTek. We don’t blame them. Qualcomm offers companies a system on chip with integrated cellular connectivity, something the Tegra 4 sadly lacks. Sure, NVIDIA will gladly sell you their new soft modem, the i500, but it’s completely unproven, whereas Qualcomm has built an amazing reputation for themselves in the wireless space during the past few years.

And as for MediaTek, they’re the leader when it comes to supplying cheap chips for devices that don’t get sold outside of China and a handful of other Asian countries. MediaTek’s quad core chip is probably an order of magnitude slower than the Tegra 4, but do you think the person buying a $100 tablet really cares about that?

In a few short weeks the largest mobile convention of the year is going to kick off, Mobile World Congress. There’s a high probability that we’re not going to see any devices announced there that use the Tegra 4, so don’t sit on the edge of your seat. We’ll know more about the fate of NVIDIA’s latest chip during the second half of the year. By then Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 600 and 800 chips will be out, so it’s going to be one hell of an interesting fight to watch.

  • Remcom00

    So no Tegra 4 in the HTC M7?
    Would be a dumb move..

    • intvidia

      Its dumb to remove the stuttering? HTC has finally realized that tegra is useless, if they had seen it earlier they could have saved themselves the flop One X+.

      • techpunch

        “HTC has finally realized that tegra is useless” – HTC already had the One X to see how good/bad the Tegra 3 processor was. So if they decided to make yet another phone [One X+] with the same chip, I’m guessing they didn’t have any issue with the processor. As for stutter on Tegra 4 [no devices released yet], where did you pull that out from?

  • intvidia

    Tablets dont always need connectivity anyway, but still they do not want to use Tegra. Like Sony Xperia Tablet S, it uses Tegra but now Sony is going for qualcomm in their next gen tablets.

    The reason is very obvious, the Asus Infinity 700 was a very promising Full HD tablet that had its sales destroyed by the Tegra chipset, the 700 didnt lag or stutter in the webbrowser, it was more like freeze and hang, thats how low performance Tegra got thanks to the 5th core trying to do everything alone. My daughters Xperia Tipo has many times faster webbrowsing capability. Unfortunately the low performance of Tegra for webbrowsing does not show in benchmarks since the 4 main cores will wakeup and stay awake through the benchmark duration, but in practical real life webbrowsing we dont load it that much and Tegra insist on trying to use the 5th core, and we see the result here.

    Im Nvidia all the way for PC, i actually like their closed source binaries for linux because they work and are stable and fast and not bloated (coughing in the direction of amd/ati here now), but for mobile device NO WAY! Im not asking Nvidia for open source for Tegra, their binaries are great, but i do ask them to go back and find a way to preserve both performance and battery at the same time, as it is now they have unacceptable performance without being the best at saving battery. Fail.

    • Prox

      This is spot on, the 5th core is too slow for day to day activity and why I wont be buying a future Tegra device until they remedy this problem.

  • lensbrik

    looks like Nvidia will out of smartphone business sooner than expected ….

    I use tegra 2 btw, still good for 3d gaming so far

  • IncCo

    GREAT ! I am really starting to despise all Tegra versions because of the fragmentation they create with the games out there.

    • Even though I love my Nexus 7 with its Tegra 3, I am inclined to agree with the comment about the way Tegra gets “exclusives” on some games, which causes fragmentation. This policy is not a very wise approach by Nvidia and just annoys many when they see it happening.
      A parallel could be drawn between the way HTC tends to release many of its phones exclusively on one carrier. That policy has also been a bad idea on HTC’s part and has contributed to their current unpopularity.

    • techpunch

      Its actually good that NV is working to help improve gaming on Android. I don’t see anything wrong with a company working with developers to ensure games run smoothly on their platform. It eventually helps the platform rather than “fragment” it.

      • IncCo

        OH really ? Imagine now if every platform did this.. games for exynos, games for qualcomm and of course games for tegra etc. How would this not be fragmentation?

  • i hope nvidia go back to making netbooks (like they tried in 2009), this tegra 4 chip would make a great linux netbook! or android…. could be nice to have a laptop/netbook thats not locked down and supports multiple OS’s .
    this year i am looking for a netbook to replace the one i have, looking at the samsung arm chromebook right now but with only 16gb HD and the fact it does not run ubuntu bug free yet has put me off.

  • IntelligentAj

    I’ve never understood the fascination with the Tegra Chips. I’ve always found the Snapdragon SOC performs better on my devices

  • regs

    Toshiba, HTC, Asus already working on Tegra 4 devices. There is also a rumor on Xiaomi. Not popular? So far not a single device on Snapdragon 800 and Exynos 5. Does they struggle as well?

  • kbaegis

    Wow, talk about a biased hackey article.

  • anon

    you couldn’t be more wrong. i’ve looked for tegra based systems like the nexus 7 for gaming and price ;)