We are excited by the mobile games market

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Apr 21 2014, 05:23am hrs
For two decades, the Santa Clara, California-based graphics chipmaker Nvidia has pioneered visual computing. With their invention of the graphics processing unit (GPU) in 1999, visual computing has expanded to encompass video games, movie production, product design, medical diagnosis and scientific research. Today, visual computing is becoming increasingly central to how people interact with and enjoy technology. Consumer expectation for rich graphics is rising amid a massive proliferation of mobile devices and displays, says Nvidias managing director for South Asia, Vishal Dhupar. In a recent interaction, he shares with Sudhir Chowdhary key insights on how his company is addressing this opportunity, both worldwide and here in

India. Excerpts:

There has been a phenomenal rise in internet and mobile users globally as well as in India. Social networking too is popular across globe. Where do you see these technologies headed

Nvidia has been working hard to link the world of mobile devices and visual computing with an array of new products and technology. To Nvidia, our Tegra system on a chip (SoC) is more than just mobile. It powers a world of devicesgaming handhelds, clamshells, all-

in-one PCs and micro-consoles. And cars, which is quickly

becoming one of our fastest growing businesses!

Tegra K1, which we introduced earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014, has 192 fully

programmable cores to deliver the worlds most advanced mobile graphics and performance, and its GPGPU power opens up many new applications and experiences such as automotive, advanced imaging, speech recognition, video editing and computer vision.

Mobile computing is racing ahead at an accelerated pace, and it wont be long before we see visuals that will be truly astounding on mobile devices. And it should be interesting to more than just gamers

because the Tegra K1 will likely go into a bunch of non-gaming mobile and automobile applications that rely upon better visual quality.

Talk to us about your new mobile chip, Tegra K1.

Tegra K1 is the worlds first mobile superchip. One of the most exciting applications is computer vision. As an example, computer vision used in self-driving cars where it takes 2D images to resolve and reconstruct the 3D worlddetecting features and recognising objects. One object could be pedestrians, another could be other cars on the road but eventually we would like to teach it to recognise all objects like trees, trash cans, a stroller, a house.

What is the broad focus of activities for Nvidia in India

Nvidia targets three main verticals: gaming, professional visualisation, and high performance computing and data centres. For each, we offer a platform of processors, software, tools, marketing, expertise and, increasingly, connected services. We leverage the work we do for these markets by selling components and

licensing intellectual property to leading OEMs who wish to create smart devices differentiated by rich graphics.

India is an important market for Nvidia. And we are betting big on visual computing technologies here. As an example, GRID is a technology which we launched in the Indian market in September last year.

India has by and large skipped the PC revolution...

Yes, and it is likely to become the first country that has a heterogeneous computing environment in every company on a very large scale. According to Gartner, 50% of the worlds companies will implement bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programmes by 2017, altogether replacing employer-offered computing devices. And India is likely to emerge as the third-largest adopter of personal devices at workplaces after Brazil and China.

Today, graphics virtualisation is an important opportunity for enterprises as they serve to fulfill their customers requirements resulting from BYOD, mobility etc. Undoubtedly, virtualised workstations will become commonplace and Nvidias GRID enables that by taking visual computing out of the box and putting it on the cloud.

Nvidia has a heavy focus on the mobility business in India. What are the opportunities you see in this market

Nvidia is at the forefront of the mobile computing revolution. Whether it was Tegra 2the, or Tegra 3the worlds first 4-PLUS-1 quad-core mobile processor and for that matter, Tegra 4, which was the worlds first 4-PLUS-1 quad-core Cortex A15 processor, Nvidia has continually raised the bar on graphics performance of mobile processors.

Well see more and more mobile applications converted to 64-bit in time, but that cannot happen without hardware being available to permit the transition. Many advanced applications in visual computing, location-aware processing, contextually-aware processing, natural input processing, sensor processing, complex transaction processing, 3D gaming, and many other areas can benefit from the added performance of 64-bit processing.

Gaming has been Nvidias forte. What do you think of the mobile gaming scenario in India

Blockbuster games consistently outsell the biggest Hollywood filmsCall of Duty: Ghosts reached $1 billion in sales in its first 24 hours. By 2016, the core PC gaming market is expected to reach nearly $22 billion.

In India, there are several factors that are driving the growth of the games market, which include an increase in the number of active internet users to 162 million users as well as market development efforts led by games publishers. Of course Indias burgeoning middle class and

increased spending power

is yet another factor to consider. But most of all, we are most excited by the mobile games market due to the sheer number of mobile phones in India and the popularity of mobile games.

What role does Nvidias design centres in Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore play in the overall product development

India is an important market to Nvidia. In fact, 2014 marks the tenth year of Nvidias first design centre being set up in Bangalore. Every project to come out of Nvidia includes our India Design Centres work in some way or the other.