At a recent press meeting held by NVIDIA, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang claimed that by 2015 the company’s mobile chip division will grow by an order of magnitude to roughly $20 billion. Huang says that two out of every three Android tablets on the market have an NVIDIA chip inside, which would be impressive if it wasn’t for the fact that nearly every Android tablet on the market is a stinking pile of rubbish. It isn’t mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) however that will be responsible for the boom in business NVIDIA expects to relish in, it’s Windows devices. Microsoft’s next version of Windows, which is currently codenamed “Windows 8”, will be compatible with ARM processors. In other words, Windows is going to run on the same chips that power the smartphone in your pocket right now. It’s expected that by the end of next year Windows 8 will be out, along with computers using NVIDIA chips. What kind of chip can we expect in said PCs? Huang says it’s a “a mid-life super kicker to Kal-El”, NVIDIA’s quad core chip that will be shipping in tablets quite soon.
Going back to mobile however, we’re surprised to hear NVIDIA say that by Q2 2012 they’ll be ready with products for low end smartphones that integrate cellular radios. Remember NVIDIA’s $367 million acquisition of Icera in May of this year? If that Q2 2012 launch date actually happens, then it’s something that’ll be considered incredibly impressive in terms of engineering. Knowing how NVIDIA’s schedules slip by a quarter or two however, we’re not confident that we’ll be seeing mid and low end smartphones powered by NVIDIA silicon until the 2012 holiday season shipping, and that’s assuming they can convince phone venfors to switch from their current relationship with today’s most popular supplier of silicon for Android handsets: Qualcomm.
For those of us old enough to remember NVIDIA being synonymous with graphics cards, these are quite interesting times we live in.