Report: Tegra 4 shipments are unimpressive

Nvidia's Tegra 3 was a hit. The system-on-a-chip made its way into a cornucopia of tablets, including Google's Nexus 7 and Microsoft's Surface for Windows RT. What of the Tegra 4? So far, it seems, the new SoC may not be living up to its predecessor's legacy.

A story by DigiTimes says that Tegra 4 shipments are "limited" despite high-profile design wins from Asus, HP, and Toshiba. The site's sources claim the "high price" of the Tegra 4 is driving hardware makers toward more affordable silicon from MediaTek and Chinese chip companies.

Those same sources also believe that Nvidia "may need to wait until the release of its next-generation Tegra 4i processor with integrated 4G LTE support to turn the tables."

The Tegra 4 was unveiled just before the Consumer Electronics Show in January. It has six times the graphics horsepower of the Tegra 3, and its quad ARM Cortex-A15 cores give it a substantial amount of CPU grunt, as well. The Tegra 4i is less powerful, with Cortex-A9 CPU cores and fewer graphics ALUs, but it adds an on-die LTE modem.

As far as I'm aware, Tegra 4-powered devices haven't hit stores yet. DigiTimes mentions that a convertible HP offering, the $499 SlateBook x2, is due out in August. Nvidia's own Tegra 4-toting Shield handheld was supposed to debut on June 27, but it's been postponed until some time this month. As for the Tegra 4i, Nvidia said a couple of months back that certification of that chip was "on the way."

Since not even the Nvidia Shield is out yet, it may be a little premature to gauge the Tegra 4's success—or the Tegra 4i's chances. Hardware makers order chips well ahead of product launches, of course, but it's still early days, and Nvidia may have time to score more design wins ahead of the holiday season.

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