Nvidia CEO haunted by Motorola, Amazon design wins that got away

Nvidia CEO haunted by Motorola, Amazon design wins that got away

Summary: Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said the company will work hard to win back Motorola's business and eventually become a tablet partner for Amazon. In the meantime, Tegra 3 design wins are on track.


Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang talked up the company's Tegra 3 quad-core mobile processor, but his remarks were haunted by the tablet design wins that got away.

On an earnings conference call with analysts, Huang noted that Nvidia was disappointed that the company lost a design win with the new Motorola smartphones. As reported earlier this week, analysts are questioning Nvidia's tablet progress as players like Qualcomm and Texas Instruments rack up design wins. TI's OMAP processor powers the Amazon Kindle Fire, a device that caught Huang off guard.

Also see: Nvidia's Tegra 3 marks start of 'different cores for different chores' | Is Nvidia's Tegra mobile domination plan in trouble?

Huang said:

There are a couple of design wins that I wish we had this year that we didn't have. I already mentioned Motorola. We were surprised by the Amazon Fire, but frankly, we're not going to be surprised again. We're obviously very excited about Amazon, and we're going to do our best to be a partner of theirs someday.

On Motorola's decision to go with TI, Huang said that Nvidia's production cadence didn't match up with the smartphone maker's plans. "Motorola had their own internal rhythm and (TI's) OMAP 4 was right in between Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 and they felt that OMAP 4 was a better processor than Tegra 2. Obviously, I feel different, but Motorola made their choice," said Huang.

What's next?

Nvidia has to win more tablet designs. Huang pointed to more smartphone design wins and said that Windows 8 tablets will also boost Tegra going forward. In the meantime, Nvidia will work "super hard" to get back into Motorola and make headway with Amazon and land more design wins. Huang said:

The reason we expect Tegra 3 to be more successful than Tegra 2 is we have more experience building these mobile devices than we did before.

I think that the velocity of engagement is much greater than it used to be. We have more phones in development now than we did in Tegra 2. We have more tablets in development.We have more OEMs than we had in Tegra 2. And not to mention on top of that, Windows 8. But even in the absence of Windows 8 we have more -- far more OEMs and devices in development today than we did with Tegra 2.

Nvidia reported third quarter earnings of $178.27 million, or 29 cents a share, on revenue of $1.07 billion. Wall Street was looking for earnings of 26 cents a share on revenue of $1.06 billion.

Topics: Hardware, Amazon, Laptops, Microsoft, Mobility, Tablets, Windows

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  • Nvidia chipsets on my PCs

    Are the reason they died. No thanks. Two dead devices is enough for me.
    • RE: Nvidia CEO haunted by Motorola, Amazon design wins that got away

      @happyharry_z My two nVidia GPUs are going strong in my PC.
  • Portable Gaming Tablet?

    Perhaps they should play to their strengths and tap into the portable gaming market, too. They have a long history of dominance in PC gaming and graphics. Maybe it's time to design a reference platform for a gaming-oriented tablet with long battery life. You can play games on current tablets, and many are great, but the controls on a lot of them are lacking. A higher graphics performance tablet with integrated game controllers would appeal to many. Perhaps this will happen once Windows 8 appears on tablets.
    • RE: Nvidia CEO haunted by Motorola, Amazon design wins that got away

      @BillDem Agreed. Graphics have always been nVidia's strength. Maybe it's time to show off some jaw-dropping graphics and put the others to shame :).
  • RE: Nvidia CEO haunted by Motorola, Amazon design wins that got away

  • RE: Nvidia CEO haunted by Motorola, Amazon design wins that got away

  • Compare The x86 Market

    See how much more competitive the ARM market is than x86: the chip makers have to be continually on their toes, otherwise they will very quickly lose out to more nimble competitors.

    With essentially just one major player and one token competitor, x86 comes nowhere close to this. Which is why Intel is having such difficulty adapting to new markets. ARM outships x86 4:1, and Intel would dearly love a piece of that action, but so far it has no idea how to get it.
    • In other words, all other CPU manufacturers combined outship Intel

      The problem is, what are the margins? I'd rather sell 1000 units at a profit of $20 each, as opposed to shipping 1000 units at $5 profit a piece as I have 10 other companies I'm competing against.

      Sure Intel would love a slice of that market, but the margins are probally much thinner.
      John Zern
      • Re: What Are The Margins?

        @John Zern The margins are lower for ARM. But the customers don't care--they're buying 4 ARM chips for every x86 chip that ships. And the disparity is growing, as ultramobile devices shoot into the stratosphere while PCs stagnate.

        So like it or not, fat margins or not, ultramobile is the possibility left for future growth. And there's nothing Intel and Microsoft can do about it.