With a little help from its partners
is about to try out a new approach in mobile. The company is working on reference smartphone and tablet designs, which should see the light of day by mid-2013.
Nvidia will rely on partners to market the devices and, according to Mobile Review, regional retail players should tap Nvidia’s designs, using them to replace cheap Chinese white-box tablets usually sold in their outlets. It is still unclear whether Nvidia AIBs will join the fun, but we reckon at least some of them would be very interested.
The reference design approach could allow Nvidia to gain a lot more Tegra design wins and secure its presence in retail. It sounds like a very interesting idea to get more Tegra devices to consumers by cutting out the middle-man. Bear in mind that Nvidia has plenty of experience with reference designs, as it has been selling graphics cards through numerous AIBs for years.
Since Nvidia would design and manufacture the reference tablets and smartphones itself, it should be in a good position to ensure quality and completely control the features. It is also interesting from the software side of things, as Nvidia could practically roll out updates for all the reference products at once, regardless of branding. This wouldn’t be the first time Nvidia tried to push a reference tablet platform, but its Kai platform, launched last year, wasn’t embraced by many vendors. However, this time around though, Nvidia would not just offer an open reference hardware platform, but a complete design.
Mobile Review claims we should see the first 7-inch and 10-inch devices in May or June, just in time for Computex. It is a very interesting development and we will do our best to learn a bit more about Nvidia’s plans.