Nvidia: Disruption is good for you

Nvidia seems to think that no crisis should ever go to waste, hence it believes it can capitalize on disruptions in the PC market and weather the storm with ease.

We are of course talking about Tegra, Nvidia’s foray into the ARM SoC market, which was off to a slow start but it seems that it is here to stay. 

When the going gets tough, AMD can fall back on its console design wins, whereas Nvidia had to be a bit more creative. Speaking at a Barclays event, meticulously transcribed by Seeking Alpha, Nvidia VP of investor relations Rob Csongor said the company has the ability to make “disciplined” investments for growth by leveraging its core R&D. In other words, the company can simply rehash GPU R&D to come up with competitive mobile SoC designs, at a fraction of the cost.

Csongor said Nvidia views disruptions in the PC market as opportunities and has strategies to “drive” the disruptions to achieve its own goals, which sounds a bit like the good old “if you can’t beat them, join them” approach. 

“The net effect of all of this with mobile and cloud disrupting the PC, we believe this has created enormous opportunities for Nvidia. Essentially by 2015, we believe there will be over 3 billion HD devices in other words imagine any device that’s high definition becomes an opportunity for Nvidia to extend its GPU into,” he said.

Csongor went on to point out that Nvidia has spent over $6 billion in R&D for visual computing over the last decade. 

“When we develop a Tegra processor to go and target the mobile market, we’re leveraging a lot of R&D investments that we’ve done in GPU,” he said.

While this is true, it should be noted that the first three generations of Tegra chips had rather disappointing graphics and were routinely outperformed by SoCs designed by Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm and others. However, with the Tegra 4 Nvidia hope to turn things around, as it is supposed to feature the fastest GPU in the ARM universe. In addition, the Tegra 4i and future Tegra chips will also have LTE on board.

Csongor pointed out that Nvidia is rapidly expanding beyond its traditional PC market, with its first handheld console and other Tegra 4 devices, including car infotainment systems, hybrid tablets and high performance computers based on GPU-derived chips.