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Nvidia Joins Chipmakers Eyeing Growing Chromebook Market

The market for the Google-based laptops is an attractive alternative to those for PC and mobile.

With the market for Chromebooks growing, chipmakers are increasingly looking at the Google-powered notebooks as an attractive alternative to the slow-growth PC market and the ultra-competitive phone arena.

Intel, which has struggled in phones and Android tablets, has been aggressively targeting the area. Samsung, meanwhile, has used its homegrown Exynos processor for its latest models.

On Monday, Nvidia put its flag in the ground, announcing its K1 chip is powering a new $279 13-inch Chromebook from Acer.

Finding the phone and tablet spaces to be tough going, Nvidia has been looking for additional markets for Tegra, including a big push into automotive as well as its own Shield gaming project.

Despite its fast growth, though, the entire Chromebook market is still tiny compared to laptops, phones or tablets. Gartner, in a forecast released Monday, said it expects 5.2 million of the Google-powered notebooks to sell this year. That’s up from 2.9 million Chromebooks sold last year, with more than 80 percent of those being sold in North America.

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