Nvidia CEO: Next wave of Android tablets address first-gen shortcomings

Nvidia CEO: Next wave of Android tablets address first-gen shortcomings

Summary: Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said concerns about the first wave of Android tablets "have been largely addressed" and the next generation of Honeycomb 3.1 devices will be vastly improved.

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Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said concerns about the first wave of Android tablets "have been largely addressed" and the next generation of Honeycomb 3.1 devices will be vastly improved.

Speaking on Nvidia's first quarter conference call, Huang spent a lot of time talking about tablets. The company reported first quarter earnings of $135.2 million, or 22 cents a share, on revenue of $962 million, down 4 percent from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings were 27 cents a share.

Meanwhile, Nvidia projected revenue to be up 4 percent to 6 percent from the first quarter. That outlook and Nvidia's financial results were better than expected. However, analysts are concerned about Nvidia's core graphic chip business, which is under fire from AMD and Intel.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Kevin Cassidy said server adoption of Nvidia's graphics processor units was slower than expected, but he likened the uptake to enterprise solid state storage. There are benefits to new architectures, but enterprises move cautiously.

With those concerns---as well as questions about the Icera acquisition---all eyes went to Nvidia's Tegra business, which revolves around powering smartphones and tablets.

Huang said:

A new wave of tablets are now ramping up and are even more affordable and available on retail channels with WiFi configurations all over the world. You're also starting to see a lot of different shade of platforms, from devices that are like the Asus transformer where it is a tablet in one configuration and has a detachable keyboard in another configuration. And so those kind of devices are getting a lot of interest and available in computer channels all over the world.

We're going to expect another wave of tablets that are coming out to the marketplace now, ones that are even thinner and even lighter than the best offerings from anyplace, any supplier in the world. And those devices are just in the process of ramping. There's the really exciting new build of Honeycomb called Honeycomb 3.1 that Google just demonstrated the other day at Google I/O. We are basically stitching that up now.

Keep in mind that Huang has previously touted magical Android devices, but those tablets launched to tepid reviews and gripes about pricing. Related: Android 3.1: Crowd-pleaser or heart-breaker?

Among other key items:

  • Huang said Nvidia was working with Google on Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest Android OS, but wouldn't comment on whether the timing intersected with the company’s quad-core chip dubbed Kal-El.
  • On ARM in Windows, Huang said his team is working closely on the transition.
  • Nvidia sees smart TVs and car designs as being a potential growth market.
  • It's a "foregone conclusion" that the ARM architecture will be the most important standard for applications. Huang said:

Standardization comes from compatibility with software. And the thing to keep in mind today is that the vast majority of the software developers around the world for consumer computing are increasingly developing on ARM processors.

And, if you take a look at the number of devices that are being shipped today, there are far, far, far more ARMs computers being shipped than there are x86 computers being shipped. And if that attracts more software developers, then there's more rich software being developed for ARM that over time you would think that ARM becomes the most valuable platform for enjoying software.

And so that's how standardization happens and you know how fast mobile computing and the Internet and these application stores is causing new platforms to make a difference. It was only a few years ago that these ARM-based either iPhones or Android phones came to the marketplace, and just look at how many applications have been downloading, how many gigabytes have been downloaded of applications.

Related: Google rolls out Honeycomb 3.1 to Motorola Xoom: Can it reset a rough start?

Topics: Processors, Android, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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14 comments
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  • Or it will be actually third generation, addressing shortomings of second

    generation? If you count Galaxy Tab 7", then Xoom.
    DDERSSS
    • RE: Nvidia CEO: Next wave of Android tablets address first-gen shortcomings

      @denisrs He's referring to Honeycomb devices. Galaxy Tab 7" is not running Honeycomb.
      A. Noid
      • I meant the title of this post, which does not mention Honeycomb

        @A. Noid
        DDERSSS
    • RE: Nvidia CEO: Next wave of Android tablets address first-gen shortcomings

      nvidia freezes!

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      stefan.hamilton75
    • RE: Nvidia CEO: Next wave of Android tablets address first-gen shortcomings

      @DeRSSS Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will be announced at a Google event coming up on October 19th. <a style="text-decoration: none; color: #333333;" href="http://www.ruitersportsissi.nl/internetwinkel/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=7">Ruiterkleding</a>
      starksdev305
  • RE: Nvidia CEO: Next wave of Android tablets address first-gen shortcomings

    You could go back further, considering Archos has Android 1.6 tablets. I have one, and it makes my head hurt just thinking about it.
    Aerowind
  • 99 percent developers do not care if they compile for x86 or arm

    Bacause they do not write assembly code
    przemyslaw.cias
  • and apple is winning...

    ... according to the nvidia ceo. i wonder why larry didn't want to tell us what mr. huang also said about android tablets and their underwhelming sales:
    "It?s a point of sales problem. It?s an expertise at retail problem. It?s a marketing problem to consumers. It is a price point problem. And it?s a software richness of content problem. Apple is not only better able to explain its product to consumers through dedicated sales people, but it also captures more margin than competitors who have to share margin with retail partners."
    banned from zdnet again and again
  • Now nobody will buy a device with Honeycomb 3.0

    Oh! Wait! it doesn't matter...
    TristanGrimaux
  • Ah!

    Dang I just ordered an iPad 2, should I have waited??
    Hasam1991
    • RE: Nvidia CEO: Next wave of Android tablets address first-gen shortcomings

      @Hasam1991

      Not if you dont mind being tethered to itunes for uploading content. Yes if you'd rather plop an sd card with your chosen media, and swap idly like me.

      Not if you dont mind NOT reading passworded pdfs and zip files. But then again Apple do play consumers very well..... and tell you lots about what it can do. Less about what it can't. And having opened my 1st corporate ipad2 today I can honestly say it felt little different than the 1. I actually thought they'd sent me the wrong version. I'm sure the benefits will become apparent once users try to output to minitors etc but no big difference in the size/shape IMHO.

      And lets not forget the Apple brand.... lets face it; a lot of monkeys prefer to say they have an Apple cos it makes themm feel above others. Me... So long as it works and does what I want I couldn't care less!
      johnmckay
  • RE: Nvidia CEO: Next wave of Android tablets address first-gen shortcomings

    I gave up on Android phones because the only way to upgrade the OS was to get a new phone. The same seems to be true of Android based tablets. Loving my iPad 2 by the way.
    docpark
    • RE: Nvidia CEO: Next wave of Android tablets address first-gen shortcomings

      @docpark

      Agreed the Android needs better stability and Apple have a better balance of one current device and software upgrades. I've got Android and iphones and personally the battery life on both are RUBBISH... thats why I stick withh BB Torch. iPad has its limitations and its a pity all who purchase keep spouting the same old hype. You can't install media easily, yopu can't simply swap media cards, you cant connect to monitors or tvs without plugging in adapters (and buying them), you are tied to a PC (or mac for pedantic folk). Great for many things but there are other devices out there that will suit others better. Trouble is most Apple buyers can't see past their own ego, and be honest. I've got access to them all and dont touch my ipad or iphone..... that says it all to me.
      johnmckay
  • Why is it with Android/Honeycomb its allways:

    "the next version"?
    Will Pharaoh