NVIDIA unveils upcoming Tegra Roadmap. Hopes to power all platforms even Windows Phone

Nvidia‘s CEO Jen Hsun Huang discussed and partially unveiled his company’s Tegra roadmap last week during the Citi Global Technology Conference and the Kaufman Brothers, L.P. Investor Conference. As of right now Nvidia’s Tegra SoC are principally powering several high-end Android smartphones and the vast majority of Android 3.0 tablets but things are bound to change in 2012 with the launch of Windows 8 (the ARM version in this case). NVIDIA along with Qualcomm and Texas Instrument are all working on getting their upcoming SoC to work with Windows 8 and it is also expected that Microsoft is going to start handing out free Win8 prototype tablets powered by NVIDIA’s new Quad-Core Cortex A9 Kal-el Chipset this week to all developers at the Build conference in LA.

NVIDIA unlike Intel and AMD doesn’t have a X86 licenses that’s why Jen Hsun is essentially betting the company on ARM and Windows 8 in my opinion the best thing that could happen to them. As you can see in the chart above Android and Windows 8 aren’t the only platforms that Tegra chipsets can power. Similar to all other SoCs from any other manufacturer all other mobile platforms are supported. Yes, even Windows Phone but this doesn’t mean that Microsoft has decided to certify Nvidia’s SoC for its mobile platform yet even though Jen Hsun firmly believes that supporting Windows Phone is going to be a growth opportunity for the company (listen to the end of the Citi Group webcast).

Kal-El which is schedule to ship later this year will be targeted at Android tablets first while it’s updated version named Kal-El+ should be NVIDIA’s first SoC expected to power the first Windows 8 ARM tablets later in 2012. The successor coming out in 2013 is code-named Wayne which once again is going to power Android and Windows 8 tablets/Clamshells but most importantly there’s also going to be the introduction of the newly announced NVIDIA Grey SoC which is going to be the company’s first chipset integrating a based band modem from Icera (the company was acquired earlier this year). Grey is the SoC that Nvidia hopes to see powering upcoming Windows Phones. Jen Hsun also thinks that Windows Phone 7/8 applications should be compatible with Windows 8 but as of right now nothing has been officially said on this matter eventhough it is technically possible and has also already been done as seen in the screenshot below where you can see the XNA Windows Phone 7 game The Harvest running on the Asus EP121 Windows 7 slate PC.

It is still unknown if the NVIDIA Grey SOC will be a Quad-core A15 or a more conservative Dual-Core A9 chipset or even if Windows Phone 8 will share the same Kernel as Windows 8. Interesting times ahead..

source: Nvidia