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NVIDIA Falling Behind on Replacement SHIELD Tablet Shipments After Recall Affects Nearly 90K Owners

Posted by Tim-o-tato September - 2 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

In late July, NVIDIA issued a recall for SHIELD Tablets purchased between July, 2014 and July, 2015. According to an email hitting the inbox of at least one purchaser that we know of, NVIDIA and the 3rd-party company who handles the replacement of affected tablets is struggling to meet the needs for a portion of the nearly 90,000 owners affected. 

As it was, the wait for a replacement tablet was set between 2 to 4 weeks, but we have one reader who has not had a usable tablet for 5 weeks now after submitting a claim for a replacement. As stated on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) website, which details the recall, 83,000 tablets in the US are affected by the recall, in addition to another 5,000 that were purchased in Canada.

Here is the email hitting patient customers’ inbox.

Dear NVIDIA tablet owner,

We apologize for the delay in sending your replacement SHIELD Tablet.

We are fulfilling claims as quickly as we can, in the order in which they were received. In some cases, we are running behind our target delivery of 2-4 weeks. We’re doing everything we can to accelerate the schedule.

We’ll notify you when your unit ships. In the meantime, should you have any questions, please contact us at nvidiashieldtablet@stericycle.com.

Thanks for your patience.

NVIDIA

Are you still waiting for your SHIELD Tablet replacement? Let’s hear about it.

Via: CPSC
Cheers Eric!

NVIDIA Falling Behind on Replacement SHIELD Tablet Shipments After Recall Affects Nearly 90K Owners is a post from: Droid Life

NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV console now available at the Play Store

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Starting today, graphics and device manufacturer NVIDIA have announced that North American customers can now purchase their NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV directly from the Google Play Store. It took a while for what is currently the world’s most powerful Android device in the market to get to Google’s online portal, but it’s there now.

Let us remind you why this is an Android TV device worth getting. For one, the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV console has the most powerful internals you can find out in the market today for an Android device – bar none. It packs the NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor, a 256-core (!!!) Maxwell graphics chip, supported by 3GB RAM, and either 16GB or 64GB of internal storage. This beast is ready for 4K displays and playback for 4K content up to 60fps.

xSHIELD_Google_Store_002

As of now, there are 135 games specifically for this platform sold via the NVIDIA Hub store, while there are around 300+ more via the Google Play Store. Of course, the TV element is not bad at all. There are 800 apps for Android TV, and streaming your media from server to your big-screen display will be a lot easier on the NVIDIA SHIELD.

FXNOW_Featured

All this for at a USD$200 price tag, and you can see why people are excited at this device. Gaming, media streaming – name it, the SHIELD can do it for you. Check out the link below if you want to purchase it.

SOURCE: NVIDIA
PURCHASE Google Store

Nvidia Shield Android TV now available from Google Store for $199

Posted by wicked August - 26 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off
c

While the Nvidia Shield console has been available since May, for some reason the Android TV player wasn’t made available through the Google store – until today.

Priced at the same $199 and $299 for the 16GB and 500GB models respectively, the Nvidia Shield is easily one of the best Android TV devices on the market and is particularly exciting for Android gamers, as well as those interested in the Shield’s PC game streaming capabilities. In addition to providing up to 500GB storage, the Shield Android TV is powered by a Tegra X1 with 2GB RAM. Even more important, the Shield has surprisingly good gamepads that resemble an Xbox controller and allow you to take your mobile and PC gaming experience to the next level.

The Nvidia Shield comes with a single controller out of the box, though you can buy additional controllers for $59.99, or a more traditional remote for $49.99.

If you’re at all interested in Android TV, the Nvidia Shield is a great option and at an excellent price. To get an even better idea of what to expect, be sure to check out our full review, where Lanh gave the Shield TV a 9 out of 10 rating. What do you think, anyone planning on picking this one up now that it has hit the Google Store?

Get it now from the Google Store!

NVIDIA SHIELD Now Available on the Google Store for $199

Posted by Kellex August - 26 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

This seems like something that should have happened from day 1, but the NVIDIA SHIELD gaming system that NVIDIA doesn’t want to call a gaming system, is now available on the Google Store. It’s priced at $199, just like it is everywhere else.

As a recap, the NVIDIA SHIELD runs Android TV and can act as the media hub for your living room. It plays 4K content from places like YouTube and Netflix, is a gaming beast with its Tegra X1 chipset, 256-core GPU, and controller built for gamers, and also looks pretty damn sweet. 

The $199 model comes with 16GB of storage, but there is also a “Pro” model available with 500GB of storage for $100 more at $299.

To see Tim’s impressions of the SHIELD, be sure to hit up this post.

Google Store Link

All of the accessories for the SHIELD (controllers, remote, and stand) can be purchased as well.

NVIDIA SHIELD Now Available on the Google Store for $199 is a post from: Droid Life

Qualcomm’s high horse: can anyone knock them off?

Posted by wicked August - 18 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off
qualcomm logo mwc 2015 4

Qualcomm has been the biggest player in the mobile SoC market for the past few years, powering a wide selection of Android smartphones and tablets with its range of high and mid performance processors. However, the loss of Samsung as a major customer, troubles with its high-end Snapdragon 810 processor and the growth in cost-effective smartphones has left Qualcomm to rethink their market position with a major workforce restructure.

Compounding Qualcomm’s problems, the company has posted poor financial results for the year so far and is now under investigation by the European Commission regarding predatory pricing tactics in the mobile market. With chink’s appearing in Qualcomm’s armor, is there a mobile SoC manufacturer out there who can step up to claim pole position?

Samsung

Samsung may seem like the most obvious contender, having topped the benchmarks with its Exynos 7420 processor this year. The high-end market is the most lucrative, with higher margins for both consumer and processor products. As a result, the decline in flagship smartphone sales has hurt Qualcomm’s revenue this year.

Samsung, on the other hand, has seen big gains in its semi-conductor business lately due to its own manufacturing capability. The company’s products have ended up benefiting from its cutting edge processor designs and manufacturing processes. Samsung beat Qualcomm to 14/16nm this year, as Qualcomm is reliant on TSMC’s manufacturing facilities.

AnTuTu top 10 smartphones Q1 2015

The Galaxy S6, powered by Samsung’s Exynos 7420, topped the benchmarks in Q1.

The trouble with Samsung is that its Exynos line-up of mobile chips have remained virtually exclusive to Samsung phones. Only a handful of manufacturers, such as Meizu which is rumored to use Samsung’s leading Exynos 7420 in its MX5 Pro, have made regular use of Exynos processors. However, Samsung is gradually building up a portfolio of modern chips that might appeal to a larger range of manufacturers, from low-end quad-core 3470, last generation octa and hexa-core 5 series, and its high end Exynos 7 range.


samsung galaxy s6 edge aa 22See also: A closer look at the Galaxy S6’s Exynos 7420 SoC18320838

However, production capacity is also potentially an issue here, with much of its supply used up on its own handsets. New orders from Apple for a new iPhone chip could use up the rest of its manufacturing space. Samsung has been making efforts to invest in additional manufacturing facilities and has been able to completely reduce its reliant on Qualcomm for its high-end phones this year, so perhaps the next step is to begin selling to additional OEMs.

MediaTek

If Samsung is Qualcomm’s biggest competitor in the high-end market, then MediaTek is hot on Qualcomm’s heels in the mid-tier. The MediaTek brand has long been synonymous with low-cost mobile products, but the semiconductor company has been rolling out vastly improved mid-range processors over the past couple of years and has grabbed itself a notable portion of this market too.

MediaTek mid market

MediaTek is after the “super-mid” smartphone market and offers competitive performance in a cost effective package.

MediaTek has been at the forefront of big.LITTLE ARM SoC designs, which has resulted in a range of mid-range octa-core processors capable of competitive performance at a fraction of Qualcomm’s costs.

the decline in flagship smartphone sales has hurt Qualcomm’s revenue this year.

Additional features, such as higher resolution support and built-in 4G LTE data connectivity, have also helped MediaTek level the playing field with Qualcomm in the mid-tier. MediaTek’s latest high-performance Helio processors, such as the deca-core X20, also offer OEMs something to think about when building higher-end products.

Due to the low cost nature of its SoCs, MediaTek has been been unaffected by the lack of demand for flagship smartphones and is currently capitalizing on the huge growth in emerging markets, such as China and India. As the next billion smartphone users come online, they may be more familiar with MediaTek than Qualcomm, which could secure the company a significant long-term share in these markets.

However, MediaTek’s problem remains its links to the Chinese government and past controversy regarding various security issues. While things have changed over the past few years, MediaTek’s reputation is perhaps its biggest barrier to challenging Qualcomm in more markets around the world.

Nvidia

If Nvidia’s recent financial results are anything to go by, the company is much more interested in the automotive industry these days than competing with the big names in the mobile SoC market.

Nvidia’s flagship Tegra X1 SoC boasts a cutting edge CPU design based on ARM’s Cortex range and GPU technology from the desktop Maxwell set of graphics cards. The SoC also competes with Qualcomm on display, camera, and audio features, something which not every other SoC developer can claim to do.

Nvidia-Shield-Android-TV-17

Gaming remains Nvidia’s main focus in the Android market. The company doesn’t seem interested in smartphones.

While its Tegra chips offer impressive gaming capabilities for its SHIELD console and tablet, Nvidia doesn’t have a portfolio range capable of contesting the low and mid segments of the market, and is more focused on 3D performance than efficient smartphone designs these days. However when it comes to tablets, Nvidia is still a compelling choice when stacked up next to Qualcomm’s processor.

Intel

Given how long it has taken Intel to push its processor technology into just a handful of smartphones, the company is unlikely to suddenly leap into pole position. However, Intel is looking to expand into the entry level market, and may be able to steal some share away from MediaTek and Qualcomm, providing that the price is right.

Intel is finally looking to push its SoFIA processors, recently renamed to the Atom X3, to mobile devices this year, along with its “Cherry Trail” Atom X5 and X7 processors.

Intel x3 series

Intel is focusing on the entry level market, but remains a long way behind its competition in terms of performance, battery life and features.

The company will have an integrated 3G modem alongside its processor, which might make it a more compelling chip for the low end market. However, with many regions and product categories already moving over to 4G, Intel is still a considerable way behind rivals such as MediaTek and Qualcomm.

Furthermore, its X5 and X7 remain without an integrated modem, leaving them mostly targeted at the tablet market. The Atom X3 range is targeted at phones with a retail value of less than $200 where margins are much smaller, so I don’t think that Qualcomm will be too worried.

AMD

AMD is perhaps a wild card here. The company has the manufacturing legacy, the CPU and the graphics technology to make a major play for the mobile market, but has so far remained even more distant than Intel about tackling the big mobile players.

While the company may be better known for its higher TDP A-Series of laptop processors and GCN GPUs these days, AMD is also a big player in the server business, with multi-core server SoCs built from familiar ARM Cortex CPUs.

AMD building blocks

The AMD Opteron A-Series was one of the first ranges to make use of quad and octa-core Cortex-A57 CPUs, which you can find in modern mobile SoCs. That’s pretty much where the similarities with mobile chips end, but the company has the experience and know-how to put a mobile product out there if it wanted.

In 2016 or early 2017, depending on how well the company sticks to its schedule, AMD is expected to release its first custom 64-bit ARMv8 CPU core, codenamed K12. This is expected to be built on a 14nm manufacturing process and is rumored to be targeted at embedded applications, notebooks, Chromebooks and perhaps even Android based devices, such as tablets. That being said, servers are expected to remain the primary market for K12.

AMD mobility roadmap 2016

AMD’s Amur and Styx APUs come with just 2W TDP, but it’s not clear if the company has any plans for smartphones.

The company’s latest roadmap showcases products that will bring its GCN graphics technology down to SoCs that fit within a 2W power budget, which is right in the mobile sweet spot. It will be interesting to see if AMD can provide GPU performance that competes with energy efficiency mobile designs from ARM, Imagination Technologies and Nvidia.

However, AMD doesn’t appear to have too much of an interest in the smartphone market, neither the premium nor cost effective segments. Recent interviews suggest that the company is betting big on mid-range laptops returning to popularity in the near future as people look for more productive computing solutions.

We probably won’t see AMD make a major play for smartphones any time soon, but perhaps continued pressures on the laptop market may force the company to revisit its approach in the future.

No-one?

While many other mobile SoC developers have been improving their product line-ups in 2015, Qualcomm may only be undergoing a temporary lull. The chip giant has its new high-end Snapdragon 820 SoC lined up for next year, which may the see company claw back ground from Samsung and reinstate itself as the performance king.

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 212, 412 and 612 fills out a portfolio that continues to offer something for every tier of the market, and the company remains at the cutting edge of modem, ISP and wireless mobile technology. Whether or not someone eventually overtakes Qualcomm remains to be seen, but the company will likely continue to be a major player in the mobile market for many years to come.

High performance SHIELD games get SHIELD Android TV compatibility

Posted by wicked August - 14 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Don’t you just hate it when NVIDIA plainly tells you that your device is not good enough for a specific game? And no, we don’t mean that in a relational/metaphysical way – a device’s feelings is tough enough for that (haha) – we mean that in a “your specs are not robust enough” for this game way. There are several games out there that are playable only on an NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet with its Tegra K chip and 256-core GPU. But rejoice now, because if you bought that (relatively) affordable NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV console, some of these games are now available for you. Click on the link titles to download.

Xenowerk-Android-Shield-Update

First up is that game with a maddening twist to the endless runner genre – you control not one but two players in “Twin Runners”, available now on the SHIELD Android TV for USD$2.49. Then you get that gorgeous platformer design by those Pixar guys, “Flyhunter Origins” is now available on the console for USD$2.97. Also available are “Pure Pool” (USD$5.23) and the top-down RPG shooter “Xenowerk” (USD$1.99).

TWOM-Android-Shield-Update

Then you also have “This War of Mine” (USD$14.99) – a beautiful game which will give gamers a bit of pause since it deals with the reality of war and violence, probably more gorgeous now on a big HD screen. Then you add to the group two games made specifically for the SHIELD Tablet and the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV – another top-down shooter called “Killing Floor: Calamity” by Tripwire Interactive (USD$4.99), and “WindWard” by Tasharen Entertainment, a PC game ported to the SHIELD platform and features battles between ancient ships.

windward

These ought to keep you entertained for quite a bit, especially if you already bought that NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV console and are looking for some gaming fun.

VIA: Droid Gamers (1), (2)

If you’re the owner of a NVIDIA Shield Android TV, you’ll be happy to hear that the popular set-top box is gaining support for seven more games. Two of the games are brand new titles, while five previously-announced games are just now gaining support for the Shield Android TV.

The new games coming to the platform are Windward and Killing Floor: Calamity, two action/adventure titles that will run you $9.99 and $4.99, respectively. The other five titles being added to the device’s roster are This War of Mine, Pure Pool, Flyhunter Origins, Xenowerk and Twin Runners 2. These five games range from $0.99 all the way up to $14.99, though the more expensive titles are definitely worth the premium price.

If you’ve purchased these games previously on another device, you should now be able to install them on your Android TV device. Oh, and if you don’t have a NVIDIA Shield Android TV, there’s still a pretty nice deal going on that can save you $25 off your entire order. Head to this link for more information on the promotion.

Download from Google Play:

NVIDIA SHIELD Gains Support for Seven New Games on Google Play

Posted by Tim-o-tato August - 13 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Seven new games for NVIDIA SHIELD owners are available for download through Google Play today, a few of which were downloadable for other regular smartphones and tablets, but were not supported on the Android TV platform.

The list of games includes This War of Mine, Killing Floor: Calamity, Windward, Pure Pool, Flyhunter Origins, Xenowerk, and Twin Runners 2. They range in price from $0.99 all the way to $14.99, but you can rest assured you will be getting a solid game for your shiny NVIDIA SHIELD and HDTV. 

The one I highly recommend is This War is Mine, priced at $14.99. In this game, you dodge daylight snipers, while upgrading and building a refuge in an apocalyptic world. At night, dare to venture outside your safe house to find supplies you and your comrades need to survive.

If you need a few more titles to get a bit of good use out of that SHIELD and SHIELD Controller, follow the links below and see if anything interests you.

Play Links: This War of Mine | Killing Floor: Calamity | Windward | Pure Pool | Flyhunter Origins | Xenowerk | Twin Runners 2

NVIDIA SHIELD Gains Support for Seven New Games on Google Play is a post from: Droid Life

NVIDIA Shield users can use GRID game streaming for free until September

Posted by wicked August - 9 - 2015 - Sunday Comments Off

NVIDIA Shield Android TV-2

NVIDIA’s promise to cater console-quality game streaming to the masses is enticing, but it is taking the company quite a bit of time to deliver. The NVIDIA GRID service was announced in the beginning of 2013, but has been under beta since then, only available to those who decide to buy into the platform and grabbing a Shield device.

These users have been enjoying GRID streaming a couple years for free, which is a nice treat… one that is not ending soon. While we have been expecting a release, since May and July, those months have come and gone with no good news. Now NVIDIA has updated its site to let us know Shield users can continue using the GRID streaming service free of charge until September 2015.

nvidia shield tablet first impressions (4 of 9)

That is really a nicer way to say the launch has been delayed significantly (even if it may make some of you happy). When we finally see GRID officially being released, there will be a subscription-based model put into action (much like Netflix, Hulu, etc.), as well as full games you will be able to purchase individually.

Just in case you are not in the loop, we are talking about streaming high-end games with console-quality graphics here. And latency is said to be minimal, making it possible for gamers around the world to play state of the art titles without expensive hardware – they would just need a stable and fast internet connection.

Nvidia GRID game streaming

Pretty awesome, right? September is only a month away, so sit tight and be patient. I mean, we have already waited over 2 years; can’t hurt to hold on for a bit more! I just hope they don’t extend the delay again.

Are any of you using GRID game streaming? How is it treating you?

NVIDIA Shield videos!

Nvidia revenue jumps after strong gaming and automotive chip demand

Posted by wicked August - 7 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Nvidia-Logo-1

Nvidia has reported an unexpected rise in its second quarter revenue due to strong demand for its graphics chips and for mobile SoCs from the automotive industry.

Total revenue for the company rose by 4.5 percent to $1.15 billion in the latest quarter. Nvidia is also forecasting revenue of $1.16 to $1.20 billion for Q3 2015, which is higher than the $1.10 billion that it had anticipated for the quarter.

The decline of PC sales had been expected to hurt Nvidia’s revenue, as the company remains heavily reliant on desktop graphics card and laptop sales, and these still make up the majority of the company’s revenue. However, Nvidia has seen an uptick in GPU sales, along with strong demand from the automotive industry.

Revenue from the company’s gaming business rose by 9 percent in the previous quarter, which includes Android hardware and GRID streaming business. The desktop graphics unit also appears particularly strong lately, with a 51 percent increase in revenue. Nvidia remains a small player in the mobile SoC space, with only a handful of modern products powered by its Tegra SoCs. Its new Shield Android TV is rather good and Nvidia is also betting big on its GRID game streaming service, which has seen its user base triple over the last year.


Tegra_X1_DieSee also: Tegra X1 – a closer look at Nvidia’s “superchip”553079

Nvidia’s mobile chips are proving most popular in the automotive industry, powering car dashboard displays and entertainment systems. The company is also in talks with more than 50 companies that are exploring its Drive chip for self-driving cars. Nvidia’s Drive chip is based on the company’s latest Tegra X1 processor and offers powerful image processing capabilities for driver assistance systems, along with a fully featured infotainment experience.

It seems that diversification away from its core GPU business is working out quite well for Nvidia.

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