Giants like Microsoft and Samsung are getting ready to launch portable HD video players in India. And powering such devices would be NVIDIA Corporations’ mobile device processor Tegra. The firm plans to concentrate on “mobile operating systems” in future and considers India as the best market for devices that run on such systems. NVIDIA Chief Executive Officer Jen-Hsun Huang shares his business plans for India with Kaustubh Kulkarni. Edited excerpts:
NVIDIA processors are very expensive as compared to those from ATI. What kind of market share do you have in India?
We have a dominant market share in India — both in consumer and professional graphics processing units (GPUs). Therefore, it is clear to us that users demand our technology and believe they are receiving value for money. We have also invested heavily in introducing a new generation of very low-cost devices to market, based on our Tegra technology. This tiny chip will be the basis of devices like smartbooks, smartphones, tablets and internet TVs which are affordable as well as delightful.
With India’s 3G plans getting delayed, how do you see NVIDIA’s GPU business grow here?
Implementation of 3G in India remains an issue to be resolved. Unless, 3G comes into practice, mobile operating systems or processors would not have much role to play. We are in talks with a number of cellphone companies and other players concerned to promote Tegra as a mobile device processor. However, once 3G becomes operational, Tegra can easily grow in the Indian market. The NVIDIA Tegra family of computers-on-a-chip, cater to handheld and mobile platforms —from smartphones, MP3 players, and portable navigation devices (PNDs) to mobile internet devices (MIDs).
When it comes do different devices, where do you see the market growing?
Cellphones, notebook PCs, other mobile devices like navigation tools would grow in the Indian market faster than other developed markets. With processors like Tegra, the size of mobile operating devices is reducing fast. For example, using a processor like Tegra, a notebook PC can be manufactured at a price of say $200 (around Rs 9,200). And internet service providers can easily offer such a notebook PC free of cost if the buyers sign an agreement for internet user for a specific period.
What kind of challenge does the AMD-ATI combined pose to NVIDIA processors?
AMD is one of the three important computing companies in the world. Of course their ability to bundle the central processing unit (CPU) and GPU makes them extremely competitive but, although we clearly compete with them in the GPU space, we believe our strategies are fundamentally different. Our strategy is to create products the world has never seen before and open up new markets for our technology. AMD’s strategy is to take market share from us.
Intel is looking seriously at the GPU business. How does NVIDIA plan to tackle the same?
Intel’s interest in entering the GPU market is the ultimate compliment. It shows we are doing something so fundamentally right that they can’t help but follow! Of course, Intel is an extremely smart company with huge resources. Hence, the bar is set very high for us to compete with them. Our strategy here is simply to focus on the areas where we know our technology is needed and Intel cannot compete because it does not have the expertise or the legacy to go there. Our success lies in the intensity of our focus — we have many products but just one business, which is visual computing. No other company in the world can say this.