At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference yesterday, company CEO Jen-Hsun Huang revealed an aggressive development schedule for next-generation Tegra system-on-chips. Tegra 3 is "almost done," according to Engadget, and work on its successor is already under way. Huang also promised a new Tegra design "every single year" and confirmed that ARM is its CPU of choice.
Aggressively pursuing new Tegra designs makes sense given the increasing popularity of smart phones, tablets, and tech-infused consumer electronics devices. The Tegra iterations Nvidia has released thus far have offered compelling potential, as well. However, we haven't seen many of them in actual products. As Engadget points out, Microsoft's Zune HD and now-defunct Kin were the only high-profile design wins for the original Tegra. Already, Tegra 2 has been dropped from the Boxee set-top box. We've heard lots of buzz and rumors about Tegra-powered tablets, but the market is still waiting for actual devices.
When it pimped Tegra 2 to the press at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in January, Nvidia suggested that a torrent of tablets based on the chip would arrive this summer. It looks like that torrent might turn out to be more of a trickle, and the tap may not open until later this year or early next. By then, it seems, Tegra 3 could already be finished.