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Inside NVIDIA & Tegra

We met up with Jen-Hsun Huang, Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of NVIDIA and got him to talk about Tegra and computers in general. Excerpts…

Question : How long did it take to develop Tegra and how much of Tegra was developed in India? How much did NVIDIA spend on its development?

Answer : Tegra took us 5 years to develop. We wanted to create a computing platform that has as good a mobile experience and better a multimedia experience than existing PCs, at 1/50th the power. It cost us half a billion dollars to develop. We have 3 design centers Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Hyderabad’s entire design center is working on Tegra, and a lot of the work on Tegra has been done there, chip design, algorithm development and software. The Pune center has also done some work on Tegra.

Question : Are there any more Tegra devices being worked on? Do you have any Tegra prototypes out here?

Answer : What would you say is the chip’s forte? There are some 50 Tegra projects we’re working on. There are prototypes, but nearly all of them are in-house working samples. There are several things that the Tegra is very good at – computing performance is very good - that is running the OS, the browser, it’s almost as good as a PC, it’s also very good at HD and HD graphics, the graphics is better than most PCs. Compared to the competition we can support HD video, HD video streaming from the web, Flash 10 streaming and Flash 10 graphics very easily. We’re a visual computing company (as you know) and so our focus is building devices with great visual computing experiences.

Question : What would be the power consumption of Tegra compared to Atom? What was the thought behind the dramatic reduction in power consumption?

Answer : If Atom gave you eight hours in a netbook, Tegra would go a week. And the performance is comparable. The Tegra 650 would consume a few hundred mill watts at full load – negligible. In a typical PC the display consumes around 10~20 per cent of the total power consumed. With Tegra in a PC, the display would consume 95 per cent, nearly. And that makes sense – because your display is the only thing your eyes can see and what is really important to you. Your eyes don’t see electrons moving inside your PC, do they? If you can’t see it, why are you paying for it?

Question : Quite true…so would you say Tegra is the Atom killer?

Answer : You know, we don’t think about killing. At least I’ve been brought up believing that killing is wrong. What Tegra is, is a mobile computing enabler. Creation is what we’re looking at, not destruction.

Question : What platforms will Tegra support?

Answer : We’re working very hard with support for Google Android and Windows Mobile.

Question : No plans for Symbian?

Answer : No. It’s just too old. You need a real OS to support a real computing platform and Symbian support is not on the cards.

Question : After making such great devices aren’t you worried about them reaching masses? The Microsoft Zune HD and Samsung M1, for example, are not available in India

Answer : Maybe it’s because the Zune HD has sold out (laughs). Seriously, I think the solution to that problem is to simply make more devices. Eventually some of them will filter down, as market acceptance picks up, prices will fall too, especially given competition. If Samsung, for example, doesn’t want to sell devices like the M1 in India, it just creates an opportunity for someone else.

Question : Is there any device in the pipeline from NVIDIA, based on Tegra?

Answer : Not really, and the reason for that is every time we develop a chip, we start from the device and work backwards. We really imagine the device and then get down to building a chip to get us there. If nobody’s willing to build it, we’ll build it.

Question : Intel has plans for “Moorestown”, a similar SoC chip, slated for 2010. Any thoughts?

Answer : You can try to make a truck a smaller, but it’ll still be a truck. If you want to build an electric car, don’t start with a truck…just build an electric car. The only reason you would want to start with a truck, is if you feel there is no market for electric cars, and you don’t want to over-invest. But if you feel there is a huge market for it, you just go out there and build the best electric car; anything else is just bad strategy.


  1. Does that imply Symbian is not a real OS? That is nonsense.
    Old, yes. Not in your strategy? Fine. But it IS a real OS.

  2. Development on Symbian has already stopped, so it is DEAD !

  3. Development has not stopped and it's not dead. Those are lies. Suggest you do some research on that.

  4. Hope this will help you get some knowledge : http://www.watblog.com/2011/03/29/nokia-to-symbian-developers-migrate-to-wp7-or-die/

    Letter by Vice President Himself !

  5. Just to add more :

    In all CES mobile announcements, there wasn't single mention of Symbian.
    Standard is iPhone+Android, or iPhone+WM+Android (for Microsoft
    sponsored gizmos).

    Hell, people are even mentioning ChromeOS as potential OS for their gizmos/apps/whatever.

    But Symbian? Not even a single company mentioned it!

    If anything can tell you that OS is dead, it would be this.

    Read this also : http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/04/nokia-to-slash-4000-jobs-move-3000-jobs-and-symbian-to-accenture.html

  6. Yes, it means Symbian is going to be dropped by Nokia. And now now, in the future.
    IE - not dead.

  7. Symbian will be supported and developed at least until 2016.
    Furthermore, simply because there are no CES announcements doesn't mean it's dead. Take a look at Ovi Store and all the new apps that keeps flourishing in. Take a look at the Symbian community. Take a look at all developers still developing for Symbian even though they know Nokia will stop using it.
    IE - not dead.

    Will it eventually die? Yes. But that is not now, not here.
    But on the other hand, eventually all operating systems die. It's just a matter of time.

  8. Even when Nokia Vice President has officially said that they are killing Symbian and no phones would be there after 2012 having Symbian, I don't know what's so hard in it to understand.

    Saying that Symbian will continue till 2016, is either you are the CEO of Nokia or just a freaked out fan of Symbian !

  9. After 2012, there will be no more smaerphones using Symbian from Nokia. That much is clear. Whether Nokia intends to use Symbian for something else--such as their low-end phones, remain to be seen.

    Regardless of the fact, they are still selling Symbian phones this year and they will continue pushing out updates. They will be released dual cores Symbian phones.

    And don't forget the user base. There are several HUNDRED MILLIONS symbian users out there. That and with Qt, there is no longer any excuse for developers not to develop for symbian. It's a healthy platform that is being phased out. It's dead when people no longer use it.

  10. I repeat, No phone of Nokia, includes all phone will ship Symbian after 2012.

    What is the source of your information that they will release Dual Core Symbian phones ? Initially you said no smart phone carrying Symbian and now dual core, again you must be the CEO :P

    No updates are being launched for any Symbian phones now, read the news :)

    Symbian share is dropping exponentially and Android has #1 share in Market. Why would someone develop any app for Symbian who knows that it will die ?

  11. There are still going to be phones released this year, presumably with better hardware. Hence, Symbian with dual core.

    Updates are still being delivered. One update is around the corner (presumably). And another one is planned. By Nokia's own words.

    The share may be dropping, or perhaps more correctly, Android share may be increasing exponentially, BUT the platform still has several hundred million users. Why would you ignore such a market?

  12. "There are still going to be phones released this year, presumably with better hardware. Hence, Symbian with dual core.

    are still being delivered. One update is around the corner
    (presumably). And another one is planned. By Nokia's own words."

    Can you please post the source of this information from official Nokia Website ?

    Suppose a company is dying and other company is increasing, on whom would you invest money on ?

  13. I'm just going to start a new thread, since the old one is getting so narrow, it's just ridiculous.

    "Q1 Symbian update will include over 50 features, including a more
    intuitive browser, while second- and third-quarter updates will add “a
    new look and feel for the user interface, a more flexible home screen,
    an updatable HTML5 browser and an easier software update experience.” A
    hardware-related slide tipped upcoming 1GHz phones with more graphics
    memory in the second or third quarter, as well as dual-core phones and
    something called a “true zoom camera” in late 2011 or early 2012."

    Source: http://igyaan.in/2010/12/nokia-will-revamp-symbian-os-add-dual-core-processing/

    I have no idea if there is any official quote on any official Nokia page, however. Nevertheless, this news is echoed on quite some pages on the web.

    Nokia CEO also promises updates for Symbian at least until 2016. See http://www.electronista.com/articles/11/05/26/symbian.still.a.part.of.smartphone.os.options/ for example.

    And if I were to have a choice between developing for a "dying" company and one which isn't, I would take a look at the situation. Can I develop for both, I ask? If I can, is it worth developing for the dying company? Would it be worth the investment?
    In case of Nokia (which isn't dying, btw), I would see an install base of several hundred million. That would make it worth the time and effort.

    Naturally, I would develop for the trends, as well. If there is opportunity to be had, why ignore it?

  14. None of your links are official or of reputed sites, so no comment on them !

    No company would ever develop anything for a dying community. Never has been done before and never would be done again. Nokia itself wants to kill Symbian bcos it does not have capabilities to cope up with new hardware and advancements and development is very touch.

    If Nokia didn't want to kill Symbian and promote it, why did it sign pact with Microsoft for Windows Mobile ?

  15. Reputed sites will likely differ from our views, so go ahead and google it. A lot of sites will echo that news.

    Companies HAVE developed for dying communities and still are. Many companies are still developing for Symbian.
    Nokia does not want to kill Symbian. Nokia wants to transition to another smartphone platform. The reason being not that Symbian does not have the capabilities to support new hardware and advancements, but because the OS is old, and updates are slow. Furthermore, the name has a bad sigma.

    So Nokia wants to use a new OS as their primary smart phone platform. It doesn't mean they're abandoning Symbian or killing it. It only covers smartphones.

  16. 'Reputed sites will likely differ from our views, so go ahead and google it. A lot of sites will echo that news.' Can you please give link of one reputed site ?

    'Companies HAVE developed for dying communities and still are. Many companies are still developing for Symbian.' Companies like ?

  17. Two companies come to mind... Layar (http://www.layar.com), SBSH (http://www.sbsh.net).

    And if you want to hear directly from the horse's mouth (CEO) about updates, check this video: http://dailymobile.se/2011/05/26/nokia-stephen-elop-interviewed-by-nokia-conversations/

  18. Ok let me ask a question. Suppose you have a new product, you want to launch it. You have budget of developing for only one platform. Which one it would be in Mobile OS ?

  19. That is a different matter. In that case, I would prioritize the one with the best future outlook, ie not a platform that is being phased out.

  20. The same thing Tegra is doing :D

  21. Yes, I said that was fine. All I said was that Symbian wasn't dead.

  22. Fair enough, not dead, but will be dead. For me both are same as a Developer :)

  23. Eventually it will be dead, but how long until then?

    For now, its installbase is more than enough to make it worth it for me as a developer to create new applications for it.

  24. And again same question goes on, why would you develop something for a dying platform, rather than concentrating on upcoming growing platforms, putting more efforts on Android and making it a better app !!!

  25. Starting new Thread :

    And again same question goes on, why would you develop something for a dying platform, rather than concentrating on upcoming growing platforms, putting more efforts on Android and making it a better app !!!

  26. "We do have the ability to reach out to very large numbers of well identified consumers. With our existing smartphone
    operating system we have, today, over 200 million registered users, 60
    million of whom are active in our apps and store environment on a
    [rolling] thirty day basis." 

    "Around the world we have
    tremendous reach. It is today that we are adding 140,000 new registered
    users [every day]... and they are downloading 5 million items a day [now
    6 million]."

    If this doesn't convince you Symbian isn't dead and is a valuable platform, then I don't know what will.
    Source: http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/12983_Stephen_Elops_keynote_at_Qualc.php

  27. 1. Ok we will not say symbian is dead we will respectfully say it is going to retire from its job. (It is becoming old, have to die eventually)

    2. People who are fan of symbian will keep on using it. just like old typewriters just like floppy drives, magnetic tapes. But will eventually die like punch cards.
    3. There are some other awesome platforms. I guess the only innovation coming from nokia now a days is from QT development. Their plan to ship WP7 may be their ultimate mistake.
    Lastly I would say Nokia itself is dying.. Just wait for my next post at www.tutafuta.com, there was one half baked post I will complete today.

  28. You need to read this : http://tutafuta.com/2011/06/12/cover-story-whats-happening-with-nokia/

  29. That article is a load of nonsense.
    The reason Nokia went with Windows Phone is just BECAUSE they have the ability to stand out from the crowd. They have access to make changes in the code, or something similar, due to their deal with Microsoft.
    Nokia's CEO said it himself, that going with Android would make Nokia just another Android manufacturer. But going with Windows Phone, they will become a unique manufacturer.

    Regardless, whether Nokia will persist or not is not for me to say. That's for time to say. I am skeptical about Windows Phone, as well, but neither am I impressed with Android. So time will tell. For now, Symbian lives and its ecosystem is healthy (although perhaps not as healthy as Android).

  30. LOL ! Are you on drugs ?

    Puneet check this out, 'They have access to make changes in the code, or something similar, due to their deal with Microsoft.'

    Windows going open source !

    EssentiaX, you need some sleep, go have it ! LOL, you just cracked the joke of the century :D

    Anyways what does Android lack, that you are not impressed ?

  31. No, check these quotes:

    "Nokia will help drive and define the future of Windows Phone. Nokia will contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies."

    "Nokia and Microsoft will closely collaborate on development, joint
    marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the
    future evolution of mobile products."

    Source: http://conversations.nokia.com/2011/02/11/open-letter-from-ceo-stephen-elop-nokia-and-ceo-steve-ballmer-microsoft/

    As for Android vs Symbian, what features does Android have that Symbian lacks? Tell me that. Except for applications.
    Also, you can do a comparison of Nokia N8 vs your favorite android phone.

  32. I guess you are far from reality, Nokia is dying. 

    If we go by your logic, HTC was once making Windows phones revived its business, Motorola once was on the verge of bankruptcy is now back to the market, Samsung became $ machine just coz of android. Not because they all are selling some hardware with an OS by Google. They have highly modified their Android, Now if you look at sense you can never say that it is Android it totally takes to another world. Nokia already said to its developers to stop developing for symbian and get ready for WP7. http://www.watblog.com/2011/03/29/nokia-to-symbian-developers-migrate-to-wp7-or-die/
    I guess you are the only correct person on this planet and rest of the people even CEO of Nokia is a fool.

  33. Ok I can tell many architectural differences but let me start with simplest of all 
    ECOSYSTEM, Android has an ecosystem for developers Symbian does not. Its Ovi is a pup.

  34. Nokia can suggest features in Windows Mobile, 'IT CANNOT ALTER OR CHANGE THE CODE OF WINDOWS MOBILE AS PER IT's NEED ! Is it that hard to understand ?

    Moreover, read the link that Puneet highlighted : http://conversations.nokia.com/2011/02/11/open-letter-from-ceo-stephen-elop-nokia-and-ceo-steve-ballmer-microsoft/

    And as far as Android vs Symbian, goes I feel a joke comparing them, If Symbian is Maruti 800, Android is AUDI for the same price. Both are cards, but you can see the difference !

    Comparing Android and Symbian here its goes : http://www.cascus.tk/2011/05/12-reasons-why-android-is-better-than.html

  35. Can you install any equivalent of cynogenmod for symbian on your N8?Can you root your device or have complete control for your device?
    No you cant. If I will start writing why android is better you will probably end up reading my comment whole night

  36. The 12 reasons are not compelling enough to dump Symbian. It's fine for those who don't need the extra things. The apps are enough. And Android eats battery like crazy, while Symbian phones last several days. I don't use my phone for games.
    Plus Symbian has the best phone camera available. No Android can match, or probably will in the near future.

    And let me repeat: the future is NOT now. For now, Symbian is healthy. That will change. But it is not now.

  37. Do I need any of those? I do not.
    Thank you.

    Feel free to list why Android is better.

  38. I have no idea what you are trying to point out.

  39. LOL ! And here goes the list of compromises, I will get Maruti 800 and AUDI for same price, but I will buy Maruti 800 :P Stupid People !

  40. Have you ever used Symbian ? I have N97 and Samsung Galaxy S. N97 battery backup 1.5 days MAX, Galaxy S : 3 days +

    And Sony Ericsson Tatino & TOshiba Regza have 12 MP Carel Zeiss cameras, hoep you didn't knew that, both run Android !

  41. Ok, let's end this up, why did CEO of Nokia asked Symbian developers to stop development and shift to Windows Mobile ? Any thoughts on this ? You are very smart, think what CEO of Nokia himself can;t think ?


  42. Man whatever religion you belongs to, but one thing is for sure, one of your God is Nokia. I was saying Nokia is dying you said not now it will die in 2016. Grow up man. After 2012 there will be no development on symbian. Nokia can not dump all the phones which people already bought so they have to support them till 2016. You may think as Symbian is alive but became brain dead and is on Life support system. No one can save it. It will have to go. We will remember it for a long time. 

    Please don't cry we all are sad but every thing that comes to this world has to go some day. Some day Android will also Die to give space for a better thing. 

  43. I repeat "Can you install any equivalent of cynogenmod for symbian on your N8?Can you root your device or have complete control for your device?" 

  44. OK, let me sum this up.
    Is Symbian dead? NO.
    Is Symbian being phased out? YES.
    Are a massive amount of applications still being developed for Symbian? YES.
    Is Symbian better than Android or Android better than Symbian? NO. They are different operating systems and will please different people.
    Is Nokia dying? In my firm opinion, NO.

  45. I think I asked you a simple question, I repeat : 'Why did CEO of Nokia asked Symbian developers to stop development and shift to Windows Mobile ?'

  46. Like I said. Symbian is alive, for now. Don't proclaim it dead.
    Will Symbian die someday? Yes. But it is NOT now.

    Yes, Symbian will go to its grave. I know. I have accepted this part of life. But until it goes into its grave, I will keep using it, because at the moment, it offers the best value to me, and to others. It isn't dead.

    Will developers stop developing for Symbian after 2012? Who knows?

  47. No to the first.
    No to the second via any official means.

  48. I think it sums it up. They are transitioning from Symbian to Windows Phone. Transitioning.

  49. You are surely on WEED ! Had a check up recently ? :P

  50. Rooting is always unofficial. :P

  51. o_O
    I don't use drugs, or smoke, or drink.

  52. Symbian has better battery life, you know...
    And N8 has a better camera that any Android.

  53. Your comments say something else !

  54. >>And why do they want to shift?
    Because Symbian has become too heavy to maintain and update and MeeGo too immature.

  55. Are you really stupid or you are pretending ?

    I said I have both Android and N97, and I told you the truth !

    Moreover, I told you names of mobiles who have better cameras than any nokia phone !

  56. >>Your comments say something else!
    According to you. It simply seems that you cannot grasp that there are Symbian fans still out there. I chose Symbian over Android on purpose.

  57. Finally you understand the truth ! Thank God !

  58. >>Are you really stupid or you are pretending ?

    >>I said I have both Android and N97, and I told you the truth !

    >>Moreover, I told you names of mobiles who have better cameras than any nokia phone !
    Geez. Prove that, please.
    Or shall I have to stuff facts down your throat again?

  59. You are the last one of your kind on this Planet. Protect yourself, before Android community eat you !

  60. I am not. I can guarantee you that.

  61. Prove that ? I'm USING THEM ! I REPEAT, I'M USING THEM !

  62. That proves nothing!
    Compare a picture taken with your Android phone to one by N8!

  63. You want proofs, check this, taken this picture from N8, flash flooding problem : http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4228294&l=0958a77b9f&id=512569775

  64. Are you dense, or what? No technology is perfect.
    Does that happen with every photo? NO!
    You just went out and picked a bad example of a sample from N8. On purpose.

  65. It happens with every picture taken in LOW LIGHT ! EVERY EVERY ADN EVERY PICTURE. You can google about this problem with Nokia Phones, many many many people face it ! Any answers now ?

  66. IT DOES NOT.
    I have taken lots of pictures with N8 myself and confirm that THIS IS NOT THE CASE.

  67. http://www.google.com/search?q=flash+flooding+problem+with+nokia+n8&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#sclient=psy&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=hfr&rls=org.mozilla:en-US%3Aofficial&source=hp&q=flash+flooding+problem+with+nokia+&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=dec61ef5b522380e&biw=1366&bih=665

  68. I am not going to argue with an Android fanboy.

  69. Now what happened HUH ? Can you see that the world is saying ? Did you click that link ? Saw how many people facing that issue ? HUH ?

  70. You only see bad things in everything Nokia. Therefore, I am not going to argue anymore. I'm tired of it.

  71. >> You only see bad things in everything Nokia. Therefore, I am not going to argue anymore. I'm tired of it.

    You said Nokia has best camera. Who said it ? YOU ! Did I point it out ? I was telling you the truth ? What ? Truth !!!

  72. Just a confirmation. Did I see this reply? Did I read it? Yes to both. Did I continue pursuing the discussion? No.

  73. Do you have a point against Android ? NO

    Do you have a point for Nokia ? NO

    Are you going Insane ? YES

    Is this usual ? YES

    You are going to kiss your Nokia now, like a helpless KID ? YES !

  74. Yes ! The only thing you can do now and you don't have any points to say :)

    You have been punched with Android, go check your first aid box !

  75. Any point I would make would add to more argument.
    I have been smitten by Symbian.

  76. Yeah, hopefully in a few years.

  77. :) Anyways, no hard feelings, I respect Nokia and Symbian, but it's time we should move on !

    Trust me it was awesome talking to you :) Thanks for your insight ! :)

    Have a nice day ahead ! Hope to see you soon back on TechQuark.com, for more intense debate on something else :)


  78. Unfortunately, we have to move on. Still, I will eagerly await Nokia's next revolutionizing mobile, whatever OS it might use.

  79. Hmm, will be Windows Mobile, but it would have been great it they went with Android :)