Last year, Nvidia failed to give Qualcomm a run for its money when it comes to smartphones, but the quad-core Tegra 3 chip made a splash in the market tablet, with big wins such as the Nexus 7, the Transformer line, and the Microsoft Surface.
According to a Wall Street analyst, Nvidia might not enjoy a similar success in 2013, with Google reportedly ditching the Tegra 4 SoC in favor of the more competitive Snapdragon S4 Pro.
Michael McConnell from the Pacific Crest investment firm has trimmed his estimates for the Santa Clara-based company after “supply chains conversations” indicated that Google has opted for a System on a Chip made by Qualcomm.
According to McConnell, Google chose the Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 chip over Tegra 4 for two reasons – competitive pricing and a better integration with 3G/4G modem technology, which would allow the maker of the Nexus 7 to cut costs and simplify logistics.
McConnell also writes that the new Nexus 7 is scheduled to begin shipment in the second quarter of 2013, but it’s not clear if he knows that for a fact or if it’s just an educated guess.
This report ties in with previous gossip that suggested manufacturers are not very interested in the new Tegra 4 chip, despite the massive performance improvements over Tegra 3 that Nvidia promised. So far, we know of a single manufacturer that will be using Tegra 4, and that is Toshiba.
The new Tegra 4 chip was revealed by Nvidia during CES, and features four Cortex A15 CPU cores and a powerful 72-core GPU, that is supposedly six times faster than the GPU on Tegra 3. Nvidia has not integrated cellular connectivity on Tegra 4, although the company does offer an “add-on” LTE modem.
We’ve reached out to Nvidia for an official comment, and we’ll update the post as soon as we get more info.