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Nvidia Unveils Gaming Tablet to Spread Chips Into Devices

Nvidia Corp., trying to prove the value of its chips in mobile devices by appealing to gamers, will begin selling a tablet computer under its Shield brand.

The Shield Tablet, which has an 8-inch screen, comes in two models, one with Wi-Fi only for $299 and one with a cellular connection that will retail for $399, the Santa Clara, California-based company said yesterday. It’s also offering a companion wireless controller for $59. The device will debut in the U.S. this month and Europe in August.

Nvidia Chief Executive Officer Jen-Hsun Huang is trying to reduce his company’s reliance on its core product of chips for add-in graphics cards in personal computers. Instead, he wants to spread the use of that kind of processing to other devices. Shield Tablet, based on the company’s K1 chip and Google Inc.’s Android operating system, is also designed to show Android can be the basis of high-end gaming machinery.

The new product will be sold alongside the Shield hand-held device that Nvidia introduced last year. The lineup shows that Nvidia intends to stay in the gaming gadget market, said Matt Wuebbling, a company vice president for product marketing.

“We think it’s perfect for those millions of gamers out there that want a tablet,” he said in a phone interview. “We’re targeting an end user that we know very well.”

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