Next-gen Nexus 7 could see Nvidia ousted in favor of Qualcomm

Next-gen Nexus 7 could see Nvidia ousted in favor of Qualcomm

Summary: Being pushed out of the next-generation Nexus 7 could result in a revenue dent for Nvidia in the region of $200-250 million, according to one analyst.

(Credit: Qualcomm)

The next-generation Nexus 7 tablet could see Nvidia's Tegra 4 System-on-a-Chip (SoC) ousted in favor of Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro silicon.

According to Pacific Crest analyst Michael McConnell, Google is choosing to go with the Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 chip over the Tegra 4 hardware, not only because Qualcomm is willing to offer a better deal but also due to the S4 Pro's tighter integration with 3G and 4G modem technology.

This simplifies the supply chain, which means ultimately means lower costs.

The S4 Pro is a good choice for the Nexus 4 because it offers integrated cellular technology; something that even the upcoming Tegra 4 SoC—which Nvidia claims is the world's fasted mobile processor—will not.

The Tegra 4, previously codenamed "Wayne", was unveiled at CES 2013 and features at its heart 72 custom Nvidia GeForce GPU cores, giving it six-times the graphics processing power of the current Tegra 3. The Tegra 4 also comes with worldwide support for 4G LTE voice and data by utilizing the optional fifth-generation Nvidia Icera i500 chipset.

The loss of a place in the Nexus 7 represents a big hit for Nvidia. At an average price of $20 to $25 per Tegra processor McConnell estimates that it will mean an "adverse revenue impact of $200 million to $250 million."

McConnell claims that the new Nexus 7 is scheduled to begin shipment in the second quarter of 2013. 

But it's not all bad news for Nvidia.

McConnell sees good news for the company on the workstation front, with a rise in high profit margin—around 46 percent—of professional Quadro GPU sales. McConnell has increased his Quadro workstation sales estimate to $897 million, representing an 8 percent year-over-year growth, compared to his previous estimate of $857 million, or a 3 percent year-on-year growth. 

Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Hardware, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Spread the love...

    Google does a pretty good job of spreading the Nexus love around to various manufacturers. Samsung, LG and HTC have all produced Nexus phones, ASUS builds the Nexus 7 while Samsung builds the Nexus 10. Google may well be favoring Qualcomm for the next Nexus 7 to encourage another Android-friendly hardware manufacturer to continue supporting the platform.
  • Good

    I have no scientific proof but Qualcomm processors seem more stable and consistent to me. It was especially true when they were both released in dual core devices. The tegra devices felt a little laggy and behind the curve.
    • NVidia is over promise and under deliver.

      The Snapdragon S4 is a great chip.
  • Nexus 7 is a toy, for users the processor is not going to matter much....

    but may offer higher profit for OEMS...
    • I like toys

      I guess I'm not alone, they tend to make people happy :-)
      • Not the 'toys' you are referring to...

        • No, I really like tablets as toys

          Also others.
          What I mean is that there's nothing wrong at looking at nexus, iPad, surface, ... as toys - they are for many.
    • Steve Ballmer said similar things

      About The ipad and iphone, doesn't he look silly now.
      Alan Smithie
    • Re: Nexus 7 is a toy

      A "toy" that, on its own, has managed to outsell the whole of Microsoft's Windows Phone and Windows RT stables put together.
      • RE: Nexus 7 is a toy

        not to mention outselling all apple minis
  • No Way

    You are making a habit out of bad writing and poor research! The Nexus 7 replacement will have Tegra 4 because they finally got a big jump on the market.