Nvidia reported its first-quarter earnings today, but the most interesting part arguably wasn't the $60 million in profit or $924 million in revenue the company brought in. Rather, it was CEO Jen-Hsun Huang's disclosure that the company's hotly-anticipated Tegra processor with built-in LTE connectivity, codename "Grey," won't be ready until next year.
Last quarter, Huang told investors that the company would be shipping integrated modems this year, but on today's call, the chief executive pushed back that schedule a bit:
"Looking forward, you'll see Tegra 3 LTE phones with partners' baseband processors in the second half of this year and then next year with our own LTE baseband processors as well."
We'd previously heard from Tegra GM Mike Rayfield that integrated LTE might not be ready until 2013 (a leaked roadmap suggested Q3, in fact) and this seems to solidify that.
Later on the call, Huang specified that even third-party LTE chips might arrive later than you'd think, saying that he hopes quad-core Tegra 3 phones with LTE will arrive in the US "towards the end of the year," not merely the second half. Jensen didn't offer a reason for the delays, but he suggested to investors that it's not a big deal from a global perspective. "Although we don't have LTE at the moment, LTE is predominantly a U.S.-centric phenomenon. Outside of the United States, the big superphone upgrade is quad-core," he said.
Though Nvidia's already missing out on opportunities due to a lack of integrated LTE, it might not hurt that badly: Qualcomm's reportedly facing shortages of its rival Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 chip, so there could be additional time for Nvidia to bounce back.