NVIDIA Wins One of Qualcomm's Main Flames

At long last, the rumors are true! For as long as this Fool can remember, Taiwanese gadget maker HTC has had eyes only for chip maker Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM  ) and its family of Snapdragon mobile processors.

There has always been talk that the company would broaden its horizons to other ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH  ) licensees for its processors, namely NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA  ) and/or Texas Instruments. Well, HTC has done it at last.

Following its words that it would like to slim down its product line in order to focus on depth over breadth, HTC unveiled its new 2012 lineup at Mobile World Congress, and it contains just three primary models. The company is using a new unified branding strategy, calling them The HTC One X, HTC One S, and HTC One V.

The One X is the star, and is among the world's first quad-core smartphones, carrying an NVIDIA quad-core Tegra 3 inside. Interestingly, the device will come in two distinct flavors with different chip sets: the international version with the Tegra 3 and a U.S.-bound version for AT&T that uses a dual-core Snapdragon S4 with integrated LTE. Both of those processors are each respective chip maker's stars at MWC, so HTC is going for the jugular with hardware.

HTC is also aggressively upping the game with camera performance, with the One X sporting an 8-megapixel backside-illuminated shooter that naturally has me anxious to see if teardowns will reveal an OmniVision Technologies (Nasdaq: OVTI  ) piece lurking beneath.

This is the first time that HTC has hooked up with NVIDIA, and presumably won't be the last. It shows that NVIDIA continues to make headway with its invasion of Qualcomm's dominance in mobile processors, a trend that isn't likely to change soon as its chip roadmap has its sights set squarely on Qualcomm with continued further integration of key functionalities like basebands.

NVIDIA's Tegra lineup is among the company's most promising growth catalysts in the coming years, and most of last year's top-line growth was thanks to its consumer products business (which includes Tegra). One of the hiccups last quarter was a larger-than-expected dropoff of Tegra 2 wins as Tegra 3 ramps up, and it looks like this is indeed the beginning of that ramp.

For even more on how to play the mobile revolution, don't miss this new special free report on "The Next Trillion Dollar Revolution." It promises to be the biggest revolution in computing in generations, and it's one you definitely don't want to be left out of. Get access to this free report now.

Fool contributor Evan Niu has sold bullish put spreads on Qualcomm and owns shares of AT&T, ARM Holdings, and OmniVision Technologies, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of NVIDIA. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing puts in NVIDIA. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2012, at 5:27 PM, JeffreyHF wrote:

    Evan, your headline is pure hyperbole. One version of one product ( non-U.S. HTC 1X), is hardly "winning one of Qualcomm's flames). The Tegra 3 can't support LTE, and all U.S./LTE devices will use Qualcomm's Krait S4 processors, with superior performance metrics, and integrated LTE. All other HTC devices, worldwide, continue to use Qualcomm processors. Tegra's quad-core on 40 nm can't perform like an S4 with integrated baseband, and will be a one-off minor "win" for NVDA, simply because Krait quad-cores won't be in products until Christmas.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2012, at 9:35 PM, BradGessner wrote:

    The Qualcomm dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip is by far the most advanced and fastest chip on the market and blows the quad core NVIDIA chip away in speed tests. It also is the first 28nm chip with built in LTE, and almost all global wireless protocols.

    You can check out the details for chip performance and features at that show just how much Qualcomm's new S4 chips blows all of the competition away.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5559/qualcomm-snapdragon-s4-kr...

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5589/qualcomm-announces-snapdr...

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2012, at 12:03 PM, GOBOSH wrote:

    Some comments above are wrong and shortsighted.

    First- Tegra 3 does support LTE modems. Modems from Renesas and others, even QCOM are supported. NVIDIA's modem arm, Icera, is developing LTE modems now, reportedly ready by end of 2012.

    Second- The test ID'ed by BradGessner used QCOM tuned S4 reference board, not a device in production. Anandtech has test results of the NVIDIA powered One X vs. the QCOM 8660 One X. The Tegra 3 is more that holding it's own (processor in 8660 is same as 8960 so don't go there).

    Third- And mostly significantly, while this is the first NVIDIA powered HTC product, time will tell if it's a one off. It all starts somewhere. Last year's Tegra 2 success was not a fluke. There is a viable high end option to QCOM now available. NVIDIA's processors are every bit as good (if not better) that QCOM or TI. Icera has been producing industry class modems for the data world for some time now, and now in phones (ZTE Mimosa & Era). The industry now has valid, proven choice at the high end

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1793478, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/28/2014 11:21:55 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement