TechInsights teardown coverage of the tablet market allows us to see some interesting trends. One trend we’re seeing is many Tegra 2 design wins in Android-based tablets. (Echoed by comments from nVidia’s CEO)
Obviously, nVidia has done something right with their Tegra 2. There could be many reasons for the multiple design wins, but surely one reason is that they were one of the first significant low-power dual-core mobile processors on the market. With their silicon ready to go before some of the other major dual-core competitors, nVidia had a chance to get the system design people early access. nVidia has also worked closely with the Android operating system, with many design wins in Android 2.x Tablets, as well as the dual-core optimized Android 3.x (Honeycomb).
Tegra 2 package for tablets
With Tegra 2 gaining many design wins in Android tablets, we’re also starting to see similarities in the peripheral circuits in these tablets. (Our product profile database and database access tools allow us to search through many tablet design wins at once.) Perhaps nVidia has helped kick-start these designs with some known good components, and provided the code to help bring up designs quickly. A well-staffed and active applications engineering group could accomplish this. Or perhaps some of the system designers have created their own designs, and the rest of the world is copying the same mold. In either case, Tegra 2 now has a leg up on the competition for dual-core processors in tablets.
Speaking of the competition, look for the Qualcomm dual-core Snapdragons and the TI OMAP 4 attempt to make a bigger impact in the tablet space. Qualcomm is doing quite well in the phone area with their integrated baseband, but have not gained as many Android-based tablet design wins that they would have hoped. The OMAP 4 has been shown to have some very good technical specs, but still is lagging behind in design wins. All evidence that nVidia is winning against some big competition with being to the market early as one of the major factors.
Tegra 2 Floorplan
For more detailed information on the design of the Tegra 2, and a look at some of the other advantages, see our IC Design Overview (NVidia Tegra 250 Processor) report that covers the layout, packaging, and a whole lot more. (You can search for IC Design Overviews of other mobile processors—the Tegra 2’s competition.)
- Steve Bitton