Nvidia announced its yearly earnings today, and while $4 billion of sales and $581 million in profit might sound like a bit of a snooze, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang spiced things up by telling investors that quad-core Tegra 3 smartphones are right around the corner:
"This quarter we are expecting to ship Tegra 3 based superphones. At Mobile World Congress is when we expect to announce these devices, and we expect to announce and ship them this quarter."Nvidia previously told us we could expect to see Tegra 3 phones at MWC, but it looks like you won't have long to wait to experience the fruits of the company's labor for yourself. Will those shipping products include the HTC Endeavor, the LG X3 and Fujitsu's new phone? We'll find out later this month.
Perhaps Nvidia's most exciting disclosure, though, was that the Icera acquisition will also bear fruit relatively soon: the company's new integrated 3G / 4G LTE system-on-chip, codename Grey, will be headed towards devices this year. "We will have shipping modems this year, hopefully sooner than later," Jen-Hsun said, suggesting that the move will help Nvidia compete against Qualcomm, which is tracking towards Snapdragon chips with integrated LTE as well. Presently, LTE phones and tablets have radio chips that are separate from the processor, a setup that's not terribly good for long battery life, among other concerns.
In case you're curious, Jen-Hsun Huang also offered up Tegra 2 sales numbers on the call, and the mobile processor isn't a tremendous portion of the company's business quite yet. Out of last year's $4 billion in overall sales, Jen-Hsun said that Tegra 2 accounted for around $360 million, or about nine percent of the company's business if our math is right. Jen-Hsun said he's expecting "vast growth this year" from Tegra 3 products, though. Those won't all be Android devices, mind you: "We'll start seeing meaningful contributions from Windows 8 later in the year, probably starting in Q3," the chief executive said.