At last week’s Citi Technology Conference, Nvidia showed off their roadmap for their Tegra line of smartphone chips. The takeaway: their “Wayne” and “Grey” chipsets could give them an in with most handset makers by 2013.
The first move is clearly in the power department. The “Wayne” system-on-a-chip is a descendant of the upcoming quad-core Tegra 3, codenamed Kal-El. Not much is known about the specs, but — apart from being Batman-like? — you can expect it to outpace its Kryptonian sibling, which is already reported to be five times more powerful than the present Tegra 2. Impressive, and certainly attractive to Android manufacturers.
Nvidia doesn’t work with Microsoft, though, because of MS’s requiring their Windows Phones to use Qualcomm chips. So Nvidia hopes to horn in on some of Qualcomm’s territory in WP7 land with the “Grey” — named for Jean Grey — a low-cost chip with an integrated baseband. Qualcomm typically provides the basebands for Nvidia’s guts, but ol’ Jean changes that, cutting Qualcomm out of the phones she’s baked into. If Microsoft ever decides to make cheaper phones with the “Grey” built in, Nvidia will reap all the benefits.
With this tag team, Nvidia will have a presence on all the platforms. Except, well… 2013 is a long time to wait to be competitive no? If you ask me, Nvidia should be wooing Microsoft sooner instead of later if they really hope to keep up. Especially against Qualcomm’s own upcoming Snapdragons. The battle continues. [PC Mag]