Nvidia Renews Push Into Cell Phones

Nvidia Corp. announced three chips for cell phones, including the company's first licensable 3D core.

Nvidia Corp. announced three chips for cell phones on Wednesday, including the companys first licensable 3D core.

Nvidia, based in Santa Clara, Calif., launched the GoForce 3000 and GoForce 4000 media processors at the 3GSM show in Cannes, France, on Wednesday. Mitsubishi Ltd. will use both chips in its upcoming cell phones. Nvidia also said a core reportedly developed by its MediaQ team, the AR10, can now be licensed by cell phone makers and other companies.

Nvidia dubbed the AR10 core a "3D core," and Nvidia spokesman Derek Perez confirmed that the core contains dedicated 3D hardware. The AR10 can perform 3D shader operations, the company said. Both of the GoForce chips are optimized for 2D operations and video, the staple of most 3G smartphones.

However, Nvidia is months behind rival ATI Technologies in designing chips for handhelds, according to one Wall Street analyst. "We believe the media processor announcement was expected, comparable to ATIs Imageon product which has been out for some time," wrote Hans Mosesmann, an analyst with Schwab Soundview Capital Markets, in a note to clients Wednesday morning. "Nvidia is about 6-12 months late relative to ATI, in our estimation."

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