Newfound OEM Interest Teases At Tegra Turnaround

2010 wasn't Tegra's banner year the way we thought it might be after seeing the Tegra 250 platform demo'd at last year's CES. There are signs, however, that 2011 may turn out differently. According to DigiTimes, multiple PC OEMs are warming up to Tegra after watching consumers ardently embrace the iPad. The success of Apple's tablet, according to some, has actually helped Android+ARM by demonstrating that non-Wintel systems can offer compelling user experiences.

It's difficult to underestimate how important Tegra is to Nvidia's long-term future; the company has bet that Tesla and Tegra will become its primary sources of revenue over the next few years. When we spoke to the company in August, Nvidia assured us that we'd see new Tegra devices rolling out at the end of 2010 and into CES; this new information generally supports those earlier predictions. According to reports, we'll see Tegra 2 tablets from Acer, Asus, Toshiba and Samsung--it's claimed that Tegra will account for 50 percent of ARM tablets in 2011, though we've got a gimlet eye on such a high percentage.

Motorola is just one manufacturer working on Tegra 2 devices to show off at CES 2011

Once CES kicks off we should be able to discern whether or not the situation has truly changed based on what manufacturers have on display. The devices on the showroom floor last year were typically prototypes and/or lacked concrete ship dates. Back in September, Nvidia told us that the reason so many Tegra devices had been delayed was because mobile products typically have much longer lead times. If that's so, Tegra 2 will be a prominent topic for two years in a row—but this year it'll be backed by early product revisions with concrete ship dates attached.