(For other news from Reuters Global Technology Summit, click
* Sees Android tablets overtaking iPad
* At least 10 design wins for Kal-El chip
* Nvidia builds mobile business as tablets hit PCs
(Rewrites first paragraphs, adds detail and comments)
By Noel Randewich
NEW YORK, May 16 Apple's iPad is finally about to
get some real competition.
At least according to Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and chief
executive of chip designer Nvidia.
In under three years, he says tablets using Google's (GOOG.O)
Android platform -- and his company's processors -- could overtake
Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) red-hot iPad as improved versions and more
applications hit the market.
That would be about how long it took smartphones running
Google's Android software to overtake the iPhone.
"The Android phone took only two and a half years to achieve
the momentum that we're talking about. I would expect the same
thing on Honeycomb tablets," Huang told the Reuters Technology
Summit in New York on Monday.
Sportscar enthusiast Huang said tablets using new versions of
Android, including Honeycomb, would outsell iPads as developers
create and improve more games and other software for them.
The maker of graphics chips for PCs became a Wall Street
darling this year with the launch of its Tegra 2 processors,
establishing it as a major player in high-end smartphones and
tablets by manufacturers like Samsung (005930.KS) and Motorola
But with stiff competition from the iPad 2, some investors
question whether Apple's lead in tablets is too big for
Android-based tablets to catch up.
With its touchscreen and on-demand applications, Apple's
iPhone set the standard for smartphones when it was launched in
But phones using Android now outsell iPhones and are
increasingly popular in China and other emerging markets.
Huang said Nvidia's next-generation mobile processor, code
named Kal-El, has already won spots in several devices planned by
major PC and phone manufacturers, including phones, tablets and
"It's got to be at least 10. We have five major phone
companies and we have five major PC (manufacturers)," he said.
Kal-El will boast quad-core processing and higher-resolution
graphics as competitors Qualcomm (QCOM.O) and Texas Instruments
TXN.N also gear up to launch new tablet chips.
Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia is racing to build its
mobile business as competition heats up in its traditional
business of designing graphics chips for PCs.
It posted stronger-than-expected results and guidance last
week, but its shares slumped 11 percent in the following session
as investors focused on a sluggish growth outlook for PC
graphics, which generate two-thirds of the company's revenue.
Rivals Intel (INTC.O) and Advanced Micro Devices AMD.N have
launched central processors with integrated graphics this year,
which might erode demand for Nvidia's low-end chips, and some
consumers are buying tablets instead of PCs.
But shares of Nvidia have gained about 35 percent over the
past six months, largely due to optimism about its small but
expanding Tegra chip business.
APPLE VS THE WORLD
Apple tightly controls the design of its gadgets and the
software that runs on them in order to deliver very specific
experiences to its customers.
But Google gives away Android for free to manufacturers, who
use it on their own smartphones and tablets.
"As a result of so many different parties working together,
the first versions tend to be a bit clumsy to roll out. However,
as is the nature of these organic industries with very, very large
players, you have continuous improvement at a very rapid pace,"
"Everyone recognized the shortcomings of Honeycomb 3.0,
jumped in working on Honeycomb 3.1, and if you haven't had a
chance to play with it -- it's just delightful," he added.
(For more from the summit, see [ID:nN13240922] )
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Matthew Lewis, Phil
((email@example.com; 415-677-2542; Reuters
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