Free Newsletter

Nvidia admits it needs integrated LTE

Nvidia needs combined chip for smartphone success, Renesas delivers high end LTE/processor platform

By CAROLINE GABRIEL

Published: 18 February, 2013

READ MORE: nVidia | Renesas | Semiconductor | Handset | LTE

As 4G smartphones come close to the mainstream, price pressures are already setting in, making it important for OEMs to be able to source all-in-one chipsets with integrated LTE baseband and application processor. These reduce cost and power, and in 3G have been very much the stronghold of Qualcomm. But in 4G, others hope to get a look-in.

Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia, admitted on the firm's recent Q412 earnings call that it would not make a major impression on the smartphone market until it had an integrated SoC. It acquired modem maker Icera for that purpose and expects to offer an all-in-one product later this year, but until then, its mobile sales will remain focused on the tablet, with its more forgiving component real estate and margins.


"This is an area where we will likely need to have an LTE modem in order to be successful and that's the reason why we work so hard to accelerate our LTE modem to market," Huang said. "We're working around the clock and with an LTE modem, the Tegra processor and our software capability, we will be able to address a much larger phone opportunity going forward. But we're not expecting to have a whole lot of phone design wins until we engage the market with LTE."

He added in a subsequent interview: "The baseband has changed from being a separate part. Nearly all our opportunities have been where LTE not required. When we are in situations where LTE is required, it's harder for us to compete for that business because competition has had the edge in that."

Despite these constraints, Tegra processor sales were up 98% year-on-year in the fourth quarter to $208.4m though that sum was down 15% sequentially. Overall, Nvidia reported Q4 net income of $174m, or 28 cents a share, up from $116m, or 19 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue was up 16% to $1.11bn.

Last week Broadcom set out its LTE stall though fully integrated chips will follow next year, and Intel does not expect to have integrated SoCs until 2014, despite its acquisition of Infineon Wireless in 2011.

But others are moving more rapidly. Renesas Mobile has announced the MP6530, its latest generation communication processor platform for LTE. Targeted at midrange to high end handsets priced between $200 and $400, it combines a 2GHz applications processor with a Category 4 LTE modem on a single die. It also harnesses ARM's big.Little technology for saving energy by balancing tasks across large and low power processors, in this case a Cortex-A15 MPCore and a Cortex-A7.

The new product focuses on a higher end category than Renesas's current MP5232 midrange platform and increases graphics performance threefold to support applications like immersive gaming and 1080p HD. Memory is also boosted threefold.

Related Stories

Share

  • email story Email
  • print story Print
  • digit digit
  • facebook facebook
  • Twitter Twitter
  • Linked-in Linked-In
  • Comments (0)

COMMENTS

Add Comment
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!
MARKET PLACE

    BYOD: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    An in-depth insight into the rise of BYOD policies within the enterprise and analysis of the impact the trend will have on IT departments,...

    Voice Command, Control and Search on Mobile Phones: Market Analysis & Forecasts

    This report provides a comprehensive insight into the growing importance of voice command, control and search on handsets, analysing...

    Data Centre Network Equipment: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the data centre network equipment market. Besides assessing the key market trends, sub-markets...

    HetNet Market Summary & Forecasts: Macro Cells, Small Cells & Wi-Fi Offload

    Carriers are struggling to cope with the explosion of data traffic on their networks, and the additional deployment of LTE and legacy...

    Over-the-Top Communications: Threats & Opportunities for Mobile Operators

    This report examines the implications of widespread adoption of mobile over-the-top IP communications for mobile operators, handset...

    Portable Gaming Consoles: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the PGC market. In addition to assessing the key market drivers, market barriers, vendor...
WHITE PAPERS

    Satellite Phones: Will Dual Mode Help the Phoenix Rise from the Ashes?

    Satellite phones have followed an arduous path since their much-hyped launch more than a decade ago. The hype was followed by an e...

    Mobile Widget Platform Market Analysis: Understanding the Business Case and ROI

    This white paper presents an analysis of the mobile widget platform market, as well as metrics supporting a mobile carrier?s busin...

POST COMMENT

You must be a registered user to post a comment. or
Username *
Email *
Comment *