Nvidia blames Windows RT for poor Tegra revenues

Nvidia blames Windows RT for poor Tegra revenues

Summary: Nvidia is bracing itself for a 40 percent fall in Tegra revenue, and the company is pointing the finger of blame at Microsoft's Windows RT.


The fallout resulting from the failure of the Windows RT platform extends far beyond Redmond, and is casting a shadow over chip maker Nvidia.

See also: Nvidia CEO reveals Microsoft Surface 2 plans, includes 'the killer app'

Nvidia is bracing itself for revenues from its Tegra chips to fall by as much as 40 percent this year, and it is putting the blame for this – in a passive aggressive way – at Microsoft's door.

"The decline comes from, so coming into the year we had pretty high expectations on one particular platform and there’s no sense mainly, but it's a very important platform that also derived from it a lot of design wins," said CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said on a Thursday conference call discussing Nvidia's second-quarter financial earnings.

(Source: Microsoft)

That "very important platform" has to be Microsoft Windows RT-powered tablets. At the core of this hardware was Nvidia Tegra 3 chips, which are based on the ARM Cortex-A9 processor. Tablets falling into this category include Microsoft's Surface RT, the Asus VivoTab RT, and the now defunct Lenovo Yoga 11.

"And because this particular platform just didn't do as well as we or frankly anybody in the industry had hoped, we don't expect as much returns on that investment as we originally hoped," explains Huang.

It's likely that the usually outspoken Huang is being reserved in his criticism of Microsoft because Nvidia needs Microsoft and Windows RT to diversify its Tegra portfolio, which is otherwise very reliant on the success of Android. Windows RT gives the Tegra line credibility outside of Android.

We know that sales of Windows RT devices have been weak, and during the recent fiscal quarter Microsoft took a charge of US$900 million related to the failure of the Surface RT tablet.

Topics: Microsoft Surface, Hardware, Microsoft, Processors, Tablets, Windows 8

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
  • Flexibility Of Windows RT Versus Linux

    When Linux runs on ARM, it doesn't just run on one particular model of ARM chip in one configuration from one vendor, it runs on all of them.

    When Windows runs on ARM, it must be a specific ARM chip in a specific configuration from a specific vendor.

    See which one has been more successful?
    • Sure, yup, whatever

      Reading from a script? Sounds like your usual "I'll comment without understanding what it I'm commenting on, as long as I can fault MS is some way".

      William Farrel
      • Re: "I'll comment without understanding what it I'm commenting on

        Hey, I'm not the one who said "sure, yup, whatever".
    • Question

      How would running on multiple types of ARM chips have helped NVIDIA for the problem the presented?
      Michael Alan Goff
    • Dell XPS 10 = Windows RT on a Qualcomm ARM CPU


      10 seconds of web searching and you could have had that information.
      • Re: Dell XPS 10 = Windows RT on a Qualcomm ARM CPU

        Is that still available?
        • Yes, but what does that have to do with you being wrong?

          Again, a quick web search would have told you it is still available.
    • So...

      Running on only one specific chip set maintains higher reliability. One of the reasons you have driver issues on Windows and Linux computers compared to Macs are the diversity of chip sets that these platforms have to run on. Reduce the diversity to only one and you reduce stability issues.
      Rann Xeroxx
  • NVidia has a very bad run

    It lost out to AMD with respect to all (!) new gaming consoles.
    PC market is in decline and so are dedicated graphics cards.
    Win8 driven mobile devices can't gain traction fast enough to make up for losses in aforementioned areas.

    Anxiously awaiting the coming revenue statement ... ouch.
    • Windows 8 is intentionally killing the PC industry...

      ...to migrate consumers into single-function proprietary tablets and game consoles.
      • Need some more tinfoil?

        Sale at Acme, I heard.
        William Farrel
    • NVidia is full of crap. This is classic misdirection. When you epic fail

      bring out the blame throwers. NVidia how exactly would there have been higher tegra revenues if there was no WindowsRT? You're just getting spanked by your own competition, in smartphones, in game consoles, by intel integrated graphics in ultrabooks. Basically everywhere.
      Johnny Vegas
    • Well

      Nvidia is struggling for a place in the new market. AMD is beating them in the graphics market, as they dont have any integrated solutions. Their ARM chips arent bad but they cant compete against the likes of Samsung, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments... So where do they go? Hope that they get used as dedicated graphics in Intel machines?
      • Amazing how AMD lost money in the most recent quarter

        while Nvidia's GPU business grew, yet AMD somehow won.
  • New platform shit

    Microsoft is known for Windows, so it looks like copying Apple for yet another Restricted Tablet is not going to be an easy win.
  • Surface RT is not a tablet of low quality (such as the Android).

    Surface RT is not a tablet of low quality (such as the Android). This tablet has better performance and response is very good in various customer scenarios. I've had Android tablets that I have abandoned because of poor quality. With the new prices of the Surface starts to demand this type of solution.
    • Re: With the new prices of the Surface starts to demand this type of solut

      I wonder if Microsoft Fanboi Recruitment has had its funding cut to the point it has to go by random automatic keyword search now?
    • Android is an OS, whereas Surface is hardware.

      There *is no* "the" Android, just tablets which use Android as an Operating System.

      So whose fault is it if you chose to buy a "poor quality" Android tablet? (Not that you've even bothered to define what you even mean by "poor" in this case). There are some very slick Android tablets out there indeed.
    • Low quality?

      I am a Surface RT fan but there is nothing low quality with high end Android tablets. Your statement makes no sense.
      Rann Xeroxx
  • Huang is right

    Windows RT was named badly, Surface RT was priced ridiculously, Surface RT was marketed poorly, Surface RT's web browsing performance was laggy (better since Windows 8.1 methinks), and Surface RT's e-mail client was (and is) a disaster. Maybe Tegra 3 wasn't the best choice, but it's not the primary reason that Windows RT and Surface RT have not succeeded.