NVIDIA President and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang

Nvidia unveils new mobile chip for tablets and phones

Chipmaker Nvidia has unveiled its new Tegra 3 processor chip in a bid to capture more of the tablet and mobile phone market.

The new quad-core chip is in production and Nvidia says its delivers up to three times the graphics performance of its predecessor while using 61 per cent less power.

It is California-based Nvidia's latest bet to expand into the fast-growing mobile market as tablets like Apple's iPad eat into sales of personal computers.

The chipmaker, which started out making graphics chips for PCs and still makes most of its revenue that way, expects devices using the new processors to be on sale by the end of the year, Chief Executive Jen-Hsun Huang said in September.

Early in 2011, Nvidia's Tegra 2 mobile chip, which is based on architecture licensed from Britain's ARM Holdings, was included in several new gadgets from Samsung, Asustek Computer and LG Electronics, raising Nvidia's profile with investors as well as its stock price.

The first tablet to use the Tegra 3 chip will be Asustek's Eee Pad Transformer Prime, Nvidia said.

ARM's power-sipping chip architecture is widely favored for mobile devices that depend on batteries and is also used by Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

Intel so far has failed to find a foot hold in the mobile market and is hurrying to adapt its chip architecture, originally designed to make powerful PCs, to work efficiently in smartphones and tablets.

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