Rumor: Nvidia to make its own tablet
Nvidia continues its foray into its own branded hardware with a miniature tablet dubbed the Tegra Tab, if a number of Asian blogs are correct.
So far, the strongest proof that Nvidia plans to manufacture a Tegra Tab is that the company trademarked the name in May, although there’s no indication what the company plans to do with it. Oh, that, as well as alleged pictures of the device, compiled by sites like Webtrek.it and noted by The Verge.
Nvidia generated a flurry of news in the last 24 hours, as it reported earnings that beat estimates, but also forecast revenues to be lower than expected.
Nvidia also reported disastrous revenue in its embedded Tegra division, with a 71-percent drop in revenue from a year ago, to $52.6 million.
However, the Tegra line arguably is more imporant for Nvidia’s future than its desktop or even mobile lines, as budget desktops and notebooks can use APUs from AMD and Intel that combine graphics chip with microprocessor technology.
But the situation is reversed in the tablet space; both Intel and AMD are struggling to keep up, and applications processors like Nvidia’s Tegra line combine ARM-processor technology that Nvidia licensed and married with its own graphics core.
The problem here is that the Tegra 3 is itself competing with high-end Snapdragon 400, 600, and 800 chips from Qualcomm, plus a number of other application processors from other ARM vendors.
Buildig a tablet around Nvidia's upcoming Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i processors would make sense, if only to give Nvidia a dedicated channel to showcase and sell its chips. And, of course, Nvidia has a history in that department, building its Shield handheld game console to show off the Tegra line, and tie in its GeForce desktop graphics chips, as well.
Back to the (rumored) Tab
Pictures of the Tab appear to indicate it has both a microUSB slot and a mini HDMI cable, as well as a rear camera.
The one advantage the Tab would have over the Shield is that it would be almost certainly a general-purpose Android tablet, while the Shield is more of a gaming device—and one that could be held back by a lack of games that take advantage of the Shield’s robust hardware.
As far as price and availability is concerned—well, Nvidia’s not saying. It isn’t even confirming the Tab’s existence. If the Tab does make it to market, however, it will find itself hard pressed to stand out from the mob of other Android tablets, Nvidia brand or no.