Back at CES we learned that something the chip needed another respin. This cost Nvidia almost two quarters, enough to create a lot of problems and lose a number of potential design wins.
Nvidia’s fiscal Q2 starts in May and ends in July. Since CEO Jen-Hsun Huang went on record saying Nvidia will ship Tegra 4 in the latter part of its quarter, there is a big chance that we won't any Tegra 4 phones and tablets before July.
From what we know Nvidia Shield should launch in Q2 2013 (April to June 30th 2013, not NV’s fiscal quarter) and we have heard that by April some lucky journalists should be able to get samples that should feature production ready chips.
Mass production and official launch of Shield should come before the end of Q2 2013, but we don’t know a better date than that. Nvidia changed the core from A9 to A15 and went from 40nm to 28nm in the same step, something that Intel has always been preaching is a very risky move, and something clearly went wrong.
AMD also had similar issues with Bulldozer cores and some of our older readers may remember the NV30 launch a few years back.
Tegra 4 looks like a rather good chip, but its undoing is the fact that it has already been delayed by several months. Any delay has plenty of negative effects, which are even more obvious in the fast paced world of mobile SoCs than in the GPU market.