Skip to main content

    Nvidia CEO: mobile chips to be a $20b business by 2015, new processor coming for Windows 8

    Nvidia CEO: mobile chips to be a $20b business by 2015, new processor coming for Windows 8

    Share this story

    "If you don't have a mobile strategy you are in deep turd." That's how Nvidia's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang ended a meeting this afternoon with a few select members of the press. Really, though, it was the core message of the entire sit down. We've never known Huang to be reserved or quiet, and today was no different. With some serious Tegra 2 momentum (Huang estimates that Tegra 2 is powering 70 percent of Android tablets out there — what he believes to be 30 percent of the overall tablet market), the CEO stressed his commitment to growing Nvidia as a mobile processor company. He sees the company's mobile chip business growing over 10x to $20 billion by 2015 — a very ambitious goal, but he believes all the pieces are in place for that to happen, one of which is Windows 8's ARM compatibility. Hit the break for the details.

    While Huang didn't give an exact time frame on when we will see Nvidia-based Windows 8 systems, he did say that he expects Microsoft's next operating system to hit before the end of next year and that the operating system's ARM compatibility will allow for many different form factors with Nvidia's silicon inside, including clamshells and tablets. He expects the clamshells to be incredibly thin and priced significantly less than Intel's new crop of ultrabooks, since it doesn't cost that much more to add a keyboard and subtract a touchscreen.

    When asked what version of Tegra would be inside the first generation of Windows 8 devices, he said we should assume that it will be "a mid-life super kicker to Kal El," Nvidia's quad-core chip expected to ship in tablets before the end of the year. (Huang confirmed that's still the plan.) All in all, he anticipates Windows 8 to dramatically shift the landscape for Nvidia and believes that Windows Phone 7 apps will run on ARM-based Windows 8 computers and tablets. (We specifically asked him if he could confirm Windows Phone 7 apps on Win 8 and he said it was just a "guess.") There wasn't too much focus on Android, but he believes that it will take those tablets some time to catch up, just as it did Android phones.

    On top of Windows 8 and Android tablets and phones, Jen-Hsun Huang stressed that the company's acquisition of Icera — a maker of 3G and 4G baseband processors — will also allow the company to get into the lower end of the phone market with devices that include both Tegra chips and Icera's radio components. He anticipates that the hardware will be ready to ship to phone manufacturers in the second quarter of 2012. As always, Jen-Hsun Huang is promising big moves, but he's certainly got a mobile strategy that's shifting the company's focus from GPUs. However, time will tell if it will keep Nvidia out of, well, the "turd."