Will Nvidia find its mobile future in the Cloud?

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang envisions a Tegra-based mobile future driven by high-performance, GPU-powered Cloud computing.

“I’m highly enthusiastic about bringing parallel computing to mobile devices, as it is currently the most efficient energy per activity of computation that we know,” Huang explained during a GPU conference keynote speech in San Jose, California.

“Of course, the question is what the industry would do with such advanced capabilities. At the moment, mobile apps with the potential of harnessing the power of parallel computing [are nascent] and still in development.

”But over the next several years, I believe we will see a number of context-aware programs related to audio, video, image and signal processing leveraging the power of the Cloud.”

Huang also noted that the mobile market was undergoing a process of “bifurcation,” which he compared to the early days of PC computing.

“It is clear as day that there is an [emerging] category of devices called superphones. What this means is that more and more of the mobile space is developing in a bifurcated manner, with plenty of high-end smartphones and numerous entry level devices…And the middle is still a gulf.

“But clearly, PC enthusiasts have embraced the mobile world, with phones being reviewed just like high-end PCs. We believe that the next computer revolution will be a mobile one. We are excited about getting there and enthusiastic about the idea of Tegra in your hand and Tesla in the Cloud.”

Huang added that Tegra 2 was only “the beginning” of Nvidia’s foray into the lucrative mobile sphere.

“Tegra 2 is just our first entry, Tegra 3 is almost done, while Tegra 4 is currently being designed. In the future, we plan on releasing a new Tegra processor every year.

“Now, I happen to believe that [eventually], smartphones will be computers first and phones second. This is an incredible [paradigm] shift if you think about it – and one that promises to be quite disruptive to the PC industry.”