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Why NVIDIA is going to have a stellar year

April 4, 2012

NVIDIA is one of the most well-known, respected and established names in the industry of graphics processing manufacturing. While this may be true, the US-based company has struggled to gain profitability due to a variety of environmental and economic events of the past few years.

After being named Forbes’ “Company of the Year’’ in 2007, Jen-Hsun Huang’s electronics giant entered into a slippery slope of economic decline, constantly reporting quarterly losses and dips in revenue. While most companies would have cut costs and considered thinking of reducing production, NVIDIA did exactly the opposite.

While the GeForce GPU product line has been constantly upgraded in the past years, as is necessary to stay competitive in this segment, NVIDIA’s most profitable business decision has been to insist on mobile chip manufacturing. The Tegra platform has just reached its third generation and, according to an report, might actually be one of the most important things to help NVIDIA get back on the road to greater profitability.

In 2011, the market for mobile processors grew by 43 percent from the previous year, and in-stat forecasts show that it has the potential to continue to grow at an annual rate of 22% through 2016. This will likely translate into higher revenues for NVIDIA during the following years, as NVIDIA continues to improve its offerings for both the mobile and desktop markets. Despite the conjecture of many a blogger and tech-pundit, NVIDIA remains the one to beat. After all, it is the company that invented the GPU, and is almost unanimously considered as the leading mobile chip resource in the world.

Several reports and tests have shown that the Tegra 3 quad-core processor is on-par, if not better, than Apple’s latest A5X iPad processor. With this in mind, they are investing heavily by courting developers to port and create apps optimized for Tegra specific hardware. Regardless, NVIDIA appears to be gearing towards a most significant economical revival.

It also has to be said that, while Qualcomm’s and Huawei’s  (and soon to be Samsung’s) latest offerings present some serious competition for NVIDIA, the Tegra 3 platform already powers some of the most popular Android-based devices on the market, like the Asus Transformer Prime, and the HTC One X (non LTE though). That being said, Qualcomm’s S4 SoC has garnered a lot of attention for being very powerful in many real world use cases.

However, the biggest hope for NVIDIA in 2012 could actually come in the form of a Google ASUS co-branded Nexus tablet, suspected to hit the market in the summer. The $200 slate will most likely feature a quad-core Tegra 3 processor under the hood, and is currently seen by the vast majority of technology experts as a possible game changer in a market that has so clearly been dominated by Apple over the past few years.

Are you impressed with NVIDIA so far? Do you really think that Qualcomm’s S4 is faster? Have you ever owned an NVIDIA product in the past? Will NVIDIA and ASUS really be able to bring a quad core 7 inch tablet to market at the $200~ price point?

Let us know your thoughts!