In Short

NVIDIA is a well-known GPU and processor maker that made a name for itself making a wide variety of desktop graphics cards for years, but also got into the mobile game with its consumer electronics-focused Tegra chipsets starting as early as 2009.

Its first well-known ARM chip, the dual-core Tegra 2, was announced for availability in the beginning of 2010, which saw minimal adoption in some tablets and phones. Tegra 3, announced in 2012, was the next generation quad-core chip from NVIDIA and sported improved performance but still failed to gain any mass adoption in the smartphone market. Tegra 4 came in 2013, with more adoption in larger devices like tablets, set top boxes and hybrid laptop-style devices. It also powered NVIDIA's first handheld device, the Shield Portable. Announced in 2014, the Tegra K1 is the latest and greatest from NVIDIA, with a 192-core GPU and a Kepler architecture borrowed from its higher-end graphics chips.

Several device makers, including HTC, Microsoft, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Dell, ASUS, Toshiba and Xiaomi and have used NVIDIA chips over time in various devices, however NVIDIA has still had trouble getting mass adoption of its mobile chipsets. It has generally been relegated to specific niche high-powered devices while Qualcomm continues to dominate the majority of the high-end Android handset space.

NVIDIA began making its own Android-powered consumer electronic devices in 2013 with the launch of the Shield Portable (then simply "NVIDIA Shield"), a handheld gaming device that introduced a previously-unseen form factor for Android devices and packing a powerful set of internals including a Tegra 4 processor. In the summer of 2014 NVIDIA followed that up with the Shield Tablet, a gaming-focused device that had more aspirations of being an all-around tablet for some, but with plenty of gaming potential packing the Tegra K1 192-core processor.

Though it hasn't seen the widespread success in the mobile space as it has in the desktop computing arena, NVIDIA continues to produce interesting processors, graphics chips and devices that are continually in the mobile conversation.