Nvidia's bread and butter has always been discrete GPUs. Even after giving up some ground to AMD in the first quarter of 2011, Nvidia still holds the top spot in discrete graphics market share with a dominating 59.12 percent of the pie, a healthy lead over AMD at 40.46 percent, according to data by Jon Peddie Research ( see AMD's market share comments below ). By 2015, however, mobile chips will be Nvidia's biggest money maker.
According to CNet , Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang recently told reporters he expects his company's mobile chip business to grow ten times what it is today by 2015. By that time, he expects it to be a $20 billion business for Nvidia, or nearly three times as large as Nvidia's graphics business, which Mr. Huang figures will grow 75 percent to $7 billion.
Mr. Huang is banking on Nvidia's Tegra platform continuing to be a popular option for upcoming tablets and smartphones, noting that Nvidia and Qualcomm are currently the only ones really attacking the mobile market.
"We're the only person on the dance floor with Qualcomm," Mr. Huang said.
According to his figures, Tegra chips make up half of the high-end Android smartphone market and almost three-quarters (70 percent) of Android tablets. But it's early still, and both AMD and Intel have shown significant interest in serving the mobile market with chips of their own.
AMD got in touch with us to clarify our market share numbers, as reported by Jon Peddie Research. AMD points out that the 59.12 percent figure "is just in terms of desktop discrete. With notebook discrete market share split down the middle, AMD has 45.4 percent share of the total discrete market, by unit volume."