Earlier this week, Nvidia updated its Tegra Note 7 tablet platform with new features and capabilities. The company introduced the Tegra Note, a reference platform for Android based tablets in September this year with Tegra Zone gaming, stylus support, front facing speakers offering the widest frequency range in a tablet, a camera with 100-frame-per-second slow motion recording and up to 10 hours of battery life while playing HD video. Powered by the Tegra 4 processor, the company claims that the device will be the world’s fastest 7-inch tablet.
Tegra Note Update
With the recent update, Tegra Note now supports the Android 4.3 Operating System and offers the always on HDR feature, which enables users to snap a real-time HDR shot without waiting several seconds for the camera to process it. Additionally, the tablet now provides: 1) an enhanced stylus experience (adding support for left-handed users) and improvements in overall response; 2) DirectStylus enhancements; 3) video stabilization; and, 4) the ability to move applications and data files from internal memory to an external microSD card. Nvidia promises that Tegra Note will have all the additional features in the same price range (starting $199).
Unlike its gaming device Shield, Nvidia does not build and sell the Tegra Note directly. Though the platform is designed by Nvidia, its partners have the opportunity to further build on the reference design and sell the final product in the market under their own brand.
Tegra Revenue Declines in 2013
Having seen its Tegra processor revenue climb by approximately 200% and 30% in 2011 and 2012 respectively, Nvidia anticipates the same to decline by $200 – $300 million this year. Much of the decline can be attributed to the ramp down of Tegra 3 products and the company’s conscious decision to delay the launch of Tegra 4 by one quarter, in order to pull up the production of Tegra 4i chips.
Tegra 4 is the world’s first quad-core processor based on Cortex A15 and while the delay in its launch will impact its short term growth, we believe it will be an important factor in expanding Nvidia’s presence in the mobile computing space. Nvidia has already received Tegra 4 orders for Xiaomi Mi3, Microsoft’s second-generation Surface RT, as well as Asustek, Toshiba and HP tablets.
Tablet shipments are estimated to grow by 78.9% between 2013 – 2017, increasing from 227 million units to 407 million units by 2017. Research firm IDC expects lower-cost devices to drive global demand.
Nvidia lost out on Google’s second generation Nexus 7 tablet to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro and faces competition from the iPad Mini. Nevertheless, since the tablet market is expanding at a rapid pace we believe that Nvidia will manage to expand its footprint in the market. With Tegra 4, in addition to mobile and tablets, the company aims to expand its reach to other large markets where visual computing matters, such as auto navigation systems, TV set top boxes and new desktop form factors like all-in-one and smart monitors.