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Nvidia, Qualcomm take lead in apps processors

Posted: 09 Jan 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:applications processors? tablets? smartphones?

According to reports from Strategy Analytics, revenue for mobile applications processors grew at a massive 77 per cent for tablets and 58 per cent for smartphones in Q3 with Nvidia and Qualcomm at the forefront.

Nvidia held its lead in non-iPad tablets, taking a third of the sector and 17 per cent of the overall tablet processor market. Apple still dominates with its A-series chips in 53 per cent of all tablets, given the iPad's success.

Overall $900 million in integrated tablet processors sold in the quarter, up 77 per cent from the same quarter in 2011, said the market watcher in its tablet report that tracks chips from 13 vendors. (See the table report here)

Only one per cent of the tablet chips included base bands, limiting design wins for integrated parts from Broadcom, Mediatek and Qualcomm, the market watcher said. Design wins in the Google Nexus 7 and Microsoft Surface propelled Nvidia ahead of rivals Texas Instruments, Qualcomm and Samsung.

"Nvidia is well-positioned to maintain its share in non-iPad tablets in the next few quarters," said Sravan Kundojjala, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.

Qualcomm leads in smartphones

Qualcomm took 42 per cent of the $3.8 billion market for mobile processors in smartphones in the third quarter, Strategy Analytics estimated. Samsung took second place at 27 per cent thanks to the use of its Exynos chip in its Galaxy S III and Note II handsets.

Mediatek ranked third with 12 per cent share, followed by Broadcom and ST-Ericsson in the report that tracked 16 chip vendors. Texas Instrumentsnow refocused on embedded systemsdropped out of the top-five smartphone applications processor rankings in both unit and revenue terms for the first time. (see the report here)

Nvidia's share of the smartphone sector remained flat, the company reported. However it is expected to make gains as it rolls integrated LTE base bands into its SoC later in 2013, it said.

Among other rising stars, China's Spreadtrum grabbed 1.7 per cent share in the quarter with strength particularly in China's TD-SCDMA standard. Intel eked out a 0.2 per cent share as it gained design wins for its Atom-based SoC.

Qualcomm's share in the Android ecosystem dropped from over 60 per cent in early 2011 to about 35 per cent in the third quarter, the market watcher said. Meanwhile Mediatek saw ten-fold growth in revenue for its smartphone apps processors compared to the same quarter in 2011.

"MediaTek continues to chase Qualcomm hard with its integrated strategy and the company gained significant share during the quarter," said Stuart Robinson, director of the company's Handset Component Technologies service.

- Rick Merritt
??EE Times

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